Spanish Village Called ‘Kill Jews’ Considers Changing Name

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A municipality in Northern Spain called Castrillo Matajudios, which translates to “Castrillo Kill Jews” is calling a town hall meeting this week to mull over changing its name.

Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez submitted a proposal to change the name of the town, which has a population of 60, back to its original name.

The town allegedly changed its name to ‘Kill Jews’ during the Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1478.

The original name is believed to be “Castrillo Mota de Judios” or “Castrillo Jews’ Hill.”

"The majority decision will be respected, even if it is only by one vote,” Rodriguez told the Spanish daily newspaper Diario de Burgos.

In parts of Spain, particularly in the north, where the origins of anti-Semitic terms are ignored, a traditional alcoholic drink, lemonade spiked with alcohol, is also called “matar Judios.”

Killing Jews is sold at Easter festivals each year. On Good Friday, April 18, Leon will hold a “matar Judios” fiesta where an estimated 40,000 gallons of lemonade will be sold.

The president of a local hotel associations, Ramon Benavides, was quoted as saying last month: “When ‘killing Jews,’ it’s best to take it slow and keep track of how much you drink to avoid excesses and its consequences the next day.”

“Regrettably, this type of expression exists in Spain in ceremonies and parties,” said Maria Royo, a spokesperson for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, adding that “the people saying it are mostly unaware of the history. It is a complicated issue that is ingrained in local culture.”

Sources: Gawker, Haaretz