The Judensau: Ancient Roots of an Antisemitic Concept

Activity: Talk or presentation › Invited talk (lezing op uitnodiging)


The so-called Judensau is the most well-known, and most prevailing, anti-Jewish motif in the German-speaking countries in the 13th-16th century. It is found on stone reliefs, in wood cuttings, on churches and public buildings, and later in printed works. The effect of this imagery, which identifies Jews with pigs, has unfortunately not ended with the Middle Ages. The public display of such images is now forbidden, or, when found on old buildings, accompanied with historical information. Yet the anti-Jewish use of the pig pertains, hidden and less hidden, specifically today when antisemitism is more alive than ever. This lecture focuses on the origins of the Judensau image, and similar motifs, in Biblical, ancient Christian and ancient Jewish sources, and theirWirkungsgeschichte in the Middle Ages until today.
Period13 Jun 2024
Held atParis Lodron Universität Salzburg, Austria
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • antisemitism
  • iconography
  • Judensau
  • Luther
  • pigs
  • dietary laws
  • bestiaria