Martin_Luther16th century Protestant Reformist Martin Luther expressed his intense dislike of Jews in an anti-semitic treatise entitled Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies).

Though he would have very little direct interaction with Jews throughout his life, he regarded them as blasphemers because they did not recognize Christ as the messiah; he proposed a rather explicit plan to expel them from Europe:


  • "First 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. ... Such money should now be used in ... the following [way]... Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [a certain amount]..."
  • "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 and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow... For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants."
  • "If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews' blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country" and "we must drive them out like mad dogs." 

Because of Luther's wide readership and his reputation as a kind of prophet, the prevailing belief among historians is that his anti-semitic writings provided the underpinnings for the Nazi Holocaust.