Several years ago, several Lutheran Churches officially renounced the anti-semitic remarks of Martin Luther. In 1998, the Bavarian Lutheran Church published its apology, which said in part:
The ELCB* confesses that as a Lutheran and a German church, it participates
in the guilt of the Shoah.** It disassociates itself from Martin Luther's
antisemitic writings and remarks and from "any anti-Judaism in Lutheran
theology." In this connection, it suggests that studies be intensified both to
address anti-Judaism in the history of theology and to clarify the silence and
entanglement of the Bavarian church in the annihilation of the Jews in the
Third Reich.
(*Evangelical Lutherna Church in Bavaria)
(** The Holocaust)
For a fuller text and more information, and additional resources, follow this link to the Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies.
During the Second World War, another man named Martin Luther played a major role in the Holocaust. In 1942, Martin Luther, a Nazi who held a high rank in the German Foreign Office, pressured countries like France and Holland to agree to sending Jews from their own countries to Auschwitz and other camps in Poland. Ironically, in 1945, this Luther was himself sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp for scheming against his boss, Joachim von Ribbentrop. Luther died just after the war ended.
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