• France's news in English

French hamlet 'Death to Jews' mulls name change

AFP/The Local · 13 Aug 2014, 16:16

Published: 13 Aug 2014 16:16 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We will look at this problem right at the beginning of September" to find "a new name for the hamlet," Serge Montagne, a senior official from the village of Courtemaux, which has jurisdiction over the hamlet, told AFP on Wednesday.

Montagne explained that the name, which dates back at least as far as the Middle Ages, is still on the official cadastral list, although the tiny hamlet of one farm and two houses has been known as "Route de Louzouer" on the postal register since 1992.

A possible name change will be on the agenda of the next municipal council meeting, said Paul Laville, a town hall official at Montargis, the closest large town.

The hamlet shot to prominence after the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a renowned Jewish rights group, complained on Tuesday to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve about the name.

"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," wrote the group's director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels.

But on Tuesday, the deputy mayor of Courtemaux (population 289) dismissed the concerns as "ridiculous."

"Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names," Marie-Elizabeth Secretand told AFP.

In 1992, an anti-racism organisation lobbied the interior minister and the authorities at the time in vain to get the name changed.

Story continues below…

In May, residents of a town in Spain with a similar name, Castrillo Matajudios ("Castrillo Kill Jews"), did vote to change the name.

They voted 29-19 in favour of scrapping the northern Spanish town's name, in existence since at least 1623, opting for the less offensive, older name, Mota de Judios, or "Hill of the Jews".

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available