The Great Reformer and Anti-Semite
I shall give you my sincere advice. 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 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…..
If I had not experience with my papists, it would have seemed incredible to me that the earth should harbour such base people [as the Jews] who knowingly fly in the face of open and manifest truth, that is, God himself. For I never expected to encounter such hardened minds in any human breast, but only in that of the devil. However, I am no longer amazed by either the Turks’ or the Jews’ blindness, obduracy and malice, since I have to witness the same thing in the most holy fathers of the church, in pope, cardinals and bishops.
On the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, which is being commemorated with enthusiasm not just by Protestants, but by Pope Francis and many Cardinals and bishops, it is worth recording that the two passages I quote above were written by the great heresiarch himself, in his treatise On the Jews and Their Lies.
When Julius Streicher, editor of the anti-Semitic Der Sturmer was on trial at Nuremberg, he defended himself thus: “Dr. Martin Luther would very probably sit in my place in the defendants’ dock today, if this book had been taken into consideration by the prosecution. In the book, The Jews and Their Lies, Dr. Martin Luther writes that the Jews are a serpent’s brood and one should burn down their synagogues and destroy them…”