Counter-monument placed by controversial Judensau in Germany


Central Europe


Hans-Joachim Prager, the designer of the monument with his piece of art. Photo Facebook, Evangelische Landeskirche Anhalts

A monument against anti-Semitism will be placed amidst the ruins of a church in the German town of Zerbst. It is meant to warn against the so-called Judensau (Jew sow) located there.

Who looks at the ruins of the Saint Nicolai Church in Zerbst sees, just like in the city church of the nearby town of Wittenberg, a relief which portrays Jews as a despised people, a so-called Judensau, dating from 1450. That is reported by the Dutch daily Reformatorisch Dagblad.

Like in Wittenberg, the Judensau in Zerbst led to much discussion about what to do with it. The town decided to leave the relief on the wall as a heritage. Instead of removing it, the town said a monument would be placed next to it as a warning.

The monument will be 1.25 metres high, Domradio writes. Furthermore, it contains a Bible verse: "God created man in His own image". It also lists the names of Jewish families from the town who fell victim to National Socialism and points out that "human dignity is inviolable."


Pastor Lutz-Michael Sylvester of the Protestant Lutheran congregation in Zerbst said that even with its inhuman message, the image is still part of the town's heritage. "We must accept it and deal with it correctly."

The winning design of the counter-monument was presented on Tuesday. The artist, Hans-Joachim Prager, made a granite pillar with a bronze cap. The monument is called "Reflection" and will be placed at the location next year spring. There has already been an information board explaining the Judensau since the beginning of this year.

The Judensau on the outer wall of the city church in Wittenberg has been an issue of controversy for the past couple of years. The problem was taken to court several times. People argued that the discriminating relief should be removed.

The highest German Court finally ruled that the image did not have to be removed. A so-called Judensau is an obscene image of Jews with a sow. The well-known reformator of Wittenberg, Martin Luther, also spoke negatively about the Jews in his writings.

According to Domradio, there are about 50 Judensaus all over Europe.



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