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The Legacy of Anti-Semitism, Part 2
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2006
Posted by: Grace Presbyterian Church | more..
10,750+ views | 70+ clicks
BLOG ON: SERMON The Legacy of Anti-Semitism
Grace Presbyterian Church
Bob Vincent
Martin Luther's anti-Semitic writings continued from Part 1.

"I have read and heard many stories about the Jews which agree with this judgment of Christ, namely, how they have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnaped children, as related before. [Cf, above, pp. 217, 242.]  I have heard that one Jew sent another Jew, and this by means of a Christian, a pot of blood, together with a barrel of wine, in which when drunk empty, a dead Jew was found. There are many other similar stories. For their kidnaping of children they have often been burned at the stake or banished (as we already heard). I am well aware that they deny all of this. However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil, who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly. For this reason I should like to see them where there are no Christians. The Turks and other heathen do not tolerate what we Christians endure from these venomous serpents and young devils. [A misleading statement, inasmuch as during the medieval period Jews customarily enjoyed greater freedom under Islam than under Christianity. Cf. on this point H. Coudenhove-Kalergi, Anti-Semitism throughout the Ages (London, 1935), pp. 166 ff.]  Nor do the Jews treat any others as they do us Christians. That is what I had in mind when I said earlier [Cf. above, p. 217.] that, next to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew. There is no other to whom we accord as many benefactions and from whom we suffer as much as we do from these base children of the devil, this brood of vipers." [Martin Luther, On the Jews and Their Lies. in Luther's Works, Vol. 45, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971), p. 277.]

"First, to 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. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly--and I myself was unaware of it--will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know. . .

"Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them the fact that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

"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. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let them stay at home. I have heard it said that a rich Jew is now traveling across the country with twelve horses--his ambition is to become a Kokhba--devouring princes, lords, lands, and people with his usury, so that the great lords view it with jealous eyes. If you great lords and princes will not forbid such usurers the highway legally, some day a troop may gather against them, [Apparently Luther anticipates that the political authorities will find his proposals too severe. He envisions and perhaps even sanctions action against the Jews by a Reuterei, probably meaning a band of robber barons; Prof. Jacob R. Marcus, in citing this passage, identifies Luther's 'rich Jew' with 'the wealthy Michael,' court-Jew of Joachim II of Brandenburg. Cf. Jacob R. Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World: A Source Book (Cincinnati, Ohio: Sinai Press, 1938), p. 168.] having learned from this booklet the true nature of the Jews and how one should deal with them and not protect their activities. For you, too, must not and cannot protect them unless you wish to become participants in all their abominations in the sight of God. Consider carefully what good could come from this, and prevent it.

"Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. . .

"Seventh, I recommend 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, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3:19). 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 f.a.r.t.i.n.g. (sic.), 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." [Ibid., pp. 268-272)]

For a modern example of anti-Semitism, one may read the Oval Office Transcript from a February 1, 1972, conversation between Billy Graham and Richard Nixon as printed in the Chicago Tribune on page 8, March 1, 2002.

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