The decision to keep the »Judensau« on the façade of the Evangelical town church in Wittenberg caused trouble. The culture commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Johann Hinrich Claussen, expressed his disappointment.
Although he could understand the content of the decision of the Evangelical Church Council, he was upset about the way it was made, he told the Evangelical Press Service (epd) on Thursday.
debate After years of argument, the Wittenberg parish church council announced on Wednesday that the anti-Jewish abusive plastic would not be removed. The federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, told the epd that the decision will certainly not satisfy all positions in the debate so far.
In July, an expert advisory board set up by the municipality of 2020 recommended removing the abusive sculpture from the facade and exhibiting it in the immediate vicinity with comments. The experts were never invited to an interview, said Claussen, who was himself a member of the advisory board. In addition, the experts were not informed about the decision of the parish council.
In July, an expert advisory board set up by the municipality of 2020 recommended removing the abusive sculpture from the facade and exhibiting it in the immediate vicinity with comments.
The director of the Evangelical Academy of Saxony-Anhalt in Wittenberg, Christoph Maier, also criticized the fact that one had not been invited to the discussion. He had moderated the advisory board discussions. The fact that after the advisory board’s recommendation in Lutherstadt the impression was created that one had to defend oneself against the destruction of an established memorial site counteracted the joint work of the past years. “We are firmly convinced that the memorial ensemble at the Wittenberg town church can do without showing the insulting anti-Jewish plastic,” said Maier.
martin luther The EKD culture commissioner Claussen said that the decision of a single parish church council had an impact on the entire evangelical church in Germany. The Wittenberg case is of particular importance, the sculpture is larger and more present than elsewhere. It is also associated with the name of the reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). Therefore, this is not a matter of a Wittenberg local affair.
Anti-Semitism Commissioner Klein said that it is now important that a suitable and future-proof contextualization is achieved, in which Jewish voices are also included.
The parish church council sees its decision confirmed by a judgment of the Federal Court of Justice in June, according to which the relief can remain in its historical location despite the anti-Jewish content (AZ: VI ZR 172/20). The justification stated that the municipality had sufficiently distanced itself from the relief by the floor slab that was embedded in 1988 and an explanatory, classifying text on a display.
The plaintiff Michael Düllmann, himself a member of a Jewish community, said in an interview with the evangelical monthly magazine “chrismon” that he was not surprised by the decision of the community church council. However, it is not clear to him why the church council invited a commission of experts if he did not follow their recommendation after all. epd