Spanish town votes to change ‘Kill Jews’ name

The current second name of the Spanish town Castrillo Matajudios means "Kill Jews" and reflects the dark past of the Spanish Inquisition. The town, where residents are known for Jewish ancestry, has an official shield (pictured) with the Star of David. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The small Spanish village of Castrillo Matajudios, whose name translates to "Kill Jews Fort," voted Sunday to change its name with 29 of 56 residents voting in favor, and 19 voting against the change. The rest of the residents abstained.

The second part of the town's name was originally "Motajudios," which means "Hill of Jews." That name dates back to 1035, when Jews who escaped being killed at another nearby town settled on the town's hill. Records from 1627 show that the name was then changed to "Kill Jews," more than a century after the Spanish Inquisition, which had forced Jews to convert to Catholicism or face either execution or expulsion.

Some researchers believe that the town's new name was invented by Jewish converts to Catholicism who wanted to make it seem that they opposed people who tried to maintain their Jewish faith. Others think the new name was simply a misspelling. The town's official shield includes the Star of David.

A majority of the voters in the town backed reverting back to its original name, Castrillo Mota de Judios, or Hill of Jews, but no final decision has yet been made, reported Reuters.

Posted on May 25, 2014 .