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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 13, 2020

Das antijüdische Ritualmordrelief von 1727 an der Wernerkapelle von Oberwesel und seine widerwillige Entfernung 1970

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From the journal Aschkenas


This article describes a relief that was sculpted in 1727. The relief depicts a Good Friday scene in 1287, when Jews allegedly tortured and killed Werner of Oberwesel, who came to be venerated as a Christian saint. Attached to the Oberwesel Werner Chapel, the relief was near the vault of the chapel, where the ritualized murder of Werner supposedly took place. After his burial in neighbouring Bacharach, hundreds of Jews were attacked and murdered in Oberwesel, Boppard, as well as along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. This story contributed to the defamation of Jews for centuries. It was, in fact, not until 1963 that the Diocese of Trier expunged Werner’s memorial day from its liturgical calendar. This article also demonstrates how the Nazis incorporated this relief into their anti-Semitic propaganda campaigns and shows how the relief was part of traditional worship in the area until it was reluctantly removed in 1970.

Article Note

Für Anregungen und Hinweise danke ich Doris Spormann (St. Goar) und Gerd Mentgen (Trier).

Published Online: 2020-05-13
Published in Print: 2020-05-26

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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