Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Chinese billionaire opens theme park to rival Disneyland

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hiroshima's healing hug

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Uganda terror trial: Five jailed for life for 2010 al Shabaab World Cup bombings

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

French labour strikes, Paris raids on Google and McDonald's (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obama in Hiroshima and Austria's close call (part 1)

Read more

REPORTERS

Ukraine: Searching for missing people in Donbass

Read more

REVISITED

Video: What remains of the Gezi movement in Turkey?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Euro 2016: France readies for kick off

Read more

ENCORE!

Anne A-R : The people beyond the numbers: A photographic manifesto from the migrant trail

Read more

France

Jewish group asks France to rename ‘Death to Jews’ hamlet

© Google Maps screen grab

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-12

Prominent Jewish group the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has asked France's interior minister to change the name of a tiny hamlet south of Paris that has been called “La Mort aux Juifs” since the Middle Ages.

“La Mort aux Juifs” can be translated as either “Death to Jews” or “The death of the Jews”.

The group's director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels, wrote to Bernard Cazeneuve saying he was "shocked to discover the existence of a village in France officially 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," he wrote.

However, the deputy mayor of the village of Courtemaux – population 289 – which has jurisdiction over the hamlet dismissed the concerns.

"It's ridiculous. This name has always existed," Marie-Elizabeth Secretand told AFP. "No one has anything against the Jews, of course. It doesn't surprise me that this is coming up again."

Changing the name would require a decision by the municipal council, which Secretand said was unlikely.

"Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names."

In 1992, an anti-racism organisation lobbied the interior minister and the authorities unsuccessfully to get the name changed.

In May, residents of a town in Spain with a similarly unfortunate name, Castrillo Matajudios ("Castrillo Kill Jews"), did vote to change the name, which had existed since 1623, to the less offensive Mota de Judios, or "Hill of the Jews".

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-08-12

  • FRANCE

    French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France slams ‘anti-Semitic’ violence at pro-Palestinian rally

    Read more

COMMENT(S)