French official defends Death to Jews name

A French deputy mayor said she was opposed to changing the name of a locality under her jurisdiction called “Death to the Jews.”

Marie-Elisabeth Secretand of the village of Courtemaux advocated keeping the name of Mort-aux-Juifs in an interview with the news agency AFP. Secretand was reacting to a letter sent Aug. 11 by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urging him to have the name changed.

“It’s absurd, this name has existed for ages,” she said. “Of course no one means to harm the Jews.”

According to Secretand, Mort-aux-Juifs is made up of a farm and two homes. She added that a local council declined a motion to have the village renamed 20 years ago. — jta