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Spanish village called 'kill Jews' considers name change

Mayor wants to change name of small village from Castrillo Matajudios to 'Castrillo Jews' Hill'

Tomas Jivanda
Sunday 13 April 2014 12:09 BST
The name is believed to originate from the Spanish Inquisition
The name is believed to originate from the Spanish Inquisition (Google Maps)

A northern Spanish village is voting on whether to change the second half of its name - because it means 'kill Jews' in Spanish.

The 60 residents of Castrillo Matajudios - which translates as 'Castrillo Kill Jews' - will meet next week to decide on whether to change its name after Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez submitted the proposal.

He has suggested the name be switched to Castrillo Mota de Judios, meaning 'Castrillo Jews’ Hill'. It is believed this was the original name of the village before it was changed to Castrillo Matajudios during the Spanish inquisition.

There has been talk of changing the name before, but it is not until now that there has been a firm proposal.

Mayor Rodríguez told local Spanish daily newspaper Diario de Burgos: "The majority decision will be respected, even if it is only by one vote."

Mr Rodríguez says the original name came after a number of Jewish people were massacred in nearby Castrojeriz in 1035, prompting survivors to move to the Castrillo hill. A second massacre occurred there in 1109.

The Matajudios name is similar to a common expression used across northern Spain to describe a drink of lemonade and alcohol - 'matar Judios', meaning 'kill Jews'.

The drink is consumer particularly at festivals around Easter. Leon, which is near Castrillo Matajudios, will hold its annual 'matar Judios' event on Good Friday during which 40,000 gallons of lemonade is expected to be sold.

The name is believed to come from medieval times when converted Jewish people were sometimes publicly executed at show trails around Easter in Spain.

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