German Reformation leader, had a significant influence on German antisemitism by his bitterly hostile anti-Jewish statements and writings. Luther’s attitude toward the Jews changed over the course of his life. At the beginning of his career, it LUTHER ETAIT-IL ANTISEMITE ? PDF influenced by Johann Reuchlin, who was the great-uncle of his friend Philip Melanchthon. 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. Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc. Conversion of the Jews will be the work of God alone operating from within, and not of man working — or rather playing — from without. If these offences be taken away, worse will follow. For they are thus given over by the wrath of God to reprobation, that they may become incorrigible, as Ecclesiastes says, for every one who is incorrigible is rendered worse rather than better by correction.

Corpus Juris Civilis by Justinian I from 529 to 534. He wrote: « Absurd theologians defend hatred for the Jews. In his 1523 essay That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew, Luther condemned the inhuman treatment of the Jews and urged Christians to treat them kindly. Luther’s fervent desire was that Jews would hear the Gospel proclaimed clearly and be moved to convert to Christianity. If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian.

Luther successfully campaigned against the Jews in Saxony, Brandenburg, and Silesia. In August 1536 Luther’s prince, Elector of Saxony John Frederick, issued a mandate that prohibited Jews from inhabiting, engaging in business in, or passing through his realm. Josel of Rosheim, who tried to help the Jews of Saxony, wrote in his memoir that their situation was « due to that priest whose name was Martin Luther — may his body and soul be bound up in hell! Title page of Martin Luther’s On the Jews and Their Lies. In 1543 Luther published On the Jews and Their Lies in which he says that the Jews are a « base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth. There is no other explanation for this than the one cited earlier from Moses – namely, that God has struck with ‘madness and blindness and confusion of mind’ . We are at fault in not slaying them.

The imagery of Jews in contact with pigs or representing the devil was common in Germany. Shortly before his death on February 18, 1546 Luther preached four sermons in Eisleben. He appended to the second to the last what he called his « final warning » against the Jews. We want to deal with them in a Christian manner now.

Abraham’s Seed, of which they boast. Even so, I am concerned Jewish blood may no longer become watery and wild. Luther continued, « However, if they are converted, abandon their usury, and receive Christ, then we will willingly regard them our brothers. Otherwise, nothing will come out of it, for they do it to excess. If they could kill us all, they would gladly do it. They do it often, especially those who pose as physicians—though sometimes they help—for the devil helps to finish it in the end.

They can also practice medicine as in French Switzerland. Yet, we will show them Christian love and pray for them that they may be converted to receive the Lord, whom they should honor properly before us. Whoever will not do this is no doubt a malicious Jew, who will not stop blaspheming Christ, draining you dry, and, if he can, killing . In 1543 Luther’s Prince, John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, revoked some of the concessions he gave to Josel of Rosheim in 1539.

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