Martin Luther and The Jews

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Martin Luther’s actions and intentions have puzzled historians for centuries. Some believe that Luther was in fact, a beneficial character towards the Jews; however, based on various historical proofs, Luther was not favourable towards the Jews in history. Contrary to some opinions of Luther’s kindness towards the Jews, his propaganda and extensive efforts to punish the people deem him to be a deceitful man. Although Luther appeared to be inconsistent in his emotions towards Jews, he was ultimately an anti-Jewish character in his era. Luther’s feigned benevolence toward the Jews obscures his underlying negative motives. Luther’s primary objective to advertise his sect, and he saw the Jews as playing an active role in it, stating, “so long as we keep them from loving and working among us, in our communities, and force them to practice usury- how can they come to us? If we seek to aid them, it is the law of Christian love that we must apply to them.” Luther sounds fair and just in regards to the Jews, but when further examined, one can identify Luther’s true intentions were not to represent the Jews in a positive manner, but merely to convince the Jews to convert, and the false compassion was for his personal benefit towards the prosperity of his new sect. Moreover, Luther uses Jews to prove how much worse the Christians are and to show that even the Jews are held at a higher esteem than the Christians that he despises. Luther uses the Jews to his benefit to prove a point about the Christians, declaring, “If I had been a Jew, I should have preferred to turn pig before I became Christian.” Powerfully, Luther shows his disgust towards the Christian religion and ranks them lower than a distinctively dirty and appalling animal. He ... ... middle of paper ... ...7. Accessed January 15, 2014. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Noble, Graham. 2002. "Martin Luther and German Anti-Semetism." History Review No. 42: 1. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed December 12, 2013). 1. Poliakov, Léon. The History of Anti-Semitism. From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews. Translated by Richard Howard. Vol. 1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania, 2003. Probst, Christopher J. "Luther and the Jews." In Demonizing the Jews: Luther and the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany, 39-58. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012. Sherman, Franklin. "Martin Luther, the Bible, and the Jewish People: A Reader/Martin Luther's Anti-Semitism: Against His Better Judgment." In Martin Luther's AntiSemitism: Against His Better Judgment, 1-5. 1st ed. Vol. 8. Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations. Accessed December 11, 2013. 1-5.
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