For TIME, Laura Stampler reports: A Jewish organization is petitioning French officials that a small hamlet outside of Paris change its name from what translates in English to “Death to Jews.”

“No one has anything against the Jews, of course. It doesn’t surprise me that this is coming up again. Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names.”

— Marie-Elizabeth Secretand, to to an AFP reporter

“[The fact that the name] was unnoticed during seventy years since the liberation of France from the Nazis and Vichy is most shocking,” Shimon Samuels, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s international affairs, wrote to France’s interior minister.

Here’s the town on Yahoo! Maps.

But the deputy mayor of Courtemaux, the 289-population village that oversees the contested hamlet, is resistant to a name change, arguing that the tradition should be respected. Read the rest of this entry »