Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) was a German theologian whose writings heavily influenced the Protestant reformation. As a young man, Martin Luther dedicated himself to become a monk after a near-death experience, almost being struck by a lightning bolt on his way to school. Years later he was excommunicated by Pope Leo XI after publishing harsh criticism of the Catholic church and refusing to withdraw his statements. Lutheranism is based on Martin Luther's theological interpretation of the Bible.
Martin Luther was critical of Judaism. In 1543 he published On Jews and their Lies, in which he advocates intolerance, violence, theft, arson, and murder against Jews. His writings were used by Nazis in the twentieth century to support the Holocaust.