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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wiesenthal Center Wants French ‘Death to the Jews’ Town Renamed

In a letter to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazenave, The Simon Wiesenthal Center Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed shock at discovering “the existence of a village in France officially named ‘La Mort aux Juifs’ (‘Death to the Jews’).
This so called ‘Lieu-Dit’ (‘Locality’) is registered under the regional authority of Courtemaux, postal district 45320, in the Loiret, some 58 miles south of Paris.”
The letter suggested, “the name [Death to the Jews] is, apparently, of long date—possibly as far as the 11th century Crusade-related pogroms that ended with the expulsion of France’s 110,000 Jews by King Philippe Le Bel in 1306.”
Samuels found surprising “that the name remained under Napoleon’s emancipation of French Jewry,” and added “that it was unnoticed during the seventy years since the liberation of France from the Nazis and Vichy, is most shocking.”
The letter noted that “the economic crisis’ drain on the village’s population, seeking employment elsewhere, has led to real estate offers, in July 2014, for cut-rate property in ‘La Mort aux Juifs.’”
The Center emphasized that “the current surge in public violent expressions of anti-Semitism makes us uneasy regarding the motives of those seeking to reside at such an address,” and urged “the earliest removal of this genocidal name and its replacement with an identity rather more welcoming to all.”
Samuels concluded, “Indeed, it will be most interesting to note whether property values in the village rise or fall as a result.”
The problem isn’t incredibly unique–in May, Spain agreed to change the name of a town that translated to “Kill Jews.”
In parts of Spain, and especially in the North, locals use the term “killing Jews” (matar Judios) to describe the traditional drinking of lemonade spiked with alcohol at festivals held in city squares at Easter, or drinking in general.

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