The year-long process including a referendum and regional gov’t approval, finally brings an end to the controversy of the Spanish hamlet’s 400 yr-old offensive name.
The Spanish village of Castrillo Matajudios – which means “Camp Kill Jews” – on Monday officially changed its name to Castrillo Mota de Judios (“Jews’ Hill Camp”) following a referendum and regional government approval.
A vote by residents of the town in May 2014 went 29-19 in favor of scrapping the name, which has been in existence since at least 1623.
The decision should bring an end to the embarrassment of locals, who frequently found themselves trapped into giving awkward explanations to outraged outsiders.
“When you travel elsewhere, you always have to explain, because people say, ‘You kill Jews in Castrillo’,” Rodriguez told AFP.
“It makes no sense because we are descended from a Jewish community. We have a star of David on our coat of arms.”
He said the town, near the city of Burgos, was founded in 1035 as a haven for a persecuted Jewish community, which settled on a hill, or Mota, in the area.
A Jewish community remained until 1492 when they were mostly expelled by the Spanish Inquisition, a brutal religious tribunal. Angel Palomino, an archaeologist, said it was thought those who converted to Roman Catholicism decided to change the town’s name to prove the purity of their faith.
A new law was ratified by the Spanish government earlier this month, which will allow an estimated 3.5 million descendants of Jews exiled in 1492 to apply for Spanish citizenship.
View original i24news publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/europe/75870-150623-spanish-village-officially-no-longer-called-camp-kill-jews