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Metal figurine of a Jewish man carrying a tray with a suckling piglet

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.569

Nineteenth-century, Bohemian metal figurine of a bearded Jewish man with a large nose and hooded eyes. These two stereotypical physical features are commonly attributed to Jewish men. In his hands is a serving platter bearing a suckling piglet garnished with vegetables. 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: Bohemia (Kingdom)
Decorative Arts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:30:38
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