Martin Luther (1895–1945) was an early member of the Nazi Party. He served as an advisor to Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, first in the Dienststelle Ribbentrop ("Ribbentrop Bureau"), and later in the Auswärtiges Amt ("Foreign Office") as a diplomat when von Ribbentrop replaced Konstantin von Neurath. He is perhaps most remembered for having participated in the infamous Wannsee Conference, in which the Final Solution was planned.

At the Wannsee Conference, Luther recommended to defer initially all deportations from the Nordic countries because of the small “Jewish numbers” and the possibility of arising troubles; instead, one should concentrate first on Europe’s south-eastern and western parts. It was the discovery of Luther's copy of the minutes of the Wannsee Conference in 1947 that first made the Allied powers aware that the Conference had taken place, and more important, what its purpose was. At this conference, he voiced concern about the large-scale "resettlement" required throughout occupied Europe, which seemed to indicate that he did not fully understand what was being planned.

From 1940 until 1943, Luther was Head of Department D (Deutschland, i.e. internal affairs) and as such responsible for liaison with Himmler and the Reich Security Main Office. He was simultaneously in charge of Section D III (“Jewish question, race policy, and providing information about important domestic developments to the foreign missions”). After January 1942, Luther's principal task was to persuade or pressure German satellites and allies to hand over their Jewish populations for deportation to the death camps.  A year after his death, Luther's copy of the Wannsee Conference minutes was found by American investigators in the archives of the German Foreign Ministry. It is the only record of the conference that survived the war.


Additional Links:

Martin Luther's Eight-Point Plan