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Brass dish with a Jewish man passing horizontally through a pig

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.213

Cast iron plate made in Austria during the 19th century, depicting a Jewish man passing horizontally through a pig: his feet stick out of the mouth and his head sticks out of the rear. The bearded man is wearing a kippah on his head and has a large, hooked nose; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. Pigs are deemed “unclean” in the Book of Leviticus, and widely known as a non-kosher animal, meaning that Jews do not consider them fit for consumption. Knowing of this prohibition, antisemites weaponized pigs for use against Jews. Pork products have been thrown into or at synagogues, and force-fed to Jews on pain of death. Jews have been called the descendants of apes and pigs, and accused of associating with and worshiping pigs. The depiction of Jews with pig-like features, or in close and often lewd contact with pigs is also a common antisemitic image that can be traced back to the medieval Germanic kingdoms. The original motif, called a Judensau, depicted several Jews in indecent contact with a female pig, and was originally displayed in churches, and later disseminated to the public through other mediums such as art, woodcuts, and figurines. Over time the depiction evolved, and new motifs of Jews riding swine, consuming the wrong parts of the pig, or being consumed by a pig were produced. The plate is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

creation:  1800-1899
creation: Austria
Decorative Arts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:12:39
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