BGH: Anti-Jewish pig relief may remain in church

BGH: Anti-Jewish pig relief may remain in church

Released on 14..2022

  • One referred to as a “Judensau”. Abusive plastic can be seen at the town church in Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa
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    The sow is suckling two Jews, another is looking at her ass: The sandstone relief on the Wittenberg town church has drawn a lot of criticism as a “shame”. Now the BGH has made a judgment.


    A sandstone relief known as “Judensau” may, according to a decision of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), be placed on the facade of the town church Wittenberg stay in Saxony-Anhalt.

    The parish has that thanks to a base plate and a display with explanatory text In their verdict on Tuesday in Karlsruhe, the top civil judges in Germany found that the “shame” had been converted into a “memorial”. (Az. VI ZR 172/20)

    Up to base plate and stand in 1980s were added, the illustration from the 13. Century had “a massive defamatory content of the Jewish people and their religion” and expressed anti-Semitism and hatred, it was said.

    The relief shows a sow whose teats suck two people who are supposed to be identified as Jews by their pointed hats. According to the BGH, a figure considered to be a rabbi lifts the animal’s tail and looks into the anus. Pigs are considered unclean in the Jewish faith.

    A Jewish plaintiff wanted the anti-Jewish depiction removed. He also failed in the lower courts. The case is explosive because the Wittenberg town church is considered the mother church of the Reformation. Martin Luther preached here (172-1483). (dpa)

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