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Medieval anti-Semitic sculpture can stay on church: German court

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Medieval anti-Semitic sculpture can stay on church: German court

Medieval anti-Semitic sculpture can stay on church: German court

A German court this week ruled a 700-year-old anti-Semitic sculpture could stay on the exterior of a church in the city of Wittenberg, dismissing a claim by a member of the local Jewish community that it was defamatory and should be removed.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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Medieval anti-Semitic sculpture can stay on church: German court

A German court has ruled that this 700-hundred-year-old anti-Semitic sculpture could remain on the wall of a church in the city of Wittenberg, dismissing a claim by a member of the local Jewish community that it was defamatory and should be removed.

The decision this week comes amid a national debate in Germany about an alarming rise in anti-Jewish hate.

The "Judensau," or "Jew pig" - carved on a wall of Wittenberg's St Mary's church - depicts a rabbi lifting the tail of the animal and peeping at its behind, while Jewish children suckle on the pig, an animal considered unclean in Judaism.

The sculpture is a reminder of rampant anti-Semitism during the Middle Ages.

But the court ruled that "in its current context" the remnant has neither an "insulting character" nor does it violate the plaintiff's personal rights.

It also said an information board near the sculpture clearly stated that the parish "distanced itself from the persecution of Jews, the anti-Judaic writings of Martin Luther and the mocking aim of the defamatory sculpture".

This marks the second time in two years that a court has ruled against the removal of the sculpture, one of about 20 such relics from the Middle Ages that still adorn churches across Germany and elsewhere in Europe.




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