Spanish Town 'Camp Kill Jews' Officially Changes Name

The tiny pueblo has changed its name back to Castrillo Mota de Judios (Jews' Hill Camp) following a referendum and regional government approval.

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The tiny Spanish town of Castrillo Matajudios, which means "Camp Kill Jews," has officially changed its name back to Castrillo Mota de Judios ("Jews' Hill Camp") following a referendum and regional government approval.

The town, with some 50 inhabitants, voted to change the name in 2014 after the mayor argued that the term was offensive and that the town should honor its Jewish origins.

Documents show the town's original name was "Jews' Hill Camp" and that the "Kill Jews" name dates from 1627, after a 1492 Spanish edict ordering Jews to become Catholics or flee the country.

Those who remained faced the Spanish inquisition, with many burned at the stake.

The change was approved by the regional government of Castilla y Leon and published Monday in the region's official gazette.

Although Jews were killed in the area, researchers believe the village got its recent name from Jewish residents who converted to Catholicism and wanted to reinforce their repudiation of Judaism to convince Spanish authorities of their loyalty.

Others suspect the change may have come from a slip of the pen.

Although no Jews live in the village today, many residents have ancient Jewish roots and the town's official shield includes the Star of David.

Spain's lower house of parliament this month approved a law setting a citizenship path for the descendants of Jews who were forced to flee the country centuries ago.