Tradition holds that when Martin Luther appeared before the Imperial Diet of Worms and was asked to recant his teachings, he said, “Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.” There is no evidence that he actually said this. The record indicates that what he said was, “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.” However, since the former is easier to remember and more commonly believed and since hoards of tourists were coming to Wittenberg celebrating the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, it is not surprising that socks bearing the inscription, “Here I stand,” were for sale in souvenir shops. Laetitia also heard a rumor that condoms were for sale that bore the same inscription, but she was not able to confirm it.
Records from the Worms Diet extant
At which Luther refused to recant
Lack the words, “Here I stand”
But, now it’s his brand
Found on goods with a souvenir slant.