Anti-semitic Clockwork MasterpieceMarch 21, 2007
So, I need to go to Prague, it turns out, if only to see this clock in person. More than a clock, it’s actually an intricately designed multipurpose bit of architecture & engineering, with 8 animated statues (including popular characters like “Death” and the always popular gold-hoarding “Jew”, who clutches his bag of gold like a demented leprechaun) plus 12 marching apostle figures & an insanely detailed calendar.
On the hour, Death pulls a cord which rings the toll, and then Death turns over an hourglass, beginning the count anew. Each of the figures surrounding the clock has an animation – the Turk to Death’s right shakes his head, indicating that he doesn’t want to go with Death. The animation for the Jewish statue (he’s the 2nd figure on the left, in this picture) has him vigorously weighing his coin purse, ignoring Death’s proximity.
Tons of background details on the clock here, on the official tourist website of the city of Prague, where an air of sophistication has compelled them to rename the Jewish stereotype from merely “Jew” to the more moderate “Miser/Jew.” Ah, Eastern Europe, who knew that Borat thing was a documentary after all?