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Das wahre Porträt des ewigen Juden

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.38

Nineteenth century antisemitic poster printed by C. Burckardt in Weissenburg, Germany (now Wissembourg, France) featuring an image and a poem by Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart about the Wandering Jew. Christian Schubart was an 18th century German poet and musician. The poster references the story of the Wandering Jew, a Jewish man (in some versions named Ahasuerus) who taunted Jesus on his way to be crucified. In response, Jesus said “I stand and rest, but you will go on,” dooming him to live until the end of the world or the second coming of Christ. The origin of the story is uncertain, although parts may have been inspired by biblical passages. Some versions name the wanderer Cartaphilus, and claim he was Pontius Pilate’s doorkeeper, who struck Jesus, urging him to go faster on the path to his crucifixion. The Ahasuerus version can be traced back to a German pamphlet published in 1602 which was translated into several languages and widely distributed. The story of the Wandering Jew has been portrayed and depicted in works of art, poetry, literature, plays, and films. In Schubart’s poem, the Jew is named Ahasver and he denies Jesus’ request for rest on the way to his crucifixion. As a result Ahasver is cursed to never die by an angel. Ahasver lives to see his loved ones die, cities and nations rise and fall, and bears mortal wounds that only cause him pain and suffering. In the end, the angel returns, and allows Ahasver to die, showing God’s mercy.

Alternate Title
The true portrait of the Eternal Jew
publication/distribution:  1871-1919
manufacture: Wissembourg (France)
Political posters.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:45:10
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