A village in northern Spain which until 2015 was named Castrillo Matajudíos or Fort Kill The Jews was recently discovered with antisemitic graffiti sprayed on walls.
Vandals spray painted the word Auschwitz onto one of the village’s signs with its restored current name. They also wrote the Fort Kill the Jews name onto a signpost that leads into the town. Several garbage containers throughout the village were lit on fire.
The town’s mayor said he believes neo-Nazi groups carried out the vandalism because they had heard a Jewish family was moving back into the community. The family will soon join another Jewish one that moved to the town earlier this year- the first to do so since medieval times.
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain condemned the vandalism in a news release saying, “The Federation asks the relevant authorities to strengthen preventive measures to avoid these incidents and to identify those involved in the recurrent attacks on the village of Castrillo Mota de Judíos. We express our solidarity with the people of Castrillo and its Mayor, Mr. Lorenzo Rodriguez.”
Now called Castrillo Mota de Judíos, the village was originally named Castrillo Motajudíos, or Jew’s Hill Fort, in 1035 when Jews fleeing from a neighboring pogrom settled there, the town was renamed Castrillo Matajudíos or Fort Kill The Jews in 1627, during a period of extreme religious persecution carried out by the Inquisition.