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16 May 2022, 6 p.m.
Between benevolence and hatred. Depictions of Jews in Cologne Cathedral
Lecture by Dr Rolf Lauer

Rolf Lauer looks in his lecture at depictions of Jews in Cologne Cathedral. The episcopal church of Cologne harbours the greatest number of depictions of Jews of any church building Germany, dating from the early 13th century to the second half of the 20th century. These include the oldest example in Europe of a decidedly antisemitic distorted physiognomy, indeed a caricature, dating from around 1215, namely the depiction of the flagellation of Christ in the Shrine of the Three Kings. There is also a shocking example of the unbroken persistence of antisemitic clichés in the wake of the holocaust in a scene in a children’s window inserted in 1968. No other location in Germany better demonstrates the motives and religious, political and financial interests of those who commissioned the artworks for the Cathedral and the terrible consequences for the life of Jews in Cologne over this long period. Tellingly, this theme was first investigated thoroughly some 60 years after the end of the Second World War. Dr Rolf Lauer was head of the Cologne Cathedral Building Archive from 1975 to 2007 and was responsible for the restoration and scientific research of the building history of the Cathedral.

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KOLUMBA :: Events :: 05/22 Vortrag Rolf Lauer

16 May 2022, 6 p.m.
Between benevolence and hatred. Depictions of Jews in Cologne Cathedral
Lecture by Dr Rolf Lauer

Rolf Lauer looks in his lecture at depictions of Jews in Cologne Cathedral. The episcopal church of Cologne harbours the greatest number of depictions of Jews of any church building Germany, dating from the early 13th century to the second half of the 20th century. These include the oldest example in Europe of a decidedly antisemitic distorted physiognomy, indeed a caricature, dating from around 1215, namely the depiction of the flagellation of Christ in the Shrine of the Three Kings. There is also a shocking example of the unbroken persistence of antisemitic clichés in the wake of the holocaust in a scene in a children’s window inserted in 1968. No other location in Germany better demonstrates the motives and religious, political and financial interests of those who commissioned the artworks for the Cathedral and the terrible consequences for the life of Jews in Cologne over this long period. Tellingly, this theme was first investigated thoroughly some 60 years after the end of the Second World War. Dr Rolf Lauer was head of the Cologne Cathedral Building Archive from 1975 to 2007 and was responsible for the restoration and scientific research of the building history of the Cathedral.