Freemasonry in Bonn
The first Masonic Lodge in Bonn was founded on October 31, 1775 under the system of strict observance . Despite prominent members, it only existed until 1778. Apart from a list of members, all other information is missing. Well-known members included Karl Otto Freiherr von Gymnich , two nephews of the Elector, Ernst Adrian and Meinard Grafen Königsegg and the Minister Freiherr JC von Waldenfels .
Early lodge foundations
The next attempt to found lodges was made in 1804 during the French occupation. The Lodge Les frères courageux belonged to the Grand Orient de France and was officially founded on May 24, 1805. The premises were “in front of the ballroom of the local castle” , in 1806 a new one was built opposite the old box house. In 1808 the lodge had reached its highest level of 66 brothers, two thirds were Germans, one third French. Among the well-known members were the mayor of Bonn Anton von Belderbusch , the "progenitor" of the Bonn General-Anzeiger Peter Josef Neusser , the French site commander Edouard de Cantobre , the prefect of the department Alexandre de Lameth , the music professor Franz Anton Ries , the composer Ferdinand Ries and the music publisher Nikolaus Simrock . When Bonn fell to the Prussians in 1815, the new district director Rehfues ordered the immediate dissolution of the lodge. Their property and the lodge house were auctioned. Rehfues remained in office until 1840 and it took another 17 years until Masonic activity developed again in Bonn.
Reactivation from 1857
Because of the negative attitude of the district director Rehfues towards Freemasonry, the Masonic culture in Bonn fell asleep completely. It was not until 1850 that 12 Freemasons from Bonn, almost all of the newcomers who enjoyed their retirement life in Bonn, founded a loose association and met regularly at the “Zum Schwanen” inn on Sternstrasse. They turned to the Great State Lodge of the Freemasons of Germany with the wish to found a lodge . From the Great State Lodge in Berlin came the proposal not to found a new lodge, but to re-establish a former lodge with the name Friedrich Wilhelm zum iron Kreuz , which had existed in Torgau. The lodge was officially reopened on December 6, 1857 with a total of 27 brothers. Hermann Graf von Salm-Hoogstraeten was elected as the first lodge master, and the first lodge house was acquired at Schumannstrasse 33. Well-known members were u. a. the director of the Stadttheater Otto Beck , the mine owner Gustav Bleibtreu , owner of the Bonn Mineralienkontor Friedrich Krantz , the director of the Bonn AEG Arno Luft and the architect Otto Penner , who gave the Villa Hammerschmidt its present form. Since the old box house was getting too small and repeatedly had construction defects, it was decided to build a new house elsewhere on Schumannstrasse. On March 23, 1882, the foundation stone was laid for the house at Schumannstrasse 8, which is still standing today but has been converted into an office building and no longer shows any Masonic architecture. On April 8, 1883, the first temple work took place in the new house, it had 337 m² of floor space on a 1806 m² property. It had a basement and an upper floor and a two-story glazed porch facing the garden. The two floors above ground had a ceiling height of 5.5 meters. The ceilings were decorated with stucco and decorated with art paintings. Plans for the further expansion of the house could not be realized due to the outbreak of the First World War .
The 20th century
On January 20, 1902, the Masonic Association Truchsess Gebhard zur Loyalty was founded in Godesberg . Such associations, also known as wreaths, are founded when there is no lodge on site and not enough brothers to found one. At that time ten brothers lived in Godesberg who, together with the former lodge master of the "Friedrich Wilhelm Lodge", Friedrich Krantz, pursued the establishment of the lodge. The number of members rose to 30 by 1927, but there was a lack of young talent, so that the conversion into a real lodge could never be realized.
On April 21, 1907, the Andreasloge Robur was founded in Bonn. St. John's lodges such as the "Friedrich Wilhelm Lodge" deal with the three degrees of apprentice, journeyman and master. The "Robur" was a high level lodge of the Swedish system for grades 4 to 6. The new lodge house in Schumannstrasse. 8 offered the necessary space.
→ Main article: Degree (Freemasonry)
Freemasonry in Bonn was quite calm and the sometimes very political Freemasonry, as it spread around the turn of the century, was not followed. The lodge master Krantz said in 1907:
"... Our goal is not to support any political or ecclesiastical direction, but to cultivate heart formation and strength of character through our work in the temple and to educate men who can work as Freemasons in action ..."
By the outbreak of World War I, the number of members had risen to 120. The economic situation of the lodge worsened due to the circumstances of the war and by November 1914 the lodge had to complain about two fallen brothers. By April 1915, a total of 24 brothers had been drafted into military service.
On January 22, 1928, the Beethoven Lodge for Eternal Harmony was founded in Bonn under the grand lodge “Zur Sonne” . The initiation ceremony took place in the box house on Schumannstrasse, and the private house of one of the members was used for further work. On December 19, 1928, she joined the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Germany and continued to work in secret despite the ban by the NSDAP . The Friedrich Wilhelm zum iron Kreuz followed the forced dissolution in 1935. The Logenhaus Schumannstrasse 8 had to be sold to the Federal Miners' Association .
→ Main article: History of Freemasonry
After the Second World War
As early as July 21, 1945, the brothers of the Beethoven Lodge for Eternal Harmony received approval from the military government to reopen their Lodge. The lodge equipment had not been confiscated and the lodge house on Bennauer Strasse had survived the war.
The brothers of the former "Friedrich Wilhelm Lodge" initially held their meeting in the apartment of a Freemason brother, but on January 7, 1946 they too received approval to re-establish the building. They rented a bomb-damaged apartment at Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße 2. However, the old name was renounced and the lodge was called the brother chain in front of the seven mountains : the original name had been too Prussian for the British military government. The official founding took place on June 14, 1946. Among the eleven founding members were five members of the former Friedrich Wilhelm of the Iron Cross , including the last lodge master Robert Flaccus . The meetings had the character of private circles, since the Allied Control Commission did not give the final approval for Masonic work in Germany until March 26, 1947.
The brother chain before the seven mountains lodge joined the humanitarian United Grand Lodge of Germany and a close cooperation with the Beethoven lodge developed. The “brother chain” already had 51 members in 1948, and 87 in 1955.
In 1948, the master of the chair of the brother chain lodge founded the Voltaire Perfection Lodge (grades 4-14) and the Sovereign Chapter Mozart (grades 15-18), both high-grade departments of the Old Accepted Scottish Rite. In 1949 the Sublime Areopagus Fiat Lux (grade 19-30) was added.
→ Main article: Degree (Freemasonry)
On March 11, 1950, a deputation lodge named Prometheus was founded from the “brother chain” lodge . Deputation boxes are boxes that are only allowed to record with the permission of a mother box, but are otherwise completely independent associations. It was planned to turn the Prometheus into a student box, but instead it was closed again on December 14, 1951.
At the same time there was already a "Club Masonicum" in the Godesberg Redoute , a discussion group made up of active and former diplomats, including numerous Freemasons. From this club the second Prometheus Lodge was founded on January 26, 1952 , this time as a diplomatic lodge. Because of the strong fluctuation in the diplomatic corps , this lodge also came to an end in 1959.
On March 15, 1952 , a religious lodge was founded , also as the successor to Friedrich Wilhelm zum Iron Kreuz . The Grand State Lodge was only given permission to reactivate lodges outside of Berlin on June 13, 1949. As already mentioned, the old name was not allowed to be used, so the name of the lodge, Five Points , was chosen to represent the five words of the old name. The economist Bruno Rogowski from Cologne was commissioned with the establishment, the other founding members came from Cologne, Solingen and Düsseldorf.
The "Five Points" worked in the Bergischer Hof Hotel , later in the Vaterland House. The lodge grew slowly and in 1955 had 46 members. In 1955 she moved into the lodge home of the "brother chain". From October 12, 1960, the two Bonn lodges will use the new lodge house in Dyroffstrasse, which was acquired with the money from the reparation proceedings. 2. In 2008 the Five Points Lodge was able to take on its original name and has since been called Friedrich Wilhelm to the Iron Cross again .
In 1964 the brother chain in front of the seven mountains was dissolved and re-established as Prometheus . The reasons for this were internal.
There are currently six Masonic lodges in Bonn from the various regular grand lodges. These are in descending order of age:
- Friedrich Wilhelm on the Iron Cross , founded in 1816, approx. 80 members, GLLFvD
- Prometheus , founded in 1816, approx. 60 members, GL AFAMvD
- Beethoven for Eternal Harmony , founded in 1928, approx. 40 members, GNML "3WK"
- Bond of Friendship , founded in 1964, approx. 50 members, GL BFG
- Kosmos , founded 1973, approx. 80 members, GL AFAMvD
- Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra , founded in 1982, approx. 40 members, GL AFAMvD
The abbreviations at the end of the list describe the grand lodges under whose authority the lodge works.
- GLLFvD = Great State Lodge of the Freemasons of Germany
- GL AFAMvD = Grand Lodge of the Old Free and Accepted Masons of Germany
- GNML "3WK" = Great National Mother Lodge "To the 3 World Globes"
- GL BFG = Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany
There is also a lodge for women and men called Light and Truth under the Grand Orient de Luxembourg .
- Jürgen Gutmann: Freemasonry in Bonn since 1775 , self-published in 1993
- VGLvD (Ed.): Yearbook of the United Grand Lodges of Germany 2009 , self-published
- A. Toepel: The Friedrich Wilhelm box to the iron cross in Bonn and its predecessors , Bonn 1907, Carl Georgi publishing house
- A. Toepel: Friedrich Wilhelm's Lodge on the Iron Cross in the years 1907–1922 , Bonn 1922, (publisher unknown)
- Lodge Five Points (Ed.): Commemorative publication for the 150th Foundation Festival of the Johannis Lodge "Five Points" in Bonn , Bonn 1966, Bonn University Printing House
- Website of the United Grand Lodges of Germany
- Website of the Johannisloge Friedrich Wilhelm on the Iron Cross
- Website of the Prometheus Lodge
- Website of the Beethoven Lodge on Eternal Harmony
- Bond of Friendship Lodge website
- Website of the Lodge Kosmos
- Website of the Lodge Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra