Why do fraternities have secret hand prints

The secret society of Freemasons | 275 years of guesswork around secret rituals

Freemasons act in silence, should recognize each other by a certain handshake or gesture.

Hamburg - Secret temples, suspicious codes, secrets that only members know - there are countless rumors about the secret fraternity of Freemasons. Germany's first lodge was founded in Hamburg in 1737.

On the occasion of the 275-year-old of the first German lodge “Absalom to the Three Nesseln”, the Freemasons turned to the public with the initiative “More humanity in everyday life”. "We want to show ourselves and introduce the concerns of the Freemasons," said Rüdiger Templin, the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodges of Germany.

For example, there will be a public exhibition on the history and symbolism of the Freemasons in Hamburg's town hall from September 15 to 30. 3000 Freemasons from all over the world are expected in the Hanseatic city to celebrate the anniversary.

The initiative receives prominent support from Hamburg's former mayor Ole von Beust (CDU). It is no coincidence that Hamburg, as a free, independent city, was the founding site of the first German lodge. Although he is not a Freemason himself, he finds many of the free-spirited, basic social ideas remarkable. Behind the Freemasons there is "an excellent citizen spirit".

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►►► The Masonic tradition was founded in London in 1717. Only 20 years later, Germany's first lodge was founded in Hamburg.

►►► The origin of the Freemasons lies in the “free masons“, who built the domes and cathedrals in the Middle Ages. During the construction period, which often took decades, the men lived together in huts, the “lodges”. There they developed rules for living together, and there they kept the secrets of their architecture.

►►► Symbols of the brotherhood are squares and compasses.

►►► Freemasons identify themselves with passwords or certain grips. They used to try to protect professional secrets.

►►► Few Freemasons speak openly about their membership. Actor Wolfgang Bahro, known as the "GZSZ" villain Jo Gerner, is a member of the Freemason Lodge.

►►► According to the company, the ideals of the Enlightenment are at the center of the Masonic work: self-determined action and personal development. You are obliged to strive for humanity, tolerance, love of peace, social justice and brotherhood.

►►► The Freemasons call their meeting place temples. Anyone who is not a Freemason is not allowed to take part in the so-called temple work.

►►► During the Nazi regime, the Freemasons were persecuted. The National Socialists spread propaganda about the world conspiracy of the Freemasons and banned the lodges in 1934. The Bund was not allowed to come together in the GDR either.

►►► Nationwide there are around 400 lodges with around 14,000 brothers today. There are also women's lodges, but the main thing is that the Freemasons are a men's society

►►► Freemasons ascend by attaining different degrees: Those who are new to the lodge start with the first degree apprentice (Control of feelings and impulses). It's about recognizing your own mistakes and talents. On the second level of knowledge the Journeyman Gain knowledge. He should find his place in the world. As master Freemasons reach the third level of knowledge through physical cleansing, sharpening of the senses and broadening of the intellectual horizon.

►►► Candidates must declare that they will join of their own free will. The most important entry criterion is belief in God. Freemasons must belong to a religion and practice it.

►►►Famous Freemasons: Mozart, Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Voltaire, Mark Twain, George Washington, Henry Ford, Louis Armstrong, John Wayne and Charlie Chaplin.

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