Spanish village repents for 'Jewish killer' name, opens memorial center

The village inaugurates the Sephardic Memorial Center with local Jewish community officials and the Israeli ambassador to Spain; local residents, officials emphasize their commitment to the relations with Jewish community and Israel

Itamar Eichner|
The small village Castrillo Mota de Judíos in northern Spain until 2015, and for hundreds of years was known as "Castrillo Matajudios" - "Jew killer camp."
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  • This week, following the change of its name, the village opened a memorial center in memory of the Jewish community that lived there in medieval times.
    3 View gallery
    מרכז הזיכרון הספרדי בכפר
    מרכז הזיכרון הספרדי בכפר
    מרכז הזיכרון הספרדי בכפר
    (צילום: שגרירות ישראל בספרד)
    The village decided to strengthen its ties with the Jewish community in Spain and established the "Centro De La Memoria Sefardi" (Sephardic Memorial Center).
    Senior members of the Jewish community in Spain and the Israeli embassy took part in the inauguration ceremony in the village.
    The chief Rabbi of Madrid, Moshe Ben Dahan received the honor of installing the mezuzah.
    3 View gallery
    The change of the name of the village back in 2015
    The change of the name of the village back in 2015
    The change of the name of the village back in 2015
    (Photo: AFP)
    The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon also attended the ceremony, as local residents and officials of the village emphasized their commitment from now on to the relations with the Jewish community and Israel.
    The ambassador planted an olive tree on behalf of the state in the "Israel garden" which was inaugurated in the village. She also inserted a thank-you note and a recognition letter to the village people in a time capsule that had been put into the soil to be opened in the future.
    3 View gallery
    הטקס שנערך בכפר קסטריו מוטה דה חודיוס
    הטקס שנערך בכפר קסטריו מוטה דה חודיוס
    The ceremony held at the village
    (Photo: Israeli embassy in Spain)
    Historical documents indicate that the ancient Spanish village was originally named Castillo Motajudios, which means "Jew hill camp" in 1035 when Jews fled from pogroms in the region and settled there.
    The name was changed to Castrillo Matajudíos ("Jew-killer camp") in 1627 following the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, in which the Jews were expelled from Spain.
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