The judges left no doubt about their verdict on the content of the “Wittenberg Judensau”.

According to the Federal Court of Justice, from the beginning the relief only served to defame and denigrate Jews.

It is hard to imagine a pictorial representation that contradicts our legal system to a greater extent.

Marlene Grunert

Editor in Politics.

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From the point of view of the supreme judge, however, the same legal system does not require removal.

After all, there were several ways to "turn off" the insult.

This includes the path that the church has chosen: the conversion of the "shame" into a memorial and testimony to its centuries-long hostility to Jews.

The church can decide for itself which means to use.

The "Judensau" has been hanging on the outside facade of the town church in Wittenberg since the 13th century and shows a rabbi looking under the tail of a pig in the anus.

Two other Jews can also be seen sucking the teats of the animal, which Judaism considers unclean.

After the Reformation, the abusive character was intensified.

Since then, the inscription "Rabini Shem Ha Mphoras" has made direct reference to Martin Luther's anti-Semitism, who preached numerous times in the town church.

Information board was installed

In 1988, 50 years after the start of the pogroms against Jews under National Socialism, the parish had a floor slab laid in front of the "Wittenberger Sau", with which they distanced themselves from the anti-Semitic relief.

The surrounding text connects the inscription on the abusive sculpture with the Holocaust.

An information board has also been erected.

Michael Düllmann, who is Jewish himself, doesn't think that's enough.

He has been campaigning for the removal of the relief for years.

Even in the lower courts, he referred to the fact that an insult remains an insult even if you comment on it.

Last year, Düllmann's lawsuit before the Naumburg Higher Regional Court failed.

The judges shared his verdict on the content of the relief, but referred to the publicly visible distancing of the church community.

Relief mocks Judaism

The responsible for the general right of personality VI.

Civil Senate of the Federal Court of Justice.

As announced after the oral hearing at the end of May, the judges dealt with the case in detail.

This is also indicated by the notification of the court;

the written verdict had not yet been published on Tuesday.

The Senate first makes it clear that, at least up to 1988, the “Wittenberger Sau” had “a massively defamatory statement about the Jewish people and their religion” and expressed “anti-Semitism and hatred”.

The plaintiff is also entitled to object to the relief in court;

viewed in isolation, the relief ultimately mocks and denigrates Judaism as a whole.

According to the court, the “right to validity and respect of every Jew living in Germany” is directly attacked by the depiction.

"Because this group of people is united by the National Socialist genocide to form a unit that allows them to stand out from the general public."

In the meantime, however, the Wittenberg parish has converted the "shame" into a memorial to commemorate and commemorate the centuries of discrimination and persecution of Jews up to the Shoah and distanced itself from the defamatory and anti-Jewish statement.

At least on the level of civil law, the Federal Court of Justice has now ended a long-standing dispute that was not only bitterly fought among lawyers.

Rather, the discussion about the Wittenberg Relief triggered a general debate about how to deal with anti-Jewish traces of the past.

In view of the resurgence of anti-Semitism in particular, there is a discussion as to whether it might make sense – also for reasons other than legal ones – to remove the numerous abusive plastics that still exist in Germany.

The Evangelical Church reacted with relief to the verdict on Tuesday.

At the same time, she promised to deal more intensively with anti-Jewish traditions in pictures and texts.

"As an evangelical church, we have to go to the very foundations of the theology of the Reformation in order to track down and change the anti-Jewish content there," said the representative of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) for the fight against anti-Semitism, Christian Staffa.