Duke Makes Historic Apology For Expulsion of Jews from Gibraltar

December 11, 2013  

On Monday, a Spanish duke presented a document of apology in Spanish and Hebrew to the President of the Jewish community of Gibraltar, in which he apologized for the atrocities committed during the 1474-1476 expulsion of Jews from the island.

The historic apology was read by the Duke of Medina Sidonia, Alonso González de Gregorio y Álvarez de Toledo before the Gibraltar Jewish community, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle.

The event marks the first time a member of the Spanish aristocratic family has officially visited Gibraltar since the second Duke of Medina Sidonia, Enrique Perez de Guzman y Fonseca, expelled the Jews from the island in 1476. Jews had fled to Gibraltar from persecution in Spain.

“Today I apologize before the Jewish Community in Gibraltar, who are moral and genetic heirs of the converted Andalucians, who in 1474 fled the cruel, uncontrollable genocide in Andalucia and resorted to take refuge in this city,” read the duke.

Referring to his ancestor, the duke stated “although some historians may have already distanced him from the atrocities, in no case have they been successful in exempting him from the grave responsibility which, through historical justice, I recognize in his name.” 

Gibraltar is currently under the sovereignty of Great Britain, after being captured from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession.

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