The abusive sculpture known as the Wittenberg “Judensau” may remain on the town church of Lutherstadt. The Federal Court of Justice dismissed the lawsuit against the lower court judgment of the Naumburg Higher Regional Court on Tuesday. The plaintiff, a member of a Jewish community, had demanded the removal of the sandstone relief from the 13th century because he saw it as a defamation of Judaism and himself.
The plaintiff could not demand the removal because there was no “current infringement”, said the presiding judge Stephan Seiters of the VI. Civil Senate for justification. The defendant eliminated the originally infringing condition by attaching a base plate and a stand. When viewed as a whole, the defendant church successfully distanced itself from the content of the relief.
The relief from 1290 shows a sow at a height of four meters with two people who are supposed to represent Jews drinking from its teats. A rabbi looks under the animal’s tail and into its anus. In Judaism, a pig is considered unclean. According to the plaintiff, a member of the Jewish community, the “Judensau” therefore belongs in a museum.
The Naumburg Higher Regional Court (OLG) had previously decided that the relief did not have to be removed because it had been part of a memorial ensemble since 1988. On a memorial there is, among other things, an explanatory text in which the community distances itself from the sculpture.
At the oral hearing in Karlsruhe two weeks ago, the judges had not yet indicated the direction in which they were tending. The man had failed in the lower courts.