And now the mayor of the small Spanish town of Castrillo Matajudios – which means ‘Kill Jews’ in English – has said residents will get the opportunity to vote on a name change.
The 56 residents of the town, which lies near the northern city of Burgos, will vote May 25 on whether to change the name and instead celebrate the location’s Jewish heritage, mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez said last week.
If they agree to the change, locals will be able to choose between the rather less offensive Mota Judios and Mota de Judios, which both mean Mound of the Jews.
“Those of us who have lived all our lives in Castrillo Matajudios don't give it a second thought. But the moment you go elsewhere it sounds bad,” the mayor told reporters.
"Nowadays when people hear Castrillo Matajudios they go, 'What a village. They kill Jews there. You have killed Jews'," he said.
“There are some villagers, business people who travel to Israel, and they try not to show their identity card. It is a name that we know today is not very correct,” the mayor explained.
Town was founded in 1035 when Jews who had been stripped of their possessions and exiled from their homes decided to settled on a mound, or mota, in the area.
They remained there until 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, expelled the Jews from Spain, allowing only those who converted to the Roman Catholic faith to remain.
Now the town hall wants to commission an archaeological study and excavations to unearth the Jewish history of the site and even to attract visitors to the area, Rodriguez said. AFP