Is This Popular Toy AntiSemitic?
It's been one of the best-selling toys in Germany in recent years but now there's a row brewing over the small figure of Martin Luther.
The figure of the famous Reformer of the Church was created in 2015 in the run up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation which takes place this year.
Now though, a public debate is taking place over whether the toy is anti-Semitic, reports RNS.
The discussion comes down to the Bible which the toy Luther is holding in his hand. It says, "Books of the Old Testament. END" and "The New Testament, translated by Doctor Martin Luther."
The word "END" is problematic in the eyes of some critics. One of them, Micha Brumlik wrote of the inscription, "Theologically, there can be no other reason than that the 'Old Testament' and its validity should be seen as ended and superseded".
In a newspaper article he asked: "Is the Old Testament, the Scripture of the people of Israel common to Jews and Christians, outdated and overtaken, as many Nazis — the so-called German Christians — wanted to see it, or is it just as important as the Gospels for Christian denominations?"
The criticism has been supported by some churches in Germany – which have been wrestling with Luther's anti-Semitism and its impacts in the run-up to the Reformation anniversary.
Now, it has been announced that the inscription will be changed so that the word "END" is removed. The new version of the toys will be available from March – in time for the Reformation anniversary commemorations.