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WAR II, WORLD, AND FREEMASONRY IN EUROPE.
After he declared a world-wide war on Freemasonry Pope Leo XIII set up the headquarters of his international anti-Masonic bureaus in France, in 1896, as described on another page of this Supplement in an article on Leo Taxil, and utilized for the purpose the machinery of persecution and accusation which already had long been in operation against the Jews: Masons were accused of being devil-worshippers, atheists, enemies of the family, humanitarians, demoerats, Protestants, etc. This anti-Masonry was eonsolidated with the Church's attack on the Republic of France, which it had carried on since the FraneoPrussian war in an attempt to restore the monarchy to the country. French Masonry never was large, having from 300 to 400 Lodges, and from 30,000 to 40,000 members under a Grand Lodge and a Grand Orient, but it more than made up in influence and prestige what it lacked in numbers. As against Roman Catholicism it continued a more-or-less passive resistance, but as against the schemes to destroy the French Republic it worked in the open, not as a member or champion of any one of the numerous political parties, but on the ground that freedom in state, society, and religion and the maintenance of a public school system are right and just.
The paramount social purpose of French Masonry mas to help establish a permanent peace in Europe. Long before Woodrow Wilson's presidency it held conferences for discussing a League of Nations. Early in 1914, the first year of World War I, it sponsored a conference of German and French parliamentarians at Berne, Switzerland. Between the two Wars it worked continuously to establish a friendlier feeling between French and German peoples. It became identified in the public mind with liberty, education, and peace, and so much so that when on December 28, 1935, a clique of Roman Catholic members of the House of Deputies introduced an amendment to abolish Freemasonry they were defeated by a vote of 370 to 91, which in the tangle of the many political parties was tantamount to a unanimous defeat.
When the Nazis set up their Fifth Column in France under Otto Abetz at about that time, they provided for a special division to plan means to undermine and destroy the Fraternity, that work being placed under the direction of Bernard Fa. This brought the Roman Catholics, royalists, and Nazis (or Fascists) into a single front against a Fraternity which had no army, possessed no governmental offices or powers, had no newspapers, no gendarmerie, and no hundreds of millions of francs,—a tribute to the power and vitality of the Masonic ideal! This combined anti-Masonic bloc also was used as under-cover machinery for attacking the United States and explains why upon the fall of France, Americans there were shocked to discover so much hatred of themselves; and why in his last radio address to the nation before he fled from Paris, Premier Renaud laid the blame for "France's defeat" on President Roosevelt!
Upon their entrance into Paris the Germans con fiscated Masonic property, looted Lodge funds, burned Masonic buildings, carried the great Masonic Library off to Berlin, opened up a derisive "Masonic exposition" (which fell flat, and was a pitiable spectacle in which grown men who had graduated from the German universities acted and tallied like morons), shot some hundreds of Masons, imprisoned thous ands of others, and sent other thousands to labor camps in the Reich. Almost as soon as he took control of Unoccupied France at Vichy, Pétain announced over the radio in one of his mumbled speeches that no Masonic dignitary (from a Worshipful Master up) could hold office or retain army commissions.
He removed some forty or more generals for having been Masons, and took the Legion of Honor away from many other Masons prominent in the army and in public life, among the latter being Pierre Comert, Alexis Leger, and Col. Charles Felix Pijeard, and denounced a number of members of the House of Deputies. He ordered Masonio property to be auctioned. Freemasonry was introduced into Italy about 1733, began to work under the best of auspices, and was led by men most eminent in the nation.
After the Popes began their crusade against it with the Bull by Clement XII in 1738, it had an honorable though checkered career, and in the Risorgimento numbered such Masons in its membership as Cavour, Mazzini, and Garibaldi, the last named a Grand Master. But Freemasonry was disturbed by the rise of the Carbonari with its endless branches and off-shoots, and often found itself compromised in the public eye by political secret societies falsely calling themselves Masonic. In self-defense some Lodges engaged in political work, thereby cutting themselves off from English-speaking Freemasonry; others refused to. The confusion became more confounded after World War I, and it was only when Torrigiani gained leadership, aided by the moral support of the Grand Lodge of New York (interested because of its onrn large Italian membership), that the Italian Craft began to regularize itself and to weed out false and clandestine bodies.
A short time before the so-called March on Rome (it had the King's knowledge and consent; Mussolini traveled in a Pullman sleeper) the Grand Fascist Council on February 13, 1923, resolved, among other things, that since "Freemasons pursue a programme and employ methods contrary to those which inspire the whole activity of Fascism, the Council calls upon those Fascists who are Freemasons to choose between membership of the National Fascist Party and Freemasonry." Onlv a few days before, the Grand Orient, with Grand Master Torrigiani presiding, had proclaimed "that Freemasonry can never become a political party, and that, in the interests of national thought, it must be above all parties." Among the Masonic leaders who chose Freemasonry as against Fascism was General Luigi Capello. Among those who deserted Masonry were Rossi, Balbo, and Acerbo.
Late in 1923 young Fascist toughs began to burn, loot, and destroy Lodge rooms and their furniture— even in Milan. On January 10, 1925, the Parliament outlawed the Fraternity. In a debate on the Bill, Mussolini thundered: "The Bill will demonstrate that Freemasonry is out of date and no longer has the right to exist in the present century." For the sake of national peace Torrigiani declared the cessation of Masonic activity in Italy.
Then, about Nov. 5, 1926, the great bombshell exploded ! on a trumped-up charge manufactured out of the whole cloth, General Capello was arrested and accused of conspiring to assassinate Mussolini. This charge against a national hero who had given fifty years of his life to the Italian army covered the whole nation with gloom, because everybody knew he was innocent and his "trial" therefore showed the people by what means the Fascists would rule. He was brought to "trial" in the Spring of 1927, and sentenced to an imprisonment of thirty years, the first six to be in solitary confinement. Almost immediately secret police arrested Grand Master Torrigiani, "tried" him in secret court, and banished him to starve to death on one of the Lipari islands, to be followed later by some hundreds of other Masons. Torrigiani first went blind, or nearly 80, and then dsessene attempt after another was made from New York City to send food and medicines to those men on the little rock islands in the Mediterranean, but without much success. How many died from hunger and exposure may never be known. By the time Mussolini opened World War II with the rape of Abyssinia, Italian Freemasonry had become completely obliterated—for the time being.
General Ludendorff and his wife began the Nazi crusade against the Fraternity in Germany immed iately after the end of World War I, and in the be ginning tool; over en bloc the technique of anti-hIas onry w hich had been used in France, which was char acter assassination coupled with a device for trans ferring to Masons the century-old Roman Catholie hatred of the Jews. (Ludendorff was a Nazi before Hitler was, and marched in the punch at hIunieh )
In Mein Kampf Hitler wrote that the pacification of men and nations, that is, their civilization, which would destroy Germany's "Germanness," had been "introduced into the circles of the so-called 'intelligentsia' by Freemasonry," and from them "is transmitted to the great masses but above all to the bourgeoisie, by the activity of the great press, which today is always Jewish." (Hitler was startlingly ignorant, one of the most ignorant of a line of despots which always has hated "intellectuality"—and with good reason; he borrowed "bourgeoisie" at second hand from Karl Marx and often used it, but never understood its meaning.) Dr. Alfred Rosenberg, the "philosopher" of the Nazi Party (not a German, but a Balt, and psychopathic throughout his life), wrote at greater length in his Masonic Workl Polmes, and with equal ignorance, even to the extent, and in defiance of his own claim to great learning, of accepting and promulgating the fable of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion.
In 1933, and in almost one of his first utterances as Prime Minister of Prussia, Hermann Goering declared that "in National Socialist Germany there is no place for Freemasonry." In 1927 Joseph Goebbels set up an "exposition" in Berlin to display regalia, furniture, books, etc., taken from Masonic Lodge rooms. At the outbreak of the war in 1939 there were (or had been) about 700 Lodges in Germany, with some 100,000 members. (In a Brown Shirt Berlin street parade so an eye-witness reported in a letter to the writer—Masons were hauled through the streets in a cage like animals.) How many Masons were mobbed, beaten to death, murdered, executed, or sent to concentration camps in Germany may never be know.
In Spain the sufferings of Masons were more terrible than in any other country. What was called Fascism in Italy, Naziism in Germany, Vichyism in France, was called The Falange, or Falangism, there. It was headed by the hierarchy of the Roman Church, the landlords, the higher officers in the army, by royalists, by local representatives of international finance, and was armed, accoutred, and financed by Italy and Germany. Under Falangist rule membership in a Lodge automatically called for imprisonment for ten years, later changed to twelve years. In one town during the Franco Rebellion 80 men were garroted on six scaffolds for being Masons; in another 50 were made to dig a trench and then were shot and buried in it.
Savages from Morocco were turned loose on blasons' families; thousands of Masons were hanged shot, stabbed, burned, beaten to death for no other crime than Masonry; not in a Nazi crematory in Poland was there such an amount of savagery, bloodlust, brutality, murder, and unbelievable cruelty. (See an eye-witness account in Pierre van Paasen's The Days of our Years.) Prior to the Franco Rebellion Spain had two Grand Lodged some 175 Lodges, and a membership of about 10,000.
Freemasonry in Austria had a very old and proud history but by 1938, the year of the annexation of Austria it was reduced to one Grand Lodge, some 20 Lodgers and 1500 members. Hitler immediately abolished it and sent some 90CO of the Masons to the concentrabion camp at Dachau, or had them shot.
Belgium had one Grand Lodge, 24 Lodges, and 4000 members, but possessed an influence out of proportion to its size. Immediately the Germans entered Belgium in April, 1940, the Lodges were closed, their properties were confiscated, and their members, most of them, were imprisoned.
Before 1938 Czechslovakia had two Grand Lodges, 60 Lodges, and 2600 members—Masaryk and Benes both were Masons. Hitler closed the Lodges, confiscated the property, imprisoned Masons, and shot many leaders.
Greece had before the War one Grand Lodge, 70 Lodges, 6000 members. King George was a Past Masters The Germans obliterated the Fraternity— perhaps the Greeks suffered more frightfully than any other Masons except in Spain.
Freemasonry was strong in Holland before the War with one Grand Lodge, 151 Lodges, and 10,000 members. In April, 1940, the Germans closed the Lodges, confiscated real estate, used jewels and leather aprons for making military goods, and arrested hundreds of Masons, among whom a number of Grand Officers committed suicide under torture.
Norway had one Grand Lodge, 30 Lodges, 11,500 members; Quisling and the Germans obliterated the Craft, following the usual program. Poland had one Grand Lodge, 12 Lodges, and 1,000 members. Roumania had two Grand Lodges, 40 Lodges, 1700 members. Yugoslavia had one Grand Lodges, 20 Lodges, 800 members. Denmark had one Grand Lodge (the King is Grand Master), 30 Lodges, 8,000 members. In each of these countries the Germans carried out the same program of suppression, eonfiseation, imprisonment, torture, execution, and the terrorism often was extended to Masons' families. As with the Germans so with the Japanese: in Japan, China, Philippine Islands, Singapore, Malaya, Burma, Thailand, and Indo China they destroyed Masons and Masonic buildings with the same ferocity as their Teutonic allies.
Within a space of less than five years more than 200,000 men overt martyred for being Masons, their properties confiscated, their families broken, themselves tortured, imprisoned, or shot. The Masonic Fraternity has a long memory, as long a memory as has the Roman Church; but it has nowhere in its memory any martyrdom such as that of those years; and it is hoped it never will have again; but it will earry a long memory into the future also, and a thousand years from now it will not have forgotten Spain, and Greece, and Holland, and France, and Italy of 1940 A.D.
WAR, FREEMASONRY IN.
The question how Freemasons should conduct themselves in time of war, when their own country is one of the belligerents, is an important one. Of the political Course of a Freemason in his individual and private Capacity there is no doubt. The Charges declare that he must be "a peaceable subject to the civil powers, and never be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the nation" (Constitutions, 1723, page 50). But so anxious is the Order to be unembarrassed by all political influences, that treason, however discountenanced by the Craft, is not held as a crime whigh is amenable to Masonic punishment.
For the same Charge affirms that "if a Brother should be a rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanced in his rebellion, however he may be pitied as an unhappy man; and if convicted of no other crime, though the loyal brotherhood must and ought to disown his rebellion and give no umbrage or ground of political jealousy to the government for the time being, they cannot expel him from the Lodge, and his relation to it remains indefeasible."
The Freemason, then, like every other citizen, should be a patriot. He should love his country with all his heart; should serve it faithfully and cheerfully; obey its laws in peace; and in war should be ever ready to support its honor and defend it from the attacks of its enemies. But even then the benign principles of the Institution extend their influence, arid divest the contest of many of its horrors. The Freemason fights, of Course, like every other man, for victory; but when the victory is won, he will remember that the conquered foe is still his Brother.
On the occasion, of a Masonic banquet given immediately after the close of the Mexican War to General Quitman by the Grand Lodge of South Carolina that distinguished soldier and Freemason remarked that, although he had devoted much of his attention to the nature and character of the Masonic Institution, and had repeatedly held the highest offices in the gift of his brethren, he had never really known what Freemasonry was until he had seen its workings on the field of battle.
But as a collective and organized body—in its Lodges and its Grand Lodges—it must have nothing to do with war. It must be silent and neutral. The din of the battle, the cry for vengeance, the shout of victory, must never penetrate its portals. Its dogmas and doctrines all teach love and fraternity; its symbols are symbols of peace; and it has no place in any of its rituals consecrated to the inculcation of human contention.
Brother C. W. Moore, in his Biography of Thomas Smith Webb, the great American ritualist, mentions a Circumstance which occurred during the period in which Webb presided over the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, and to which Moore, in the opinion of Doctor Mackey, inconsiderately has given his hearty commendation. The United States was engaged at that time in a war with England. The people of Providence having commenced the erection of fortifications the Grand Lodge volunteered its Services; and the members, marching in procession as a Grand Lodge to the southern part of the town, erected a breastwork, to which was given the name of Fort Hiram (see Fort Masonic). Doctor Mackev doubted the propriety of the act. While, to repeat what has been just said, every individual member of the Grand Lodge as a Freemason, was bound by his obligation to be "true to his government " and to defend it from the attacks of its enemies, it was, says Doctor Mackey, unseemly, and contrary to the peaceful spirit of the Institution, for any organized body of Freemasons, organized as such to engage in a warlike enterprise. But the patriotism, if not the prudence of the Grand Lodge, Cannot be denied.
Since writing this paragraph, Doctor Mackey met in brother Murray Lyon's History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (page 83) with a record of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, which in his judgment sustained the view that he has taken. In 1777, recruits were being enlisted in Scotland for the British army, which was to fight the Americans in the War of the Revolution, which had just begun. Many of the Scotch Lodges offered, through the newspapers, bounties to all who should enlist But on February 2, 1778, the Grand Lodge passed a resolution which was published on the 12th, through the Grand Secretary, in the following circular:
At a quarterly meeting of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, held here the Second instant, I received a charge to acquaint all the Lodges of Scotland holding of the Grand Lodge that the Grand Lodge has seen with concern advertisements in the public newspapers, from different Lodges in Scotland, not only offering a bounty to recruits who may enlist in the new levies, but with the addition that all such recruits shall be admitted to the freedom of Masonry.
The first of these they consider as an improper alienation of the funds of the Lodge from the support of their poor and distressed Brethren, and the second they regard as a prostitution of our Order, which demands the reprehension of the Grand Lodge What ever share the Brethren may take as individuals in aiding these levies, out of zeal to serve their private friends or to promote the public service, the Grand Lodge considered it to be repugnant to the spirit of our Craft that any Lodge should take a part in such a business as a collective Body.
For Masonry is an Order of Pease ant it looks on all mankind to be Brethren as Masons, whether they be at peace or at war with each other as subjects of contending countries The Grand Lodge therefore strongly enjoins that the practise may be forthwith discontinued. By order of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. W. Mason, Gr Sec.
Of all human institutions, Freemasonry is the greatest and purest Peace Society. And this is because its doctrine of universal peace is founded on the doctrine of a universal brotherhood
In every Symbolic Lodge, there are three principal officers, namely, a Master, a Senior Warden, and a Junior Warden. This rule has existed ever since the revival, and for some time previous to that event, and is so universal that it has been considered as one of the landmarks. It exists in every country and in every Rite The titles of the officers may be different in different languages, but their functions as presiding over the Lodge in a tripartite division of duties, are everywhere the same. The German Masons call the two Wardens erste and zweite Aufseher; the French, premier and second Surveillant; the Spanish, primer and segundo Vigilante; and the Italians, primo and secondo Sorvegliante.
In the various Rites, the positions of these officers vary. In the American Rite, the Senior Warden sits in the West and the Junior in the South. In the French and Scottish Rites, both Wardens are in the West, the Senior in the Northwest and the Junior in the Southwest; but in all, the triangular position of the three officers relatively to each other is preserved; for a triangle being formed within the square of the Lodge, the Master and Wardens will each occupy one of the three points.
The precise time when the presidency of the Lodge was divided between these three officers or when they were first introduced into Freemasonry, is unknown. The Lodges of Scotland, during the Operative regime, or era, were governed by a Deacon and one Warden. The Earl of Cassilis was Master of Kilwinning in 1670, though only an Apprentice. This seems to have been not unusual, as there were cases of Apprentices presiding over Lodges. The Deacon performed the functions of a Master, and the Warden was the second officer, and took charge of and distributed the funds. In other words, he acted as a Treasurer.
This is evident from the Minutes of the Edinburgh Lodge, published by Brother Lyon. But the head of the Craft in Scotland at the same time was called the Warden General. This regulation, however, does not appear to have been universal even in Scotland, for in the Mark Book of the Aberdeen Lodge, under date of December 27, 1670, which was published by Brother W. J. Hughan in the Voice of Masonry, February, 1872, we find there a Master and Warden recognized as the presiding officers of the Lodge in the following Statute: "And lykwayse we all protest, by the oath we have made at our entrie, to own the Warden of our Lodge as the next man in power to the Master, and in the Maister's absence he is full Maister."
Some of the English manuscript Constitutions recognize the offices of Master and Wardens. Thus the Harleian Manuscript, No. 1942, whose date is supposed to be about 1670, contains the "new articles" said to have been agreed on at a General Assembly held in 1663, in which is the following passage: "That for the future the sayd Society, Company and Fraternity of Free Masons shal bee regulated and governed by one Master & Assembly & Wardens, as ye said Company shall think fit to chose, at every yearely General Assembly."
As the word Warden sloes not appear in the earlier manuscripts, it might be concluded that the office was not introduced into the English Lodges until the latter part of the seventeenth century. Yet this does not absolutely follow. For the office of Warden might have existed, and no statutory provision on the subject have been embraced in the general charges which are contained in those manuscripts, beeause they relate not to the government of Lodges, but the duties of Freemasons. This of course, is conjectural; but the conjecture derives weight from the fact that Wardens were officers of the English Gilds as early as the fourteenth century. In the Charters granted by Edward III, in 1354, it is permitted that these companies shall yearly elect for their government "a certain number of Wardens "
To a list of the Companies of the date of 1377 is affixed what is called the Oath of the Wardens of Crafts, of which this is the commencement: "Ye shall Were that ye shall wele and treuly oversee the Craft of— whereof ye be chosen Wardeyns for the vear.'9 It thus appears that the Wardens were at first the presiding officers of the Gilds.
At a later period, in the reign of Elizabeth, we find that the chief officer began to be called Master; and in the time of James I, between 1603 and 1625, the Gilds were generally governed by a Master and Wardens.
An ordinance of the Leather-Sellers Company at that time directed that on a certain occasion "the Master and Wardens shall appear in state."
It is not, therefore, improbable that the government of Masonic Lodges by a Master and two Wardens was introduced into the regulations of the Order in the Seventeenth century, the "new article" of 1663 being a statutory confirmation of a custom which had just begun to prevail.
Senior Warden. He is the second officer in a Symbolic Lodge, and governs the Craft in the hours of labor. In the absence of the Master he presides over the Lodge, appointing some brothers not the Junior Warden, to occupy his place in the attest. His jewel is a level, a Symbol of the equality which exists among the Craft while at labor in the Lodge. His seat is in the West, and he represents the column of Strength. He has placed before him, and carries in all processions, a column, which is the representative of the right-hand pillar that stood at the porch of King Solomon's Temple. The Junior Warden has a similar column, which represents the left-hand pillar. During labor the Column of the Senior Warden is erect in the Lodge, while that of the Junior is recumbent. At refreshment, the position of the two columns is reversed.
Junior Warden. The duties of this officer have already been described (see Junior Warden). There is also an officer in a Commandery of Knights Templar, the fifth in rank, who is staled Senior Warden. He takes an important part in the initiation of a candidate. His jewel of office is a triple triangle, the emblem of Deity.
See articles on Columns and Columns, The Wardens'.
See Grand Wardens.
The literal meaning of Warder is one who keeps watch and ward. In the Middle Ages, the Warder was stationed at the gate or on the battlements of the castle, and with his trumpet sounded alarms and announced the approach of all comers. Hence the Warder in a Commandery of Knights Templar bears a trumpet, and his duties are prescribed to be to announce the approach and departure of the Eminent Commander, to post the sentinels, and see that the Asylum is duly guarded, as well as to announce the approach of visitors. His jewel is a trumpet and crossed swords engraved on a square plate.
In the ancient initiations, the aspirant was never permitted to enter on the threshold of the Temple in which the Ceremonies were conducted until, by the most solemn warning, he had been impressed with the necessity of secrecy and caution Thus the use, for this purpose, of a Warlike Instrument in the First Degree of Freemasonry, is intended to produce the same effect A sword has always been employed for that purpose; and to substitute the point of the compasses, taken from the altar at the time, is an improper sacrifice of Symbolism to the convenience of the Senior Deaeon The Compasses are peculiar to the Third Degree In the earliest instructions of the eighteenth century it is Said that the entrance is "upon the point of a sword, or spear, or some warlike instrument"
Krause (Kurlsturkunden ii, page 142), in commenting on this expression, has completely misinterpreted its signification He supposes that the sword was intended as a sign of jurisdiction now assumed by the Lodge. But the real object of the ceremony is to teach the neophyte that as the sword or warlike instrument will wound or prick the flesh, so will the betray al of a trust confided wound or prick the conseience of him who betrays it
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