It's Official: Spanish Town 'Camp Kill the Jews' to Change Its Name

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Spanish pueblo Castrillos Matajudios, or Camp Kill the Jews, April 2010.Credit: Wikipedia Commons

A tiny Spanish village named Castrillo Matajudios, or Camp Kill the Jews, has voted to change the name it has had for hundreds of years.

The new name will be decided next month.

Of the town's 56 eligible voters, 52 cast votes in a referendum on Sunday, with 29 supporting the initiative to change the name and 19 opposing the change. There were four disqualified ballots.

Originally called Castrillo Motajudios, or Hill of the Jews, the "Mota---" became "Mata---" in the early 17th century. Scholars say the change reflected the shadow cast by the Inquisition of 1492, when the Jews of Spain and Portugal were expelled following decades of forced conversions and burnings at the stake.

The referendum came as Spain is seeking to make amends for the Inquisition, with a proposed law offering citizenship to descendants of Jews who were expelled.

The campaign to change Castrillo Matajudios' name was led by the mayor, Lorenzo Rodriguez.

"We've been labeled as being a village where Jewish people are killed, accused of being anti-Semitic. The reality is this is a village descended from a Jewish community," Rodriguez said.

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