German federal court mulls bid to remove antisemitic relic

BERLIN – A German federal courtroom on Monday mulled a Jewish guy’s bid to pressure the elimination of a 700-year-old antisemitic statue from a church the place Martin Luther as soon as preached, and mentioned it’s going to 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 every of greater than 20 such relics from the Middle Ages that also embellish church buildings throughout Germany and in different places in Europe.

The case went to the Federal Court of Justice after decrease courts dominated in 2019 and 2020 towards plaintiff Michael Duellmann. He had argued that the sculpture was once “a defamation of and insult to the Jewish people” that has “a terrible effect up to this day,” and has advised transferring it the within sight Luther House museum.

Placed at the church about 4 meters (13 toes) above flooring degree, the sculpture depicts other people 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 regarding an anti-Jewish tract by means of Luther was once added.


In 1988, a memorial was once set into the bottom underneath, regarding the persecution of Jews and the 6 million individuals who died all over 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 knowledge signal, the statue was once 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, seen personally, 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 choice as neatly. Duellmann’s legal professional argued that the ideas at the signal is not enough and that the depiction of a pig was once an indication of hatred even if it was once post.


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

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