Information board condemns Judensau


Central Europe


Judensau at the Regensburg Cathedral. Photo Wikimedia Commons

The Regensburg Cathedral, which has an exemplar of the so-called Judensau, now also contains an information board on the piece of art. It was unveiled on Monday by the Bavarian Minister of Education, Micael Piazolo.

Visitors can read the information on the historical background of the Judensau, Idea writes. Furthermore, the board distances itself from the anti-Semitism of portraying Jews as the Judensau does. The Jew sow shows two men squatting under a sow and playing with its teats. One of the people wears a pointed hat like many Jews had to wear in the Middle Ages. The pig often symbolised the devil in Christian artworks of the time, so the sculpture is said to assert that the Jews had sealed a union with the devil. The Judensau aimed specifically at humiliating Jews and dates from the 14th century.

Minister Piazolo said during the unveiling of the information board that it could be a model for other churches with a controversial Judensau. For example, there is another example at the Protestant Sebaldus Church in Nuremberg.

He added that the board shows that the State, which owns the church and the Diocese of Regensburg that uses the church building distance themselves from the original message of the Judensau. That is reported by Evangelisch.de.


The Regensburg Cathedral already had an information board. However, it was criticised because some thought it was not conspicuous enough. In addition, critics argued that it did not explain the historical context of anti-Semitism well adequately.

Yet, removing the sculpture was not an option for those who participated in a so-called Round Table consultation on the issue. “If you remove the work, the anti-Semitism has not gone away”, Ilse Danziger, chairwoman of the Jewish community in Regensburg. Instead, she points out that the information board is an extra opportunity to draw attention to the issue.



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