German federal court mulls bid to remove antisemitic relic

BERLIN – A German federal courtroom on Monday mulled a Jewish guy’s bid to power the elimination of a 700-year-old antisemitic statue from a church the place Martin Luther as soon as preached, and mentioned it’ll ship its verdict within the long-running dispute subsequent month.

The “Judensau,” or “Jew pig,” sculpture at the Town Church in Wittenberg is one in all greater than 20 such relics from the Middle Ages that also enhance church buildings throughout Germany and in other places in Europe.

The case went to the Federal Court of Justice after decrease courts dominated in 2019 and 2020 in opposition to plaintiff Michael Duellmann. He had argued that the sculpture used to be “a defamation of and insult to the Jewish people” that has “a terrible effect up to this day,” and has steered transferring it the close by Luther House museum.

Placed at the church about 4 meters (13 toes) above flooring degree, the sculpture depicts other folks identifiable as Jews suckling the teats of a sow whilst a rabbi lifts the animal’s tail. In 1570, after the Protestant Reformation, an inscription relating to an anti-Jewish tract through Luther used to be added.


In 1988, a memorial used to be set into the bottom under, relating to the persecution of Jews and the 6 million individuals who died all the way through the Holocaust. In addition, an indication offers details about the sculpture in German and English.

In 2020, an appeals courtroom in Naumburg dominated that “in its current context” the sculpture isn’t of “slanderous character” and didn’t violate the plaintiff’s rights. It mentioned that, with the addition of the memorial and data signal, the statue used to be now “part of an ensemble which speaks for another objective” at the a part of the parish.

Presiding Judge Stephan Seiters mentioned at Monday’s listening to that, considered for my part, the statue is “antisemitism chiseled into stone,” German information company dpa reported.

However, the later additions and context usually are a key consider his courtroom’s resolution as smartly. Duellmann’s legal professional argued that the tips at the signal is not enough and that the depiction of a pig used to be an indication of hatred even if it used to be submit.


The federal courtroom, primarily based within the southwestern town of Karlsruhe, plans to announce its ruling on June 14.

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