Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hitler , Martin Luther :The Roots of Anti-Semitism

In my last post I was discussing the role the Catholic Church & Christianity had in encouraging , & teaching anti-Semitism from the time of the creation of The Roman Catholic Church to the modern era & that the Catholic Church & other Christian churches continued to preach anti-Semitism even after the rise of Mussolini & Hitler. This is not merely an opinion but rather historical facts. Anti-Semitism can be seen as an on-going theme throughout the history of Christianity.

In order to shift the blame there are many Christians especially Evangelical Fundamentalists & the Religious Right who claim that modern anti-Semitism was a creation of " liberalism " . They further contend that yes there were outbreaks of Anti-Semitism in Europe over the centuries but these were aberrations & not the result of the teachings of the Christian Churches.
They characterize the anti-Semitism of the Nazis & Fascists as being a form of atheism, humanism , liberalism & Neo-Paganism .

As is shown the laws passed by the Nazis restricting the freedom of Jews were for the most part merely a continuation of the various restrictions placed on the Jews in Europe by the Catholic Church & those in power who acquiesced to the demands of the Vatican or to other Christian authorities.

The Christian Churches though usually stopped short of endorsing the complete extermination of the Jews . The Popes & the Vatican believed that the Jews were to " survive but not thrive " and so the conditions of the Jewish people was to be one of misery & despair & if they began to thrive it was the duty of the Church & all Christians in positions of authority to enforce laws against the Jews to reduce them once again to poverty .The Jews were made to live in Ghettoes which were locked at night, they were to wear distinctive clothing & were prevented from holding public office or pursuing various forms of livelihoods or professions & were not permitted to socialize with Christians . For centuries the Talmud & other sacred writings of the Jewish people were placed on the " index of forbidden books" & from time to time the authorities would hunt down copies of the Talmud & such & have them burned in the public square.

As mentioned anti-Semitism was not exclusive to the Roman Catholic Church but became a basic ingredient as it were of Protestant Theology as can be seen for instance in the writings of Martin Luther who is considered the founder of Protestantism .

Martin Luther depicts the Jews as a vile race which is responsible for killing Jesus & for refusing to convert to Christianity & that further in their teachings & their actions the Jews are the enemy of Christianity & wish to gain power over Christians & to undermine & destroy Christianity as they are the children of Satan . Martin Luther also believes in the " Blood Libel " that the Jews kill Christian children & use the blood of these children in their secret ceremonies .
But how far would Martin Luther go in persecuting the Jews is somewhat uncertain as he talks about showing " mercy " & then talks about destroying all the Synagogues & Jewish religious texts & the homes of Jews & goes further to take all their property & give it back ( in his view ) to the Christians & that they be expelled from all Christian lands but not all killed since it is possible that a few might be saved from the " fires" of Hell .

Here are some excerpts from Martin Luther's book:
On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 Martin Luther (1483 - 1546)Translated by Martin H. Bertram which can be read on line -

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc., if they had to serve and work for us -- for it is reasonable to assume that such noble lords of the world and venomous, bitter worms are not accustomed to working and would be very reluctant to humble themselves so deeply before the accursed Goyim -- then let us emulate the common sense of other nations such as France, Spain, Bohemia, etc., compute with them how much their usury has extorted from us, divide, divide this amicably, but then eject them forever from the country. For, as we have heard, God's anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

We cannot help it that they do not share our belief. It is impossible to force anyone to believe. However. we must avoid confirming them in their wanton lying, slandering. cursing, and defaming. Nor dare we make ourselves partners in their devilish ranting and raving by shielding and protecting them, by giving them food, drink, and shelter, or by other neighborly acts, especially since they boast so proudly and despicably when we do help and serve them that God has ordained them as lords and us as servants.

Thus the Jews, our guests, also treat us; for we are their hosts. They rob and fleece us and hang about our necks, these lazy weaklings and indolent bellies; they swill and feast, enjoy good times in our homes, and by way of reward they curse our Lord Christ, our churches, our princes, and all of us, threatening us and unceasingly wishing us death and every evil. Just ponder this: How does it happen that we poor Christians nourish and enrich such an idle and lazy people, such a useless, evil pernicious people, such blasphemous enemies of God, receiving nothing in return but their curses and defamation and every misfortune they may inflict on us or wish us? Indeed, we are as blind and unfeeling clods in this respect as are the Jews in their unbelief, to suffer such great tyranny from these vicious weaklings, and not perceive and sense that they are our lords, yes, our mad tyrants, and that we are their captives and subjects. Meanwhile they wail that they are our captives, and at the same time mock us -- as though we had to take this from them!

..the Jews, the bloodthirsty foes of our Christian and human name, in order to earn heaven thereby. But that the Jews enmesh us, harass us, torment and distress us poor Christians in every way with the above mentioned devilish and detestable deeds, this they want us to tolerate, and this is a good Christian deed, especially if there is any money involved (which they have filched and stolen from us)...

...these Jews are a brood of vipers and children of the devil, that is, people who will accord us the same benefits as does their father, the devil...

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. 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).

Now let me commend these Jews sincerely to whoever feels the desire to shelter and feed them, to honor them, to be fleeced, robbed, plundered, defamed, vilified, and cursed by them, and to suffer every evil at their hands -- these venomous serpents and devil's children, who are the most vehement enemies of Christ our Lord and of us all.

There was never a viler people than they, who with their lying, blaspheming, cursing, maligning, their idolatry, their robbery, usury, and all vices accuse us Christians and an mankind more before God and the world than any others. By no means do they pray for us sinners as the text says; they curse us most vehemently, as we proved earlier from Lyra and Burgensis. Their great slothfulness and malice prompt these blasphemous scoundrels to mock Scripture, God, and all the world with their impudent glosses. This they do in accord with their merit and true worth.

see On Martin Luther's Anti-Semitism
Martin Luther's dirty little book:On the Jews and their lies A precursor to Nazism by Jim Walker

Youtube Martin Luther & Hitler

Hitler "I am doing the Lord's Work"

About This next Video
from: Church of Atheism at YouTube

Hitler, like Luther, was raised as a Roman Catholic and in Mein Kampf he wrote "Therefore, I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's Work."

At a Nazi celebration in 1926 he noted "Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews ... The work that Christ started but could not finish, I -- Adolf Hitler -- will conclude."

In a Reichstag speech in 1938, Hitler again echoed the religious origins of his crusade. "I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord's work."

The songs are 'Prisoner 562' and 'Song Of Choice'
sung by Dick Gaughan:
Dick Gaughan's Website

also see: American Atheists
The Rational Response Squad

Take care,

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