There have been Freemasons in Germany for 275 years. The first German Loge was founded
in 1737 in Hamburg. The Masonic Lodge "Absalom zu den drei Nesseln" has the Lodge
Number 1. For this reason, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg will become a meeting
point for Freemasons from all over the world in September 2012. They will celebrate
their hundreds of years of work on the rough ashlar for more humanity.
What Do Freemasons Do?
Freemasons have composed and have written the lyrics of the German national anthem
and had a profound effect in establishing the democratic constitution of the Federal
Republic of Germany. They promote the peaceful coexistence and tolerance of different
cultures and ideologies. Freemasons get involved with for people in need and support
the sustainable use of nature. They establish foundations, oppose dictators, and
advocate human rights all over the globe. Usually they do these things without using
the banner of "Freemasonry."
Almost all Freemasons are not famous. Not nearly as prominent and influential as
the composer Joseph Haydn, for example, or the poets Goethe or Lessing, or Carl von
Ossietzky, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who was persecuted by the Nazi regime.
Maybe your neighbour or your boss is a Freemason and you are not even aware of it.
In the end, a Freemason is just a human being like any other with his own shortcomings.
That is why Freemasons work first and foremost on themselves and the nobleness of
their hearts. Their maxim is: "Know thyself!"
Arcane Rituals in the Spirit of Humanity
Freemasons emphasise their ritual ceremonies, which are conducted like a play with
assigned roles. "The Great Architect of the Universe", who is called upon during
the ceremony, stands for a higher authority which is respected regardless of religious
conceptions. This concept is so universal that all creeds are accepted. According
to the ideal of the Enlightenment, a Freemason allows those around him enough space
to develop their personalities.
You can experience and explore what Freemasons do, what social and cultural commitment
means for the lodges, and what constitutes the mystery in this Brotherhood in exhibitions
and public places beginning in September 2012.
We would be pleased if your path led you to the 275th anniversary of Freemasons in
Germany in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and look forward to your sharing
your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas about more humanity with us.