In a historic election, the citizens of tiny village located in the Northern Spain voted to change the name of their town from the controversial anti-Semitic toponym Castrillo Matajudíos or “Fort Kill the Jews’” to Castrillo Mota de Judíos or “Fort Hill of Jews”.
Although the exact origin and motivation for the original moniker are still a matter of historical speculation, over its 1,000 year existence, the Jewish culture has long been part of the town’s heritage. In fact, the village coat of arms and flag both feature the Star of David.
According to the town major, Lorenzo Rodríguez Pérez, it was high time the town change its name. In an interview with the UK Guardian, he was quoted as saying that the villagers could no longer “carry a name that suggests we kill Jewish people when we’re completely the opposite; this is a community that sprang from Jewish roots and its descendants are the descendants of Jewish people”.