Spanish town vandalized with antisemitic graffiti after Jewish family moves in

Spanish town previously known as Castrillo Matajudíos, meaning “Fort Kill The Jews” is hit with antisemitic graffiti after news spread that the second Jewish family will move in town.

A tiny village in northern Spain that bore the name ‘Castrillo Matajudíos’, meaning Fort Kill the Jews, from 1627 until 2015 was hit with antisemitism soon after the news spread that the second Jewish family will move to town – the first Jewish family moved there earlier this year. The mayor believes that neo-Nazi groups groups from Madrid, Valencia or Santander carried out the vandalism because they had heard the news.

Originally called Castrillo Motajudíos, meaning ‘Jew’s Hill Fort’, gave home to Jews fleeing from the neighbouring pogrom in 1035. It was renamed Castrillo Matajudíos, ‘Fort Kill The Jews’, in 1627, during a period of extreme religious persecution carried out by the Inquisition. Upon the initiation of Mayor Lorenzo Rodríguez, the town got back its original name in 2015, and the mayor has been working on restoring the town’s Jewish past ever since. Most recently, he launched a project to construct a Center of Jewish Memory of Castilla y León along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

In recent years, the town has fell victim of antisemitic vandalism on numerous occasions, the latest happening on Wednesday, August 3, when vandals spray painted the word Auschwitz onto one of the village’s signs with its restored current name. They also edited the letters so it says Castrillo Matajudíos. Moreover, the perpetrators set fire to several garbage containers throughout the village.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain condemned the vandalism in a news release, reports The Jerusalem Post.

“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,” the release reads. “We express our solidarity with the people of Castrillo and its Mayor, Mr. Lorenzo Rodriguez.”