• Germany's news in English

Theft of Luther texts leaves police baffled

The Local · 16 Jul 2013, 09:32

Published: 16 Jul 2013 09:32 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The three original 16th century texts were stolen from a cabinet in the half-timbered Luther House Museum in Eisenach, Thuringia - thought to have been Luther's home while he studied at the local school as a young monk.

Police on Monday said they still had no leads to the thieves, but were asking supervisors of two school groups who visited Luther House between 10am and 2pm on Friday to get in touch.

The stolen texts, penned by the father of Protestantism between 1520 and 1530, comprise of an address to the Christian nobility and another to regional leaders and a sermon.

The original sheets were made more valuable by the addition of handwritten notes by some of Luther's contemporaries. The theft was a “very grave loss which could not simply be replaced,” said Jochen Birkenmeier, scientific director at Luther House.

While the estimated material worth of the texts has been roughly estimated at around €60,000 they would be very difficult to sell, said Birkenmeier. “No serious trader would let themselves in for that.”

The Eisenach museum, founded in 1956 and last renovated in 1996, is much smaller than the better-known UNESCO World Heritage-listed Luther memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg, and does not have a comparable budget for security measures such as cameras.

Even the museum cabinets are old, and police said they thought thieves had exploited weaknesses in the joints to get at the texts.

On Monday Thuringia's Culture Ministry pledged money for an on-going renovation project – and security update - to get the Eisenach museum ready for celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd