Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest and professor of theology who initiated the Protestant Reformation. Strongly disputing the claim that freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased with money, he confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his The Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor.
In his later years, Luther became strongly anti-Judaic, writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed. These statements have made Luther a controversial figure among many historians and religious scholars.
Although Martin Luther had been dead for over eighty years by the time Grantville arrived in the past, his anti-Semitic beliefs remained prominent among Protestant Christian sects in Germany during the Thirty Years' War.
After the establishment of the United States of Europe, Committees of Correspondence groups and other authorities tried to end acts of anti-Semitic violence. Many Americans were shocked to find that the causes of these acts stemmed from Martin Luther's teachings.