Spain’s Jewish community condemns antisemitic vandalism in Castrillo Mota de Judíos - World Jewish Congress

Spain’s Jewish community condemns antisemitic vandalism in Castrillo Mota de Judíos

Spain’s Jewish community condemns antisemitic vandalism in Castrillo Mota de Judíos

Spain’s Jewish community has issued a statement of concern following and incident of antisemitic vandalism that targeted the small town of Castrillo Mota de Judíos.

The perpetrators spray-painted the word “Auschwitz” on a sign noting the villages ties to the Israeli town of Kfar Vradim. They also altered the spelling of the village to reflect its previous name – one with ties to the persecution of Jews during the inquisition.

In a statement released by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE) following the vandalism, the organization unequivocally condemned the incident which it described as part of a string of, “recurrent attacks against the municipality and its inhabitants designed to intimidate.” The FCJE, which is the official representative body of Jews across Spain, also urged authorities to take the strongest possible measures against the perpetrators to prevent future acts.

The town of Castrillo Mota de Judíos, roughly translated to Jew hill camp, is located in the north of Spain and has a population of approximately 70 people. Originally a refuge for Jews fleeing a nearby pogrom, the name was changed in 1627 following the expulsion of Jews from Spain, to Castrillo Matajudios, meaning Jew-killer camp.

In 2015, the town’s mayor, Lorenzo Rodriguez, successfully led the charge to return the municipality’s name back to its original wording.