Martin Luther, Anti-Semitism and Hitler

Bod Diamond

Two outstanding historical authors raised similar issues involving the Jews with a devastating conclusion – Jews were blamed for the Protestant Revolution. Max I Dimont (The Jews in America) questioned, “How had the Jews – who fathered Moses, Isaiah and Maimonides – end up in the ghettos of Europe?” Worldwide best-selling author William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich) questioned, “It is difficult to understand the behavior of most German Protestants in the first Nazi years unless one is aware of two things; their history and the influence of Martin Luther, the great founder of Protestantism.”

According to Dimont, in 1517 with Luther’s “Protest” of Church doctrines, the Church began to associate “Christian heresy with Jewish influences.” Luther himself “made a bid for Jewish support for his ‘Protest’ because he was convinced that his Protestantism was a return to authentic Judaism.” The Jews remained out of the dispute “with catastrophic results.” Luther turned bitterly against the Jews with a paranoid hatred. The Church also “washed its hands of the actions it was about to take. The first step was the segregation of the Jews in the ghettos. Within 20 years, the Jews were expelled from most Papal States. By 1600, Western Europe, which had been the center of European Jewry, was practically empty of Jews, except for those locked away and forgotten in the ghettos for over 300 years. To the credit of the Church and the Protestant hierarchies, neither group murdered the defenseless Jews, as did the Nazis.”

According to Shirer (who is a Protestant), Luther became, “Both a passionate anti-Semite and a ferocious believer in absolute obedience to political authority. He wanted Germany rid of the Jews and when they were sent away (ghettos), he advised that they be deprived of ‘all their cash and jewels and silver and gold’ and furthermore, that ‘their synagogues or schools be set on fire, that their houses be broken up and destroyed …in misery and captivity as they incessantly lament and complain to God about us’ – advice that was literally followed four centuries later by Hitler, Goering and Himmler.”

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