Wittenberg town parish might remove controversial Jew's Sow


Central Europe


Photo EPA, Felipe Trueba

Although German courts believe that the controversial 'Judensau' may remain, the parish church council wants to send a signal. It no longer excludes a change of location for the sculpture.

The town parish of Wittenberg no longer rules out removing the Jew's Sow from the façade of the town church. The parish announced on Friday that the community church council spoke out in favour of clearer steps in dealing with the sculpture.

A Jew's Sow is an image of Jews in obscene contact with a sow, a female pig. Such images appeared in several places in the Middle Ages. They were intended to mock Jews, for whom pigs are unclean animals.

In the statement, chairman Jörg Bielig points out that, according to the recent court ruling, the 13th-century sculpture may remain in place. However, at the same time, "many individual discussions, public statements and accompanying correspondence" made it clear "that the church community needs to distance itself more clearly from the anti-Semitism of the sculpture", Bielig says. This reports the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

Earlier, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled that the sandstone relief could remain on the town church of Wittenberg. However, this situation was fixed by the defendant church by attaching an explanation floor plate and a display. Those explanations will also be revised, reports Katholisch.de.

Theological motives

Although they were also visible elsewhere, Jew's Sows are most often found on churches. It typifies the anti-Jewish sentiments that were widespread in society and within the church for centuries. In the church, these sentiments were often mixed with theological motives. Jews were said to have committed "God-murder" with the crucifixion of Jesus and to be children of the devil - who in the past was often depicted as a pig.



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