Constructing the Past

Publication Date

Spring 2008


In 1543 Luther published his infamous On the Jews and Their Lies. His main arguments can be divided into four major parts. In the first part, Luther attacked what he considered the Jews’ “false boasts,” mainly their lineage and covenant of circumcision. In the second part, he debated key biblical passages. Third, he focused on the grossest medieval superstitions concerning the Jews are the focus of the third part. The fourth, and final, part included Luther’s recommendations for actions concerning the Jews. For the purposes of this paper, the fourth part of this treatise will be primarily examined. It contains the most evidence for Luther’s anti-Semitic views, and the Nazis quoted Luther most often from this section.