GERMANY - Church Refuses to Remove Anti-Semitic Carving

Arno Froese

The sculpture, a Judensau (Jew sow), adorns the facade of the town church in Wittenberg, also known as the Stadtkirche. It has been there for over 700 years, remaining despite multiple attempts to remove it.

The request to remove the statue comes while Wittenberg, among other German cities, is being considered as the possible location for a new German Israeli youth organization.

“A city in which hostility to Jews is so openly displayed with the Judensau on the church cannot be a place of welcome for Jewish Israelis,” he said. “For Wittenberg to become the base of the German-Israeli Youth Exchange, the antisemitic Jew-sow must be removed.”

German courts have repeatedly dismissed cases brought up to take the statue down. The body responsible for the church, the Evangelical Academy of Saxony-Anhalt in Wittenberg, has fought hard against any such attempt.

Like the church, Martin Luther has a history deeply stained by antisemitism. The church reformer wrote a text entitled “The Jews and their Lies” and repeatedly espoused ideas such as that the Jews are “the devil,” “deceivers,” and “blasphemers,” among others., 7 August 2023

Arno's Commentary

The problem is easily detected when realizing that this sculpture has been there for over 700 years, thus falling under the protection of Denkmalschutz (historic monument protection). That is one thing; the other is hidden—replacement theology. In plain words, this asserts that Israel has no right to exist; the Church has replaced the Jews as the chosen people of God. Holocaust Encyclopedia documents: 

Sometimes called “the longest hatred,” antisemitism has persisted in many forms for over two thousand years. The racial antisemitism of the National Socialists (Nazis) took hatred of Jews to a genocidal extreme, yet the Holocaust began with words and ideas: stereotypes, sinister cartoons, and the gradual spread of hate.

In the tenth and eleventh centuries, these doctrines about Jews were hardened and unified in part because of the following: threat to the Church hierarchy from the impending split between Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy (1054); successive waves of Muslim conquest; end of millennium fervor; successes in converting the heathen ethnic groups of northern Europe; and military-spiritual zeal of the Crusades.

From that point on, Europe became “Christian,” but we emphasize, only by religion and not necessarily following the Lord Jesus Christ. When it comes to Israel, the Bible makes it crystal clear: “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (Romans 11:1). Later in that chapter, Paul writes: “blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (v. 25b). Verse 26a continues: “And so all Israel shall be saved.” Obviously, the Reformers and early church fathers totally overlooked the simple statement of Holy Scripture.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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