Appeal in Jew’s Sow case Germany


Central Europe


Photo EPA, Felipe Trueba

The legal dispute over the removal of the Jew’s Sow from the church of the German town of Wittenberg continues. Meanwhile, experts recommend the removal of the controversial sculpture.

After his defeat at the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), the plaintiff filed a constitutional complaint. BGH ruled in June that the sandstone relief from the 13th century did not have to be removed.

Dietrich Düllmann, who converted to Judaism in 1978 and has called himself Michael since then, wants the court to remove the anti-Jewish sandstone relief. This reports the Christian Austrian news portal Religion.

On Wednesday, it became known that, as announced, he had lodged a constitutional complaint after his defeat at the Federal Court of Justice. A spokesman for the Federal Constitutional Court confirmed receipt of the letter on Wednesday in Karlsruhe.

The applicant’s lawyers demand that the Federal Court of Justice’s judgment is set aside and that the case be referred back to the Court of Justice. The relief is to be removed “given the serious violation of personal rights associated with it, not only of the complainant but of every Jew in Germany,” says the constitutional complaint, which is available to magazine Der Spiegel and the German Press Agency.

The court had ruled that the parish had converted the “shame” into a “memorial” with a floor plate and a display with explanatory text. The decision was met with criticism and incomprehension.


The Christian German press agency IDEA reports that a panel of experts recommended the removal of the Jew’s Sow. The congregation had a floor plate installed in front of the sculpture in 1988, with which they distanced themselves from the anti-Semitic relief. There is also an information board close to the sculpture. However, according to the expert committee, the best thing to do would be to remove the sculpture from its current location and see if the Jew’s Sow can be shown near the church.

The relief on the former sermon church of Martin Luther shows a sow whose teats are being suckled by two people who can be identified as Jews by their pointed hats. According to the BGH, a figure considered a rabbi lifts the animal’s tail and looks into the anus. In the Jewish faith, pigs are considered unclean.



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