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Martin Luther On the Jews and Their Lies


In his 1523 pamphlet “Jesus Christ Is the Born Jew,” Luther argued that since Christianity had been freed of its papal chains, there was no reason for Jews not to convert en masse. The Jews did not quite see it that way. They argued that the Talmud was a truer version of the Bible than Luther’s and suggested that perhaps he might convert to Judaism.

Increasingly frustrated by their obstinacy, Luther turned on the Jews with a vengeance. In 1543, he published “On the Jews and Their Lies,” a 65,000-word treatise more elaborately angry than anything any pope or church doctor had written in the last fifteen centuries. Below are quotes from Martin Luther’s book:

Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self­glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. 

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. 

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.

Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping.

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses.

Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish. 

Take another look at the above quotes and think of them in light of Adolph Hitler’s plan for “cleansing Germany of the Jewish people.” Was it a coincidence that the Nazi’s did all of those things in the nation that was the home of Martin Luther and the birthplace of Protestantism? What if Jesus had been born a Jew” in Luther’s or Hitler’s Germany?
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