top of page

Knut Hamsun besøker Josef Terboven in jan 1941 Terboven hadde overtatt Skaugum som han brukte som sin bolig - Foto NTS





emerged in the wake of World War II: Jewish displaced persons, from the Nazi concentration camps or from wartime hiding. It is estimated that there were about 250,000 Jewish displaced persons (DP's) at the war's end.


For full story, please click here








Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

The Protestant Reformation was initiated by Martin Luther in 1517, and reached Holstein and Denmark in the 1520s. Lutheranism became official in all of  Denmark-Norway

Luther wrote negatively about the Jews throughout his career. Though Luther rarely encountered Jews during his life, his attitudes reflected a theological and cultural tradition which saw Jews as a rejected people guilty of the murder of Christ, and he lived within a local community that had expelled Jews some ninety years earlier.

The original title page of On the Jews and Their Lies, written by Martin Luther in 1543

"The 500th anniversary of the Reformation would be the “perfect time” for Protestant leaders to recognize and apologize for the “horrific antisemitism” of their movement’s founder Martin Luther."

A number of individual Lutheran church bodies and figures have taken steps over the years to acknowledge, grapple with and repudiate the antisemitism that Luther ultimately promoted.

This vile and violent antisemitism — targeting both Jews and Judaism — was both an outgrowth of and a significant contribution to Christian anti-Jewish animus, especially in Europe, where its influence was still felt in the implementation of the Holocaust. 

However, its motifs, like a virus, have spread even beyond. This reality requires committed Lutherans and other Christians to ensure that there is fitting recognition and rejection of Luther’s hateful beliefs about Jews, wherever these persist.

Many Lutherans are entirely unaware of the dark side to Luther’s theology, and of the need to vigilantly confront it.”

David Michaels — B’nai B’rith International’s director of UN and Intercommunal Affairs

He considered the Jews blasphemers and liars because they rejected the divinity of Jesus. In 1523, Luther advised kindness toward the Jews in that Jesus Christ was born a Jew and also aimed to convert them to Christianity. When his efforts at conversion failed, he grew increasingly bitter toward them.

Luther was the most widely read author of his generation, and within Germany he acquired the status of a prophet.


According to the prevailing view among historians, his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany, and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an "ideal underpinning" for the Nazis' attacks on Jews. Reinhold Lewin writes that anybody who "wrote against the Jews for whatever reason believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther."


According to author Robert Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther. Heinrich Himmler wrote admiringly of his writings and sermons on the Jews in 1940. The city of Nuremberg presented a first edition of On the Jews and their Lies to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically anti-Semitic tract ever published. It was quoted in a 54-page explanation of the Aryan Law by Dr. E.H. Schulz and Dr. R. Frercks.

On 17 December 1941, seven Protestant regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge, "since after his bitter experience Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory."


bottom of page