In the early 16th century, life for the Jews remained unstable as they faced violence perpetrated by the Catholic church. After years of devotion, Martin Luther sparked one of the largest revolutions in the history of Christianity, when he criticized the Catholic church by publishing “The 95 Theses.” His proposed new movement, Protestantism, was aimed at returning Christians to their biblical roots.

Martin Luther felt that this all-encompassing brand of Christianity would unite everyone, including Jews. However when Jewish people wouldn’t convert to Protestantism, Luther’s response set off a chain reaction of antisemitic rhetoric. His writings have been used for centuries as a justification for antisemitism, permanently altering the course of history for European Jews.

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Co-Executive Producers:
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About The Jewish Story: Understand three thousand years of Jewish history in these short videos based on the book Letters to Auntie Fori: The 5,000-Year History of the Jewish People and Their Faith by the renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert. Learn the Jewish story from the ancient Israelites of the Bible to Hellenization, the Jews of the Middle Ages to modern day, and more.

About Unpacked: We provide nuanced insights by unpacking all things Jewish. People are complex and complicated — yet we’re constantly being pushed to oversimplify our world. At Unpacked we know that being complex makes us more interesting. Because of this, we break the world down with nuance and insight to drive your curiosity and challenge your thinking.

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