The Jews and Their Toys (Playmobil Martin Luther accessories, unauthorized)

Playmobil's Martin Luther doll

(photo credit: Playmobil)

Playmobil’s new Martin Luther doll—”the fastest-selling toy of all time”—comes “complete with quill and Bible,” but I thought he needed another accessory to be truly complete.* Namely, a wee copy of his 1543 treatise On the Jews and Their Lies.

Martin Luther's treatise in English and German, Playmobil-sized!

Martin Luther’s treatise in English and German, Playmobil-sized!

Because even though the new doll is as cute as a button, we really ought not to forget that his treatise was named by a Nazi newspaper “the most radically antisemitic tract ever published,” and was displayed at Hitler’s Nuremburg rallies. The text is so foul I dare not quote it here, but feel free to peruse the pithy excerpts at the Jewish Virtual Library. Do familiarize yourself with the 7 actions Martin Luther urges every Christian to take against every Jew (unless the Jew converts to Christianity, in which case the Jew gets cash).

My unauthorized accessories (in German and English) are meant to add a smidge of complexity to that featureless Playmobil grin, and to media surmises behind the reason of the toy’s unprecedented popularity. (Newsweek quotes a German official who is happy because it shows an interest in “education.”)

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a “Little Luther” of my own. I could totally convert his feather to a Torah scribe’s quill, convert his gown to a Rabbi’s black pulpit robe, and convert his triangle cap to a Haman tricorne for Purim.
Karmic justice, Playmobil-scale.

Title page of Martin Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 (Wikipedia commons)

Title page of Martin Luther’s On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 (Wikipedia commons)

PicMonkey CollageSOURCES
*Newsweek article
Jewish Virtual Library: Martin Luther, The Jews & Their Lies
Wikipedia: On the Jews and Their Lies

8 responses to “The Jews and Their Toys (Playmobil Martin Luther accessories, unauthorized)

  1. Leonard Koenick

    thank you.

  2. I love you so much

  3. Rachels GMail

    I’m ashamed to say I had no idea, but I thank you for enlightening me!

  4. I didn’t know about the little Luther figure. I’d love to see it transformed into a rabbi with yod. If anyone can do that – it’s YOU!

  5. Daniel Rinehart

    It’s an awful history, and one that too few people know. FWIW, the largest Lutheran church body in the US (of which I am a member) issued the following statement some years ago. Other Lutheran churches, and the Lutheran World Federation, have made similar statements repudiating Luther’s anti-Jewish writings, rejecting anti-Semitism, and expressing sorrow for the evil that Lutherans have done against Jews.

    Click to access Declaration_Of_The_ELCA_To_The_Jewish_Community.pdf

    • Daniel, thank you for your comments, the link and for not assuming I’d aimed my accessories at the modern Lutheran church whose many branches, as I understand it, have tried to distance themselves from this particular Luther legacy.

  6. I agree with Dawn Kepler. The Luther toy needs the Balabusta’s modifications and improvements. x