The publication of Martin Luther’s 95 theses marks the beginning of what we refer to as the “Reformation” Through his theses; Luther criticized the system of indulgence. God could not be appeased with good works. For Luther Jesus Christ had already earned God’s mercy for all Christians. Luther’s theses shook the Holy Roman Empire and Martin Luther was made accountable before the Emperor at the Reichstag (Diet). He refused to recant his theses. In the 500-year history of Protestantism, “Luther’s Postings of His Theses” and his alleged quote “Here I stand, I can do no other” became a symbol of triumph.

Monk against Emperor

In his Ninety-Five Theses of 1517, the Augustinian monk Martin Luther criticized the Church’s practice of indulgences. During his conflict with the Church, Luther radicalized his views. In 1520, he publicized his break with the Church. He burned the bull threatening him with excommunication and writings of canon law. Luther was subsequently excommunicated in 1521. Elector Frederick the Wise was Luther’s sovereign. He obtained the guarantee that Luther was not extradited to Rome. Luther was therefore interrogated on German soil at the 1521 Diet of Worms. In front of the emperor and imperial estates, the monk defended his theses and refused to revoke.
The famous words, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” were disseminated in pamphlets after the interrogation. However, there is no evidence that Luther really proclaimed these words.




Robert Kluth


Barbara MayerJaroslaw KaschtalinskiVerena MuckelRonny TrägerJakub Chrobok


Der Redetext Luthers folgt Georg Spalatin: Kurzer Bericht über die Verhandlung mit Luther in Worms mit Einschiebung einer Übersetzung der Rede und Gegenrede Luthers vom 18. April, in: Deutsche Reichstagsakten: jüngere Reihe, Bd. 2, hrsg. von Adolf Wrede, Gotha 1883, S. 581-582. Die Gegenrede von Kaiser Karl V. ist bei Der Reichstag zu Worms von 1521: Reichspolitik und Luthersache, hrsg. von Fritz Reuter, Worms 1971, S. 225-235 aus dem Französischen übersetzt.Marsch, Angelika: Bilder zur Augsburger Konfession und ihren Jubiläen, Weißenhorn, 1980.