|Judensau [Jew pig]|
We have seen how the Jews have successfully undermined the Catholic church (see here and here), even to the astonishing extent of getting the Catholic church to forswear any efforts at converting Jews to Catholicism (link).
Similar efforts are being made to undermine the Lutheran church. Luther, a famous antisemite who wrote "On the Jews and their lies", is constantly stigmatised. Lutherans are pressured into disowning or apologising for him. Old pictorial art with unfavourable representations of the Chosen also comes within the scope of Jewish critique. And, as with the Catholic church, there is a continuous effort to pressure Lutherans into abandoning any attempt at converting Jews to Christianity.
Here the main German-language Jewish newspaper sympathetically interviews one of the Lutheran church's shabbos goyim Margot Käßmann.
Frau Käßmann, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation begins next Monday - a once-in-a-century event for the Evangelical Church. What orientation would you like to see?
It will not be a German nationalistic-confessionalist Lutheran festival. It will be international; it has an ecumenical perspective and this makes very clear that dialogue between religions is a central concern for us.
How popular is your grappling with Luther's hostility to Jews?
There are also critical voices and many people write to me in emails saying I should stop badmouthing Martin Luther. My answer is that Luther himself has a clear picture of the human being: a person is always righteous and a sinner at the same time.
At the beginning of November the Synod of the EKD begins in Magdeburg. On the agenda is a declaration rejecting the Judenmission [mission to convert Jews to Christianity]. But for a Christian who wants to announce the Gospel, is it not a matter of principle to spread it everywhere - including among Jews?
I don't see the Judenmission as a matter for our church. For me as a Christian the word of Jesus applies: no one comes to the father except through me. But people of Jewish faith have already for a long time been with the God that Jesus called Father. For me the Judenmission therefore makes no sense.
Do you believe there will be a clear majority for your position in the EKD Synod?
Of course we have evangelical groups who support the "messianic Jewish" movements. These opinions will be thoroughly articulated at the Synod. Later year there was an intense debate about it. But I am convinced that there will be a majority for a clear rejection of the Judenmission.
At the memorial of pogrom night on the 9 November Luther's statement is constantly recalled from his text "On the Jews and their Lies", that synagogues should be burnt down...
...another example of the problem is the so-called "Judensau" [Jewish pig] on the city church in Wittenberg. Many members of the community are shaken after a visit to Luther's city and write to me saying the relief must be torn down.
The President of the Central Council of Jews Josef Schuster has suggested that the anti-Jewish motif should be removed or that an explanatory panel should be added. What do you think?
I am in favour of leaving the relief sculpture because we cannot eliminate anti-Judaism from our church. The memorial that the Wittenberg community has erected in the same spot I consider appropriate. A cedar from Israel was used for this. But another panel could be added for sure.