Great State Lodge of Saxony
The Grand State Lodge of Saxony was one of the eight recognized Freemasons - Grand Lodges that existed in the German Reich until 1935 . It was founded in Dresden in 1811 and forcibly ceased its work in 1935. It was most widespread in 1930 with 7200 members in 46 lodges. It was not reactivated after 1945. The grand lodge was located at Ostra-Allee 15.
The grand lodge was founded on September 27, 1811 in Dresden . This was preceded by a circular from the master from the chair of the Lodge Zu den Drei Schwertern in Dresden, Privy Councilor Karl Friedrich von Brand, dated January 23, 1805. In the ten points of his circular, he called on the lodges in Electoral Saxony to form a national grand lodge Find. Until then, they worked under various foreign grand lodges. The founding was originally planned for 1805, but could not be carried out due to armed conflicts in Saxony. It was not until February 7, 1811, that discussions took place among representatives of seven lodges, which were later to become the founding lodges of the grand lodge.
The general meeting of February 23, 1811 was chaired by Lieutenant General Heinrich Wilhelm von Zeschau . It was decided to allow freedom of ritual within the grand lodge so that all members could continue to work on their original rituals. Appropriate permits were obtained with the respective earlier grand lodges. The founding lodges are:
- To the golden wall in Bautzen
- To the fountain in the desert in Cottbus
- To the golden apple in Dresden
- To the three swords in Dresden
- To the three mountains in Freiberg
- To the crowned snake in Görlitz
- To the leopard in Lübben
- To harmony in Hohenstein
- To the three flames in Plauen
- To the three pillars in Triebel
Baron von Racknitz became the first grandmaster .
Between February 20, 1813 and August 17, 1815, the grand lodge ceased operations because of the war against Napoleon . After the war, parts of Saxony fell to Prussia, so that the lodges in Cottbus, Görlitz, Lauban , Lübben, Merseburg and Triebel left the grand lodge and, in accordance with the new state law, had to join a Prussian grand lodge.
On September 14, 1816, the Grand Master resigned and von Zeschau became the new Grand Master. He retained his office until 1830, when he resigned due to old age.
On February 16, 1852, the lawyer Eduard Emil Eckert, publisher of the Freimütige Sachsenzeitung, submitted a petition to the Saxon Ministry of Justice to dissolve the Grand Lodge and prohibit Freemasonry. The negotiations were unsuccessful because the applicant also got himself into trouble by making critical comments about the royal family and left the country. Freemasonry remained allowed in the Kingdom of Saxony , the grand lodge was not dissolved. Nevertheless, the investigation led to the fact that by decree of April 15, 1852 no Freemasons were allowed to serve as officers in the army of Saxony. This decree was not repealed until March 21, 1908.
The Grand State Lodge of Saxony was the starting point for a strong reform movement in German Freemasonry. Your grand master Gustav Heinrich Warnatz was the initiator of the Grand Lodge Association. The individual daughter lodges sometimes worked on very different rituals (Schröder, Feßler), sometimes rejected high grades or worked on them, but there was still a close bond within the Grand State Lodge.
Like the three old Prussian grand lodges ( Great State Lodge , Great National Mother Lodge , Royal York for Friendship ), the Great State Lodge of Saxony tried to escape the threatened ban by the Nazi state by abandoning its Masonic forms and names and in 1933 in the " German Christian Order of Saxony e. V. ”converted.
On July 15, 1935, the then Grand Master Hermann Papsdorf was advised to dissolve himself by the two Freemason officers from the Gestapo and SD in Dresden, D. Karl Haselbacher and Max Brand. The last work of the grand lodge took place on August 9, 1935. The dissolution was implemented on August 10, 1935.
The Dresden lodges of the Great State Lodge of Saxony maintained an educational institution, the Masonic Institute . They also financed welfare institutions such as the rest homes in Rehefeld and Teplitz-Schönau . The Freemason Institute was a teaching and educational institution for boys in Dresden- Striesen . It was founded in 1773 as a widows 'and orphans' school. In the 20th century it was a public secondary school under the supervision of the ministry with popular education. The expansion to the secondary school was planned. The school had a boarding school in which the students lived in "educator families" of 20 to 25 students.
- Lennhoff / Posner p. 1370.
- Runkel III, p. 403.
- Runkel III, pp. 408/9.
- Neuberger, p. 262.
- Lennhoff / Posner p. 384.
- Lennhoff / Posner p. 535.
- Alwin Bergmann: The great state box of Saxony and its federal boxes. Festschrift for the centenary on September 27 and 28, 1911. Stengel, Dresden 1911.
- Helmut Neuberger: Angle measure and swastika: The Freemasons and the Third Reich . Herbig Verlag, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7766-2222-9 .
- Ferdinand Runkel: History of Freemasonry. 3 volumes. Hobbing, Berlin. (Reprint: Edition Lempertz, Bonn 2006, ISBN 3-933070-96-1 )
- Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner: International Freemason Lexicon . Vienna 1932. (Reprint: Almathea-Verlag, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-85002-038-X )