Adolf Hitler 1 .
Anti-masons will attempt to embarrass freemasons by quoting Hitler in praising Freemasonry. But this sentiment only appears in Hermann Rauschnings anecdotal writings and is nowhere else corroborated. Regardless, Hitler is only recorded in referring to his perception of Freemasonry as an example of how he wanted the Nazi party to develop, specifically with an hierarchical organization and initiation through symbolic rites. The record of his actions and writings though, clearly demonstrate that he despised and feared the principles and beliefs of Freemasonry.
While the excuse for the Kristallnacht of November 9-10, 1938 was the assassination of Nazi diplomat Ernst vom Rath, the mobilizing slogan employed by the Nazis was "Death to the Jews and the Freemasons."
THE COLLAPSE OF FREEMASONRY IN NAZI GERMANY 1933-35
"On Hitlers rise to power, the ten Grand Lodges of Germany were dissolved.3 Many among the prominent dignitaries and members of the Order were sent to concentration camps. The Gestapo seized the membership lists of the Grand Lodges and looted their libraries and collections of Masonic objects. Much of this loot was then exhibited in an "Anti-Masonic Exposition" inaugurated in 1937 by Herr Dr. Joseph Goebbels in Munich. The Exposition included completely furnished Masonic temples.
"The persecution was carried over into Austria when the country was captured by the Nazis. The Masters of the various Vienna lodges were immediately confined in the most notorious concentration camps, including the horrible living hell at Dachau in Bavaria. The same procedure was repeated when Hitler took over Czechoslovakia, then Poland. Immediately after conquering Holland and Belgium, the Nazis ordered the dissolution of the lodges in those nations. It was also Point One on the agenda of Major Quisling in Norway. It may be taken as part of the same ugly picture that General Franco of Spain in 1940 sentenced all Freemasons in his realm automatically to ten years in prison. When France fell last June, the Vichy government caused the two Masonic bodies of France, the Grand Orient and the Grande Loge to be dissolved, their property being seized and sold at auction." 4
Hitlers hatred of Freemasonry is clearly documented.5 In 1931 Nazi party officials were given a "Guide and Instructional Letter" that stated, "The natural hostility of the peasant against the Jews, and his hostility against the Freemason as a servant of the Jew, must be worked up to a frenzy." 6 On April 7, 1933, Hermann Goeringwho once considered becoming a freemasonheld an interview with Grand Master von Heeringen of the "Land" Grand Lodge of Germany, telling him there was no place for Freemasonry in Nazi Germany. 7 The Nazi Primer, the Official Handbook for the Schooling of Hitler Youth, attacked freemasons, marxists, and the Christian churches for their "mistaken
teaching of the equality of all men" by which they were said to be seeking power over the whole world. 8
Hitler, in his own words:
"To strengthen his political position he [the Jew] tries to tear down the racial and civil barriers which for a time continue to restrain him at every step. To this end he fights with all the tenacity innate in him for religious toleranceand in Freemasonry, which has succumbed to him completely, he has an excellent instrument with which to fight for his aims and put them across. The governing circles and the higher strata of the political and economic bourgeoisie are brought into his nets by the strings of Freemasonry,
and never need to suspect what is happening.
"Only the deeper and broader strata of the people as such, or rather that class which is beginning to wake up and fight for its rights and freedom, cannot yet be sufficiently taken in by these methods. But this is more necessary than anything else; for the Jew feels that the possibility of his rising to a dominant role exists only if there is someone ahead of him to clear the way; and this someone he thinks he can recognize in the bourgeoisie, in their broadest strata in fact. The glovemakers and linen weavers, however, cannot be caught in the fine net of Freemasonry; no, for them coarser but no less drastic means must be employed. Thus Freemasonry is joined by a second weapon in the service of the Jews: the press. With all his perseverance and dexterity he seizes possession of it. With it he slowly begins to grip and ensnare, to guide and to push all public life, since he is in a position to create and direct that power which, under the name of 'public opinion,' is better known today than a few decades ago." 9
"While the international world Jew slowly but surely strangles us, our so-called patriots shouted against a man and a system which dared in one corner of the earth at least, to free themselves from the Jewish-Masonic embrace and oppose a nationalistic resistance to this international world poisoning." 10
"The general pacifistic paralysis of the national instinct of self preservation begun by Freemasonry in the circles of the so-called intelligentsia is transmitted to the broad masses and above all to the bourgeoisie by the activity of the big papers which today are always Jewish." 11
"The prohibition of Masonic secret societies, the persecution of the supra-national press as well as the continuous demolition of international Marxism, and, conversely, the steady reinforcement of the Fascist state conception, will in the course of the years cause the Italian Government to serve the interests of the Italian people more and more, without regard for the hissing of the Jewish world hydra." 12
Hitler praising Freemasonry?
"All the supposed abominations, the skeletons and deaths heads, the coffins and the mysteries, are mere bogeys for children. But there is one dangerous element and that is the element I have copied from them. They form a sort of priestly nobility. They have developed an esoteric doctrine not merely formulated, but imparted through the symbols and mysteries in degrees of initiation. The hierarchical organization and the initiation through symbolic rites, that is to say, without bothering the brain but by working on the imagination through magic and the symbols of a cult, all this has a dangerous element, and the element I have taken over. Don't you see that our party must be of this character...? An Order, that is what it has to be an Order, the hierarchial Order of a secular priesthood... Ourselves or the Freemasons or the Church there is room for one of the three and no more... We are the strongest of the three and shall get rid of the other two." 2
Painting of Adolf Hitler, artist unknown: Imperial War Museum.
Hitler Speaks, Hermann Rauschning. Andover: Chapel River Press, 1939; Gespräche mit Hitler, Paris, 1939 ; The Voice of Destruction, New York: Europa Verlag, 1940. Hitler m'a dit. Confidences du Führer sur son plan de conquête du monde, etc. (Traduit par Albert Lehman.) Cited by Hitler and the Age of Horus, Gerald Suster, London : Sphere Books, 1981. xviii, 231 p.,  p. of plates : ill. Bibliography: p. 215-216. Includes index. ISBN: 0722182872 p. 138.
Rauschnings writings were presented as Allied prosecution exhibit USSR-378, at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg but dismissed by the OSS as unreliable. In May 1983, Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel compiled the criticisms of Rauschnings books in a presentation at the Ingolstadt Contemporary History Research Center, demonstrating that Rauschning only met Hitler on four occasions, not the "more than a hundred" that he claimed. Words attributed to Hitler were copied from the works of Ernst Jünger (1895 - 1998) and Friedrich Nietzsche, Guy de Maupassant and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, with the assistance of two journalists: Emery Reves in Paris, and Henry Wickham-Steele in Britain. Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw discounts Rauschning. Also see The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1983; Die Zeit; Der Spiegel, 7 September 1985.
3. The original text reads "Immediately on...." which subsequent research has shown to be less than accurate. Although Hitler became dictator on 23(24) March 1933, several Grand Lodges attempted to remain active and the Dresden and Leipzig Grand Lodges did not dissolve until 10 August 1935. For a review of German Freemasonry's attempts to reconcile themselves with the Nazis, see "German Freemasonry and its attitude towards the Nazi regime," Alain Bernheim. freemasons-freemasonry.com accessed 2007/03/07.
4. "The Annihilation of Freemasonry," Sven G. Lunden. The American Mercury, vol. lii, No. 206, February 1941. In essence true, based on false reports it failed to distinguish between the several German Grand Lodges, and their various responses to the Nazi government. users.libero.it/fjit.bvg/fascism.html
accessed 2004/08/13. Cf. After Fifteen Years [-]
Freemasonry in Germany [-] Report of the Special Mission sent by the Masonic
Service Association of the United States to investigate Masonic conditions
in Germany, 1949. Masonic Service Association, October 1949. Also see Große National-Mutterloge "Zu den drei Weltkugeln" im Verband der Vereinigten Großlogen von Deutschland Bruderschaft der Freimaurer 1933-2000 [.] Versuch einer Standortbestimmung. Schriftleitung Werner Schwartz. 3
Bünde. Berlin: Große National-Mutterloge "Zu den drei Weltkugeln". Cited by Alain Bernheim ; see above.
5. "European Freemasonry has been persecuted more thoroughly in the last twenty years than ever before in its turbulent history. Mussolini strangled Freemasonry in Italy in 1925. Hitler annihilated the German lodges when he came to power, and later those in Czecho-Slovakia, Poland, Norway, Holland, Belgium, and Greece. European Masons died, went underground, or fled." "Masons but Not Free," Newsweek, 25 June 1945, pp. 114-115. Cited by Paul Bessel bessel.org/naziartl.htm accessed 2006/01/22.
The brown book of the Hitler terror : and the burning of the Reichstag, prepared by the World Committee for the Victims of German Fascism ; with an introduction by Lord Marley. London: V. Gollancz, 1933. p. 234.
7. Lunden, The American Mercury p. 184. Also see, Hamilton, "Freemasonry, A Prisoner of War," in The New Age, September 1949, p. 552.
8. The New Age, Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction. October 1938. pp. 589-591. Also see www.bessel.org/naziartl.htm.
Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler [1889/04/20 - 1945/04/30]. trans. Ralph Manheim. Sentry Edition, Eleventh printing. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company: n.d. c1925. Verlag Frz. Eher Nachf, G.M.B.H. p. 314-15.
10. Ibid. p. 465.
11. Ibid. p. 320.
12. Ibid. p. 637.