Wiesenthal Centre to French Interior Minister: “Loiret Village Name of ‘La Mort aux Juifs’ (‘Death to the Jews’) Must be Renamed”

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Paris, 11 August 2014

In a letter to French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazenave, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director forInternational Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed shock at discovering “the existence of a village in France officially named ‘La Mort aux Juifs’ (‘Death to the Jews’). This so-called ‘Lieu-Dit’ (‘Locality’) is registered under the regional authority of Courtemaux, postal district 45320, in the Loiret, some 58 miles south of Paris.”

The letter suggested, “The name is, apparently, of long date – possibly as far as the 11th century Croisade-related pogroms that ended with the expulsion of France’s 110,000 Jews by King Philippe Le Bel in 1306.”

Samuels found surprisingly, “The name remained under Napoleon’s emancipation of French Jewry,” adding, “It was unnoticed during seventy years since the liberation of France from the Nazis and Vichy, is most shocking.”

The letter additionally noted, “The economic crisis’ drain on the village’s population, seeking employment elsewhere, has led to real estate offers, in July 2014, for cut-rate property in ‘La Mort aux Juifs.’ See http://www.jestime.com/prix-immobilier-m2/centre/loiret/courtemaux-45320/lieu-dit-la-mort-aux-juifs.html.”

The Centre emphasized, “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,” urging, “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,” concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Shimon Samuels on 00 (33) 609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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