Tuesday, December 06, 2022

German court refuses to remove anti-Semitic statue

BERLIN ( Associated Press) – A German federal court has rejected a Jewish man’s request to remove an anti-Semitic statue from a medieval church by Martin Luther.

The Federal Court of Justice agreed with the lower court’s rulings on the statue of the “Judensau” (“Jewish Pig”) in Wittenberg, one of more than 20 medieval relics that to this day adorn churches in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Beautifies. Like other rulings, the federal court noted that, at the same location and since the 1980s, there is a plaque honoring victims of anti-Semitism.

The case went to federal court after local courts in the state of Saxony-Anhalt dismissed Michael Duelman’s lawsuits in 2019 and 2020.

Duelman denounced the sculpture as “a crime and disgrace to the Jewish people” that “has had a terrible effect to this day” and suggested moving it to the nearby Martin Luther House museum.

The statue, about four meters (13 ft) above ground level, shows recognizable figures such as Jews sucking a sow and a rabbi-like figure raising the tail of an animal. In 1570, after the Protestant Reformation, an inscription referring to an anti-Semitic treatise written by Luther was included.

In 1988, an inscription mentioning the death of 6 million Jews during the persecution of the Jews and the Holocaust was included below. The sign contains information about the sculpture in English and German.

The federal court acknowledged that, viewed alone, the sculpture “utterly discredits Judaism,” but says the parish resolved the situation by combining the legend with historical context.

This, the court said, meant that the parish distanced itself from the sculpture’s “defamatory and anti-Semitic message”.

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