The modern era has been one of great hope for the Jews, and also one of great disappointment. In many ways, Luther, the great initiator of the Reformation, is a symbolic figure, prefiguring what was to come. He stands at the boundary demarcating the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern world. While he was undoubtedly a great innovator, he also preserved and transmitted much that was evil in the world that he aimed to supersede. For the Jews, this pattern was to become familiar in the succeeding ages of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and modernity. We have to ask why, amid such enormous changes, one thing remained constant, the hatred of the Jews; even though it took so many different forms in response to new ways of thinking. In the light of this overall pattern, we may begin to understand how a highly civilized country in the twentieth century could carry through a programme of the utmost barbarism, the Holocaust, in which more than 6,000,000 Jews were cruelly and contemptuously murdered.