Nestled amidst the vibrant streets and storied landmarks of Berlin lies a rich tapestry of Masonic history, where ancient traditions intersect with modern ideals, and timeless principles guide the footsteps of initiates on their quest for enlightenment. From the hallowed halls of Masonic lodges to the bustling thoroughfares adorned with symbolic emblems, Berlin bears witness to a legacy steeped in fraternity, wisdom, and philanthropy.

The Origins of Freemasonry in Berlin​

In the year 1740, against the backdrop of an era marked by intellectual fervor and social transformation, the Grand National Mother Lodge “The Three Globes” emerged as a beacon of enlightenment in the heart of Prussia’s capital. The Lodge of Three Globes (Die Loge Zu den drei Weltkugeln) holds a distinguished place in the annals of Freemasonry, being recognized as one of the oldest Masonic lodges in Germany. Named after its emblematic symbol and led by visionaries such as Frederick the Great, the Lodge of Three Globes embodied the cosmopolitan ethos of Freemasonry. As a result, Freemasonry in Berlin found fertile ground to flourish, drawing together men of diverse backgrounds under the banner of fraternity and enlightenment. 

At its core, Freemasonry in Berlin was a reflection of the zeitgeist of the Enlightenment, with its emphasis on reason, tolerance, and the pursuit of knowledge. Lodges became crucibles of intellectual discourse, where ideas were exchanged, and bonds of friendship forged amidst the symbolic rituals and allegorical teachings of the craft.

The influence of Freemasonry extended far beyond the confines of lodge rooms, permeating the cultural, social, and political fabric of Berlin. From the salons of philosophers to the corridors of power, Freemasons played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of the city, advocating for principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity that would reverberate throughout the ages.

Its membership included luminaries of German society, influential thinkers, artists, and political figures. Notably, it counted among its ranks the renowned writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose association with Freemasonry underscored its appeal to the intellectual elite of the time.

Dark Times for Berlin's Lodges

The rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime in Germany marked one of the darkest chapters in human history, a period characterized by totalitarianism, oppression, and genocide. Among the many groups targeted by the Nazis were Freemasons, who were viewed as enemies of the state due to their commitment to principles of enlightenment, tolerance, and brotherhood. In Berlin, the heart of Nazi power, Freemasonry faced intense persecution, yet even in the face of relentless repression, the spirit of Freemasonry endured, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tyranny.

Prior to Hitler’s rise to power, Berlin was a vibrant center of Freemasonry, with numerous lodges active in the city. Freemasons in Berlin, like their counterparts across Germany, were committed to the ideals of brotherhood, charity, and moral enlightenment, gathering in lodges to engage in ritualistic ceremonies, philosophical discourse, and acts of charity. Yet, with the ascent of Hitler and the Nazi Party in the 1930s, Freemasonry came under increasing scrutiny and persecution.

Under Hitler’s regime, Freemasons were targeted for their perceived allegiance to principles of liberalism, internationalism, and Jewish influence. Lodges were subjected to surveillance, harassment, and intimidation by the Gestapo, with many members arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned. Freemasonic symbols and literature were banned, and Masonic property confiscated, as the Nazis sought to eradicate Freemasonry from German society.

In Berlin, the impact of Nazi persecution on Freemasonry was profound. Many lodges were forced to suspend their activities, their members driven underground or into exile. Freemasons faced the agonizing choice of abandoning their principles or facing persecution, with some choosing to endure imprisonment and even death rather than betray their Masonic oaths. The Grand National Mother Lodge “The Three Globes,” one of the oldest and most distinguished Masonic bodies in Berlin, was among those forced to dissolve under Nazi pressure.

Despite the relentless efforts of the Nazis to suppress Freemasonry, the spirit of brotherhood endured. Secret meetings were held, clandestine communications exchanged, as Freemasons in Berlin sought to maintain the bonds of fraternity in the face of overwhelming odds. Even in the darkest days of Hitler’s regime, Freemasons continued to uphold their principles, providing support and solace to one another amidst the horrors of persecution and genocide.

With the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II and the fall of Hitler’s regime, Freemasonry in Berlin began to emerge from the shadows, battered but unbowed, only to be met by another challenge.

A City Divided: The East

The establishment of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in the aftermath of World War II ushered in a period of communist rule marked by strict ideological conformity and political repression. In this totalitarian state, individual freedoms were severely curtailed, dissent was ruthlessly suppressed, and any organization perceived as a threat to the regime was targeted for eradication. Freemasonry, with its emphasis on independent thought, freedom of association, and nonconformity, found itself squarely in the crosshairs of the East German authorities.

In the early years of the GDR, Freemasonry was officially banned, its lodges forced to dissolve, and its members persecuted and marginalized. The ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) viewed Freemasonry as a relic of bourgeois capitalism, an obstacle to the construction of a socialist society based on collectivism and obedience to the state. Masonic symbols were banned, Masonic literature confiscated, and Freemasons subjected to surveillance and harassment by the Stasi, the feared secret police of the GDR.

Despite the harsh repression, Freemasonry in East Germany did not disappear entirely. Some Masonic brethren continued to meet in secret, risking arrest and imprisonment to maintain the bonds of brotherhood and uphold the principles of Freemasonry. These clandestine meetings were held under the constant threat of discovery, with Masons taking extraordinary precautions to evade detection by the authorities.

One of the most significant challenges facing Freemasonry in East Germany was the pervasive culture of fear and mistrust fostered by the regime. Neighbors spied on neighbors, colleagues informed on colleagues, and even family members were enlisted as informants for the Stasi. In such an environment, Freemasons faced constant danger, their every word and action scrutinized for signs of dissent or disloyalty to the state.

Despite these formidable obstacles, Freemasonry in East Germany persisted, a testament to the resilience and courage of its members. As the regime’s grip on power began to weaken in the 1980s, Freemasons in East Germany seized the opportunity to reconstitute their lodges and resume their activities openly. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany in 1990, Freemasonry in East Germany experienced a renaissance, as lodges that had languished in secrecy for decades emerged into the light of day, ready to contribute to the rebuilding of a democratic and free society.

A City Divided: The West

One of the pioneering lodges to take root in post-war Germany was the Oregon Military Lodge U.D., consecrated in Frankfurt in 1946. Comprising predominantly of American servicemen stationed in Germany, this lodge symbolized the resilience of Freemasonry in the face of adversity. Despite the challenges of operating in a war-torn landscape, the brethren of the Oregon Military Lodge persevered, embodying the Masonic virtues of fortitude and perseverance.

Following in the footsteps of the Oregon Military Lodge, other English-speaking lodges began to take shape across Germany. From Berlin to Stuttgart, brethren gathered in lodges adorned with familiar Masonic symbols, seeking solace and camaraderie amidst the chaos of post-war reconstruction. These lodges served as sanctuaries of fraternity, where brethren from diverse backgrounds could come together in unity and fellowship. 

In the city of Berlin, amidst the remnants of a divided nation, the Berlin Lodge U.D. was consecrated in 1947, symbolizing a beacon of hope amidst the shadows of division. Led by visionary brethren who sought to foster unity in a fractured world, this lodge stood as a testament to the enduring spirit of Freemasonry, transcending borders and ideologies.

As English-speaking Freemasonry flourished in post-war Germany, it became a melting pot of cultures, languages, and traditions. Brethren from America, Canada, and other English-speaking nations gathered in lodges across Germany, forging bonds of brotherhood that transcended nationality and language. In the hallowed halls of Masonic lodges, the principles of Freemasonry served as a common language, uniting brethren in a shared quest for enlightenment and fraternity.

The establishment of the American Canadian Grand Lodge (ACGL) in 1962 marked a milestone in the history of English-speaking Freemasonry in Germany. Comprising predominantly of members from the American and Canadian Forces stationed in Germany, the ACGL embodied the spirit of unity and diversity, fostering a vibrant Masonic community that welcomed brethren from all walks of life.


With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany, Freemasonry in Berlin entered a new chapter in its history. The barriers that had divided the city for decades were suddenly lifted, allowing Freemasons from East and West to come together once more in a spirit of reconciliation and renewal. Lodges that had been forced underground in the East emerged into the light, their members free to practice their craft openly and without fear.

Freemasonry in Today's Berlin

Today, Berlin is home to a diverse array of Masonic lodges, each with its own unique heritage, traditions, and rituals. From the grandeur of historic temples adorned with intricate symbolism to the intimate settings of modern meeting halls, Masons in Berlin gather in solemn convocation to engage in the timeless rites and ceremonies of the craft. Whether it be the solemn initiation of new candidates into the mysteries of Freemasonry or the spirited debates and discussions that characterize lodge meetings, the Masonic landscape of Berlin is a testament to the enduring legacy of brotherhood and enlightenment.

Beyond its ritualistic aspects, Freemasonry in Berlin is deeply engaged in charitable endeavors and community service initiatives, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of those in need. From supporting local schools and orphanages to providing aid to the homeless and disadvantaged, Masonic lodges in Berlin are beacons of compassion and goodwill, embodying the principles of charity, relief, and benevolence. Through their philanthropic efforts, Freemasons in Berlin strive to uphold the noble ideals of Freemasonry and make a tangible difference in the communities they serve. Interested in getting to know Berlin 46 Outpost Lodge 895 and our specific outreach? Learn more about us here.