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August 12, 2014 10:18 pm
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Jewish Group Calls on French Interior Minister to Rename ‘Death to the Jews’ Town

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Simon Wiesenthal Center logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded on Monday that a French village officially called ‘La Mort Aux Juids’ (‘Death to the Jews’) be renamed.

The request was sent in a letter to France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazenave.

“The current surge in public and violent expressions of anti-Semitism makes us uneasy regarding the motives of those seeking to reside at such an address,” wrote the Center’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels. He urged “the earliest removal of this genocidal name and its replacement with an identity rather more welcoming to all.”

“Indeed, it will be most interesting to note whether property values in the village rise or fall as a result,” Samuels added.

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Samuels noted that the village, which is roughly 58 miles south of Paris, is facing an “economic crisis” that has forced locals to seek employment elsewhere and led to real estate offers in July 2014 for cut-rate property in the town.

Samuels suggested in his letter that the town’s name possibly goes back as far as the 11th century Croisade-related pogroms, which resulted in the expulsion of France’s 110,000 Jews in 1306.

He said he was surprised “that the name remained under Napoleon Bonaparte’s emancipation of French Jewry,” adding, “that it was unnoticed during seventy years since the liberation of France from the Nazis and Vichy, is most shocking.”

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