"Luther in Eisleben"



    The Lutheran Journal, Vol. 55, #2, 1988 - Erwin Weber


Eisleben, like most cities associated with Luther and the Reformation period of the 16th century, is located in the former German Democratic Republic behind the Iron Curtain. Since the city is very important in the life of the great Reformer, being the site of Luther's birth and death, it was known in the GDR as Lutherstadt-Eisleben, or Luther-City-Eisleben. A few other cities have been designated as Luther cities. They include Lutherstadt-Wittenberg where Luther spent most of his life; Lutherstadt-Eisenach, where Mrs. Cotta took Martin into her home, and where he later translated the New Testament into German at the Wartburg Castle overlooking the city; Lutherstadt-Mansfeld, where Luther's parents lived and where Martin attended school as a boy; and Lutherstadt-Erfurt, where Luther attended the university and entered the Augustinian monastery to please God. There is a statue of Luther in every Lutherstadt, some of which have plaques depicting scenes significant in the Reformer's life.

This article concentrates on Lutherstadt-Eisleben. It describes the Luther statue erected in the middle of the 19th century, the events surrounding his birth on November 10, 1483, his baptism on the following day, his frequent visits to the city, and his death in a home of a friend adjacent to St. Andrews Church on February 18, 1546.