Nazis & Masonry Bibliog
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Bibliography about Nazi actions toward Masons

This information was prepared as an attempt to compile the all information about Nazi attitudes and actions toward Freemasons. If anyone wants to send me email, especially if any of the information on this chart is not correct or if you know of additional information that should be included, please send me email by clicking on my name Paul M. Bessel.

article: "Freemasonry and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum"
magazine: The Scottish Rite Journal, October 1998

article: "Freemasons" citation
book: Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
editor in chief: Israel Gutman
year of publication: 1990
publisher: Macmillan Publishing Co., New York
availability: Library of Congress and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

article: "Freemasonry"
book: The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (Christian Zentner and Friedemann Beduerftig, editors; New 
York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991)
availability: the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

articles: "Freemasonry, A Prisoner of War" (series of articles)
author: Charles Grant Hamilton
magazine: The New Age (official organ of the Supreme Council 33 A.& A. Scottish Rite
dates of publication: November 1948 through October 1949
Part 1 November 1948 Introduction; Foreword; and Freemasonry in Spain
Part II December 1948 The Netherlands
Part III January 1949 Freemasonry in Belgium
Part IV February 1949 Freemasonry in Norway
Part V March 1949 Freemasonry in France
Part VI April 1949 Freemasonry in Czechoslovakia
Part VII May 1949 Freemasonry in Denmark
Part VIII June 1949 Freemasonry in Poland
Part IX July 1949 Freemasonry in Austria
Part X August 1949 Freemasonry in Italy
Part XI September 1949 Freemasonry in Germany - I
Part XII October 1949 Freemasonry in Germany - II, and Conclusion
availability: Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

book: Freemasonry in the Eastern Hemisphere
author: Ray V. Denslow
year of publication: 1954
publisher: the author
note: also published as Transactions of the Missouri Lodge of Research, volume II, 1954
availability: Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

book: Mein Kampf
author: Adolf Hitler (translated by Ralph Manheim)
year of publication: 1971 (written in 1923)
publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston
availability: Arlington County (Virginia) public library, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

book: Warrant for Genocide
author: Norman Cohn
year of publication: 1966
publisher: Harper & Row, Publishers, New York and Evanston
availability: Arlington County (Virginia) public library, catalog number 301.452, C678w, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

book: The Mythology of the Secret Societies
author: John M. Roberts
year of publication: 1972
publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York
availability: Arlington County (Virginia) public library, catalog number 366.9/R645m

book: Jews and Freemasons in Europe 1723-1939
author: Jacob Katz (translated from Hebrew by Leonard Oschry)
year of publication: 1970
publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C., and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

book: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia
author: Henry Wilson Coil, 33
year of publication: 1961
publisher: Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Company, Inc., New York

book: Fictions of Freemasonry: Freemasonry and the German Novel
author: Scott Abbott
year of publication: 1991
publisher: Wayne State University Press, Detroit
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

magazine: The New Age, (official organ of the Supreme Council 33 , A.&A. Scottish Rite)
date of publication: issues dated March 1939, October 1938
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C., and Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

releases from the Associated Press, June 18, 1939, August 8, 1935, March 1935
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

releases from United Press, September 16, 1936
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

releases from the Scottish Rite News Bureau, October 25, 1937, February 15, 1937
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

book: The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews
author: Karl A. Schleunes
year of publication: 1970
publisher: University of Illinois Press, Urbana
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C., and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

book: The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War
author: Martin Gilbert
year of publication: 1985
publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York
availability: House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C., and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

book: The New World Order
author: Pat Robinson
year of publication: 1991
publisher: Word Publishing, Dallas
availability: Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

book: Living the Enlightenment
author: Margaret C. Jacob
year of publication: 1991
publisher: Oxford University Press, New York
availability: Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and House of the Temple (Scottish Rite) Library & Museum, Washington, D.C.

book: Eichmann: His Career and Crimes
author: Charles Wighton
year of publication: 1961
publisher: Odhams Press Ltd., London
availability: United States Holocaust Museum and Research Center, Washington, D.C.

book: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression
year of publication: 1946
issued by: United States Government Printing Office
availability: United States Holocaust Museum and Research Center, Washington, D.C.

book: Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal Nuremburg 14 November 1945 - 1 October 1946
year of publication: 1949
availability: United States Holocaust Museum and Research Center, Washington, D.C.

article: "Freemasonry in Jersey"
author: A.C.F. Jackson
periodical: Ars Quatuor Coronatorum
date of periodical: 1973, volume 86, page 177
availability: Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia

book: Anti-Masonry
author: Alphonse Cerza
year of publication: 1962
publisher: Missouri Lodge of Research
availability: Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia

article: "The Annihilation of Freemasonry"
author: Sven G. Lunden
magazine: The American Mercury
date of publication: February 1941
availability: Arlington County (Virginia) public library, microfilm

article: "Masons but Not Free"
magazine: Newsweek
date of publication: June 25, 1945
availability: Arlington County (Virginia) public library, microfilm

book: Two Centuries of Persecution: Freemasonry in Italy
source: reprint from the Masonic World of the Grand Lodge AFAM of Missouri
author: Ray V. Denslow
year of publication: 1948
publisher: Missouri Lodge of Research

book: Franco: A Biography
author: Paul Preston
year of publication: 1994
publisher: Basic Books, A Division of HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.
availability: Fairfax County (Virginia) public library; catalog number B,Franco,1994

Links to webpages with related information 
The Library of the University of Poznan possess an exceptional collection of Masonic books amounting to about 80,000 volumes. This collection was originally formed during World War II when Heinrich Himmler's SS under the Nazi regime in Germany confiscated the libraries of Masonic libraries in Germany, and stored this archive in Poland. After the war this collection remained in Poland, and only since the fall of the communist regime has its existence been known or it been given any publicity. It is the largest Masonic collection in continental Europe and second only to that of the Grand Lodge in London. Some of the items are housed in Poznan and others at the Chateau de Ciazen about 80 kilometers from Poznan. The University Library and some Masonic bodies from Poland and Western Europe agreed to make Ciazen the centre of Masonic research. The palace has long been a place for conferences and seminars, so it has hotel-like facilities. It is a beautiful place and was formerly the residence of bishops. The older part of the collection has many Rosicrucian books of the 17th and 18th Centuries, but the most substantial part of the collection is of 19th and 20th century works. The greater part of the collection is in German, but there are many English and French works. There are many Masonic encyclopaedias, monographs, Masonic manuals, and polemical and works of Masonic instruction. 70% of the titles are in the form of journals and magazines in a number of languages. There are a number of membership list and other internal documents of various Masonic orders, Constitutions and Statutes, and works on the symbolism, the catechism, instructions, grade rituals and ceremonies of the different Masonic orders. The manuscripts are at present being catalogued. There are both alchemical and magical items. 
History of the German Masonic Museum in Bayreuth

1902 The Lodge "Eleusis zur Verschwiegenheit" in Bayreuth sets up a Masonic museum in its Lodge house. For too long one had exposed oneself to the reproach of being "secretive" and now wanted to create public understanding. 
1913 The neurologist Dr. Bernhard Beyer from Bayreuth starts with the extension of the museum. He manages to build up an extensive collection. 
1916 Beyer's catalogue already contains 5,100 items. 
1933 The Masonic museum is closed and plundered by the Nazis. Together with the properties of almost all German Lodges the stock is stored at the Reichssicherheitshauptamt in Berlin and during the war is transfered to various places in the east. During this more than 1,000 Lodge jewels, 700 medals, carpets, more than 1,000 oil paintings, engravings, crystal glasses, china and more than 15,000 Lodge seals from the museum were lost. About 80,000 items were transfered to Oberschlesien and were preserved. They are now at the library of the university of Poznan, Poland. 
1945 Soon after the end of the war Dr. Beyer starts working on rebuiling the library. The American forces donate the books they found in Nazi-Institutions. Some other Lodges that were able to preserve their Lodge libraries donated those to the museum as well, so that a functioning central library could be created. 
1984 An agreement on co-operation has been reached with the university library in Poznan, Poland. Today the library of the German Masonic Museum is considered to be the largest special collection in German speaking countries with approximately 16,000 volumes. 
Special Reports
Freemasonry Losses
The Material Losses of the German Freemasons

In Germany freemasons exist since the 30's of the 18th century. During the first decade after the foundation of the first masonic lodge in Hamburg the aristocracy as well as the intellectual and military elite formed the German masonry. This was due to the fact that Friederich II., later King of Prussia, joined the masonic alliance as early as 1738. Influential people in society very quickly found their way into one of the lodges emerging all over the country. Quite soon a specific masonic culture developed which found expression in a number of manuscripts, hand-written rituals, documents, periodicals and books. Also masonic objects such as watches, tobacco tins, porcelain figures, valuable drinking glasses, silver candelabra, tapestries, aprons, jewellery became an integral part of the life of the lodges. During the 19th century the bourgeoisie also joined the lodges and increasingly influenced their cultural tradition. The members had the means necessary to establish their
own culture and to build lodges where everything was kept that had been collected over the years. 

By the early 30's of this century there existed 10 grand lodges consisting of 690 lodges and about 70,000
masons. The National Socialists first banned political parties and unions as well as a number of other
institutions, and, in 1935, they also banned the masonry. The lodge buildings were expropriated and used for
different purposes. The lodge archives were confiscated, the libraries were taken to Berlin where they were
kept in the "Reichssicherheitshauptamt" (Main Security Office of the Reich) and used for various purposes. 

Due to increasing bombardments, a great part of the lodge archives and libraries were evacuated to Silesia
and stored in various castles. Among others, a large part of the papers used by the
"Reichssicherheitshauptamt" for the investigation of the freemasons remained in Berlin. Evacuated objects as
well as part of the stock taken by the Gestapo and stored in the basements of the former lodges at
Emserstraße 12-13 were confiscated by the Soviet troops and taken to Moscow. 

In the article "Die Keller des Gestapo-Gebäudes Berlin Emserstraße 12-13" (The Cellars of the Gestapo
Building Berlin Emserstraße 12-13) a NKWD-report is mentioned which must have been written by officers of
the Soviet Secret Service some time after the war. There it says: "In the cellars of the destroyed Gestapo
building, Berlin, Emserstraße 12-13, books, periodicals and newspapers have been discovered which had
been confiscated by the Gestapo. Most books carried stamps of different masonic lodges of Germany, whose
activities were forbidden by the fascists".1 

Before the war, the freemasons in Germany were, in number of lodges and members, the second most
important in the world. Many persons of the public were members of the German masonic lodges, and today
some of the oldest freemason lodges in the former zone of the Allies are taking up their activities. This leads to
the conclusion that the freemason literature discovered, including books from the 18th century until the 30's of
this century, is a valuable source for special studies. Besides the freemason literature other material was kept
in the cellars mentioned. After listing five positions of non-freemasonic stock, the report quoted closes with the
note that "47 boxes were taken from here". 

The archival material was collected, and later inspected and put in order at the Central State Archive (Special
Archive) in Moscow, while the library and museum objects were distributed to different institutions. In the 50's a
great number of looted cultural properties were restituted to the former GDR. Among this restituted material
also was a large part of the freemason material which had been transported to Moscow. All in all about 1,400
meters of files were returned. 

Around 1975 the inspection of the completely disordered freemason stock, composed of thousands of
documents, files, protocols, rituals, membership lists and other materials began. The result of this work, from
1975 until 1993, is - inter alia - an index which allows systematic access to the material. Also an inventory list of all those freemasonic objects integrated into the "Geheimes Staatsarchiv, Preußischer Kulturbesitz" (Secret
State Archive, Prussian Cultural Property). We owe this extensive work to the scientific archivists Renate Endler and Elisabeth Schwarze-Neuß and to the general archivist Bettina Ehrentraut, who were in charge of the freemasonic material at the "Preußisches Staatsarchiv Merseburg" (Prussian State Archives Merseburg). This is the first self-contained central archive in the 250 years of history of German freemasons which is now kept in Berlin-Dahlem and, as it is, shall remain there for the future. 

Since 1989 it is possible to search for and look at freemason documents in the Special Archive in Moscow.
Different publications with extraordinarily detailed lists give proof of the existence of freemason documents in
Moscow.2 The article by von Jena and Lenz state that 14,550 index units of freemason files and single
documents are still situated in Moscow. Also among those is volume X of the so-called "Schwedenkiste"
(Swedish Box), which played an important role in the history of the freemasons. This is mainly a collection of
files, letters and documents of the Order of the Illuminati, founded by Adam Weishaupt during the second half of the 18th century, which systematically infiltrated the lodges of those days. For this reason and because quite a number of distinguished freemasons were - at least for some time - members of this order, the Illuminati have become an essential part of the history of the freemasons. 

Wilson3 mentions the following details about the mysterious "Schwedenkiste": "The history of the
'Schwedenkiste' is quite an adventurous one for archival material. The leading Illuminate Bode of Weimar died
in December 1793. His estate included the most important part of the correspondence of the Order of the
Illuminati of Gotha and Weimar. These papers became the property of the other leading Illuminate Herzog Ernst v. Gotha, where they were kept safely. After his death in 1804 his own estate together with Bode's documents was handed over to the archive of the Grand National Lodge of Sweden, because Herzog Ernst was convinced that his heritage was not safe from publication in any of the German lodges. Under the supervision of the Swedish king Karl XIII. though, it was guaranteed that no information would ever reach the public. Some years later, in 1880, Herzog Ernst II. of Saxony Coburg Gotha (great-grandchild of the Illuminate Herzog of Saxony Coburg Gotha and Altenburg) asked for the documents to be returned, and three years later, in 1883, the stock became property of the lodge "Ernst zum Kompaß" in Gotha. Following the order of the Herzog, the material was put in order in 20 volumes. Later, in 1909, Reverend Carl Lepp added quite useful registers and lists of documents; the material was then named "Schwedenkiste". Also in the freemason archive in Gotha the files were strictly kept under lock and key since the Herzog ordered the lodge not to allow any publication whatsoever. This obligation was solely taken seriously in the 1920's and 1930's, the time of the idea of total conspiracy. Until before World War I, a number of researchers, mainly freemasons, were allowed to work with the content of the "Schwedenkiste". Among them were the restorer of the Order of the Illuminati, Leopold Engel, and the French author of the early, exhaustive work on the Illuminati, Rene Le Forrestier (who was not a freemason). (..) On March 20th, 1936, the documents were confiscated within the framework of the national socialist persecution of the freemasons. (...) In 1945 they were then transported to the Soviet Union". 

We have to assume that in the years 1934/35 all the possessions of the freemasons were confiscated by the
National Socialists. Everything, packed in boxes ended up in cellars, air-raid shelters and other store-rooms. A few items though were hidden by freemasons hoping for better times to come. Some single objects do appear here and there in antiquarian book shops and in the antique trade. Nearly all books have been found by now. Most of the still missing documents and other material are kept in Moscow, and today there is no justifiable reason to hold them back any longer. 

It is difficult to investigate if at all and to which extent further possessions of the German freemasons do exist in
other countries. In Poland freemason objects from Pomerania, Silesia, Brandenburg, West and East Prussia
were brought together to a library near Poznan with about 80,000 German freemason books. This library exists since 1984 and keeps close contact with the Freemason Museum in Bayreuth. The keeping of these books in Poland is not considered a loss, since these editions also do exist in German freemason libraries. 

A great part was destroyed during the war, and another untraceable part has fallen into private hands not only in Germany but also in other countries. Since none of the freemasons who lived during the early 30's is still alive, it is practically impossible to investigate which objects are lost or missing. The author does not rule out that sooner or later further losses will be found or that somewhere in Germany or abroad more freemason assets presumably missing will be discovered. 

Ulrich Wolfgang4, Editor in chief of the freemasonic  periodical ELEUSIS, The Supreme Council 33° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Riteof Freemasonry of Germany, Stuttgart 


1Masonic lodges were also forbidden within the entire sphere of control of the Soviet Union. 

2E.G. Götz Aly/Susanne Heim: Das zentrale Staatsarchiv in Moskau ("Sonderarchiv"), Düsseldorf 1993 and Kai v. Jena/Wilhelm Lenz in: "Der Archivar". Vol. 45. No. 3. 1992. Pp. 457-468. 

3Wilson, W. Daniel: Geheimräte gegen Geheimbünde. Stuttgart 1991. P. 50. 

4The author thanks archivist Renate Endler for her professional advice and friendly support. 


Endler, Renate; Elisabeth Schwarze: Die Freimaurerbestände im Geheimen Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Vol. I and II. Frankfurt a.M. 1994/1996. (ISBN 3-631-46831-8 und 3-631-48396-1). 

Aly, Götz; Susanne Heim: Das zentrale Staatsarchiv in Moskau ("Sonderarchiv"). Rekonstruktion und Bestandsverzeichnis verschollen geglaubten Schriftguts aus der NS-Zeit. Düsseldorf 1993. 

[Author unknown]: "149. Die Keller des Gestapo-Gebäudes Berlin Emserstraße 12-13". In: Hering, Jürgen (Hrsg.): "Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie" (Periodical for Librarianship and Bibliography). Sonderheft 64. Frankfurt a.M. 1996. P. 105 (ISSN 3-465-02882-1). 

Wilson, W. Daniel: Geheimräte gegen Geheimbünde. Stuttgart 1991. (ISBN 3-467-00778-2). 

Lennhoff, Eugen; Oskar Posner: Internationales Freimaurerlexikon. Wien, München 1932. 2nd non-revised edition 1975. 
Masonic Losses During The Second World War in Belgium
by Charles Tomas, Curator Masonic Museum Belgium, Brussels 

On August 24th and 27th, 1940 a total of 82 crates of books, works of art and masonic ritualia were gathered by the German occupiers in the masonic lodges of Brussels. Not less than 97 crates were assembled in other masonic lodges of Belgium, which makes a total of at least 179 crates. Thanks to the German administrative accuracy the transports to Berlin on November 26th, 1940 and January 17th, 1941 can be traced. The masonic lodges were the first institutions to be spoiled systematically in Belgium: first by the Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service), closely followed by the Einsatzst Reichsleiter Rosenberg. The Belgian interest in masonic material was underlined by the fact that Reinhard Heydrich und Alfred Rosenberg personally visited the lodges in Brussels in July 1940. The lodges, especially of Brussels and Antwerp were used during the Second World War as depots of spoiled cultural objects or as national socialist administrative centres. 

In 1946 nine crates, containing Belgian mostly freemason materials and Jewish libraries from Antwerp and Brussels returned from the American Collecting Point Offenbach in Germany. On February 25th, 1949 another four were restituted to Belgium, containing among other things masonic books. At least 170 crates of the masonic cultural goods never returned to Belgium. Only during the last years concrete evidence and locations of lost freemason's material of Belgian origin turned up: in Wurzburg (Germany), in the Osobyi Archives in Moscow (Russian Federation) and in the library of the University of Poznan (Poland). The discoveries in Moscow were confirmed by Belgian historians, who did active research there. 2,265 freemason dossiers of the years 1784-1940 were found. The archives contain documents of the Grand Orient of Belgium, the Higher Council of Belgian lodges and the working places Les amis philantropes and Les amis du progrés, even of 
daughter lodges in London. Besides, regulations, circulars, protocols of the working of the lodges, also the publications and bulletins were found in Moscow. The text of speeches, publications of members of Belgian freemasonry on political and social issues and the history of freemasonry of Belgium are also kept in the same archives. Important international correspondence with lodges in Europe and America completes the discovery. 

The period of the Cold War made every possibility of restitution between Western and Eastern European countries impossible. The officials, experts and researchers agree how much the attitude of the Russian authorities on this subject remains uncertain. Even the law proposal of the Duma concerning restitution of works of art and archives differentiates between 'legal' and 'illegal' spoils of war. 

In Belgium the Ministry of Economic Affairs is coordinating the research about cultural losses of Belgian origin. A close cooperation and working relationship was established between the Belgian freemasonry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In the meantime the Belgian freemason's lodges are documenting and investigating the cultural losses they suffered and are providing evidence of ownership of these lost cultural objects. 

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