German university removes pig-eared Einstein picture

The picture shows Albert Einstein with pig’s ears, an antisemitic theme that was first depicted in 13th-century Germany.

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November 8, 2017 21:55
1 minute read.
Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein. (photo credit: ACME / AFP)

 
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Protests from a local Jewish community and a student group at the University of Göttingen prompted an art exhibit in the cafeteria to be dismantled on Friday because of allegations of antisemitism and sexism.

The Göttingen Jewish community, in a letter to the university, criticized the exhibit’s main picture, German media reported on Wednesday. The picture shows Albert Einstein with pig’s ears, an antisemitic theme that was first depicted in 13th-century Germany.

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Göttingen is located in the state of Lower Saxony and has a 141-member Jewish community.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office, told The Jerusalem Post that the depiction of Einstein “sounds more like stupidity than antisemitism.”

The university’s equal opportunity commissioner and a student group criticized a number of the drawings as sexist because of the “objectified” depiction of naked breasts and buttocks.

“I support the view that the exhibit contains pictures with discriminating and sexist content,” said Doris Hayn, the commissioner for equal opportunity at the university.

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The artists’ group KomiTee, which was responsible for the pictures, said the exhibit was meant as satire.

The artists and the university group that mounted the exhibit said in a joint statement that there are no antisemitic tendencies among the artists or within the university organization Studentenwerk that supported the exhibit.

The Post reported in September that the synagogue in Ulm – the birthplace of Einstein in southern Germany – was repeatedly vandalized.

The police have not apprehended any suspects.

The municipality-funded vh Ulm adult education center has been a hotbed of anti-Israel activity over the years. The center, which is managed by the controversial administrator Dagmar Engels, has hosted speakers who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

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