Anti-Semitism Commissioner: Klein welcomes the covering of anti-Jewish reliefs

Anti-Semitism Commissioner: Klein welcomes the covering of anti-Jewish reliefs

A relief in Brandenburg Cathedral is a topic of conversation: the anti-Jewish motif is now to be covered up. What does the anti-Semitism commissioner think?

The federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, considers the handling of an anti-Jewish relief in the cathedral of the city of Brandenburg an der Havel to be appropriate. “I welcome the decision to wrap the anti-Jewish abusive plastic in the Brandenburg Cathedral,” he said when asked by the German Press Agency. It is particularly commendable that Bishop Christian Stäblein has clearly acknowledged the churches’ guilt for actively promoting hatred of Jews and anti-Semitism.

According to the community in Brandenburg, they are aware of the anti-Jewish significance of the relief. The abusive sculpture from the 13th century shows a sow with a human face and a Jewish headgear, with other creatures hanging from its teats. In the Jewish faith, pigs are considered unclean.

No exact time yet

The relief in the cloister of the evangelical cathedral will remain in its historical location, but is to be covered in the future, as a spokesman for the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia said. It is not yet clear when the position will be imposed at a height of two meters. “There are no longer any content-related issues that still need to be clarified before the “visual elimination”, only technical-aesthetic ones,” said the spokesman. For about ten years there has already been a display in front of the sculpture, on which a position is taken in terms of content.

“Not only in Brandenburg, but in many churches in Germany, the architectural legacies have raised the question of the continuity of Christian hatred of Jews from the Middle Ages to the present day,” said Klein.

Abusive plastics elsewhere too

A similar relief can be found, among other things, on the town church of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. Here Klein considers the conscious handling of one’s own history to be insufficient. The parish recently adapted an information sign for the “Judensau” and announced that it would set up a permanent exhibition in the long term to provide information on anti-Judaism.

The previous debates about how to deal with the abusive sculptures have shown that there is not just one right way to face history, emphasized Klein. Each individual case should be considered separately. “However, it must always be taken into account that disparaging and disparaging representations, even if they are historical, still hurt people today, still have an effect today.”

Source: Stern

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