French Village Called ‘Death to Jews’ Refuses to Change Name
A little medieval-era anti-Semitism never hurt anyone, says the deputy mayor of a French town called “Death to Jews” who doesn’t get why people want them to change their name.
“It’s ridiculous. This name has always existed,” Marie-Elizabeth Secretand, deputy mayor of a town that has jurisdiction over La-mort-aux-Juifs, told the AFP, adding that “no one has anything against the Jews, of course. It doesn’t surprise me that this is coming up again.”
Secretand’s response conveniently ignores the many, many centuries of France having “things against Jews” — even in the 21st century, and, in fact, this month in the wake of the Gaza conflict. And it’s not like other European towns with anti-Semitic names want to hold onto their proud, anti-Semitic heritage: a Spanish town once called Castrillo Matajudíos (“Jew-Killing Camp”) ” wised up and changed their name to the benign Castrillo Mota de Judios (“Jew Hill”).
The problem of La-mort-aux-Juifs arose recently when the Simon Wiesenthal Centre discovered that somehow, 70 years after World War II, the town continued to be called “Death to Jews.” “It is extremely shocking that this name has slipped under the radar in the 70 years that have passed since France was liberated from Nazism and the (pro-Nazi) Vichy regime,” director of international affairs Shimon Samuels wrote to France’s interior minister.
In related news, the number of Jews emigrating from France to Israel is set to skyrocket.
[Image via Shutterstock]
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