Letter: What Luther really said

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The Independent Online
Sir: Ronald Odgers wrote ("Martin Luther the anti-Semite, letter 25 February) that there was no written record of Martin Luther ever saying "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise." I quote from the book Luther, Man between God and the Devil by Heiko A Oberman:

The media of the time, the pamphlets and "private" letters written for publication, saw to it that Luther's speech to the diet was circulated far and wide. In the Bishop's Court in Worms sat the whole of Germany, not just the emperor and the imperial estates. In fact, the nation heard even more than its rulers - namely the impressive final statement that can be found only in the published version of Luther's confession: "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen" (Reichstagsakten 2.555, 37, note 1).


Cockfosters, Hertfordshire