Big box of Hamburg

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The Great Lodge of Hamburg was one of the eight recognized Masonic Grand Lodges that existed in the German Reich until 1935. It was founded in Hamburg in 1811. When it was founded, it belonged to 5 lodges: Absalom to the 3 Nesseln (founded in 1737), St. George to the greening spruce (1743), Emanuel to the Maienblume (1774), Ferdinande Caroline to the three stars (1776), Ferdinand to the rock ( 1787). In contrast to the other German grand lodges, the Great Lodge of Hamburg did not cease its work in 1935, but moved its headquarters to Valparaíso in Chile and continued to work in exile. After the Second World War she was involved in the renewed "light introduction" in Germany. In 1932 the Great Lodge of Hamburg had 56 lodges with 5,000 brothers. After the war, however, it no longer established itself as its own grand lodge, but became part of the United Grand Lodges of Germany .


Seal of the Provinzial Lodge Hamburg
Reconstruction of the Friedrich Ludwig Schröder statue in the logenhaus Welckerstrasse in Hamburg, which was destroyed by the Nazis.

Hamburg is the seat of the oldest Masonic lodge in Germany, Absalom zu den 3 Netteln, founded in December 1737 . As early as 1733, the then English grand master, the Earl of Strathmore, had given “eleven German gentlemen” in London the patent (No. 124 of the VGLvE) for the establishment of a lodge. What the "11 Gentlemen" in Hamburg made of it can no longer be documented.

The oldest recorded lodge was founded on December 6, 1737 and reports in French about the establishment of the Lodge à Hambourg Société des Acceptés Macons Libres de la Ville d'Hambourg by the later royal Prussian court counselor and mint master Charles, which was initially founded as a St. John's lodge without a clear lodge name Sarry (1716–1766), the Baron Georg Wilhelm Ludwig von Oberg (1711–1762), the Hamburg surgeon Peter Carpser , the later Brunswick Legation Councilor Peter Stüven (1710 – after February 1769) and the businessman Johann Daniel Krafft in the tavern d` Angleterre owned by the winemaker Jens Arbien (1708 – after 1747) from Christiania in Norway in Grosse Bäckerstraße. The first master of the chair was Baron Georg Ludwig von Oberg, who in 1738 accepted Crown Prince Friedrich as head of delegation in Braunschweig, and from 1740 Friedrich II 'the Great' as a Freemason in the Hamburg lodge.

In 1740, London founded a Provincial Grand Lodge of Hamburg and Lower Saxony with the chair master Luttmann (also: Lüttmann) of the Loge d'Hambourg as Provincial Grand Master. His box was registered as the "Bunch of Grapes, Beckerstreet Hamburg" (grape bundle, Bäckerstraße Hamburg). In 1743 the lodge took the name Absalom . On January 3, 1765, the Provincial Grand Master Gottfried Jacob Jänisch severed all ties to London, dissolved all lodges in his area, resigned from his office and adopted the Masonic system of Strict Observance . For this purpose, the mother lodge Absalom zu den 3 Nesseln with a daughter lodge St. Georg zu verdenden Fichte were newly established. However, the new teaching system was poorly accepted, and work was almost completely suspended from 1767 to 1773. After the end of strict observance was declared at the Wilhelmsbad convent in 1782, the original form of Freemasonry was reverted to in Hamburg and all knight systems were abandoned. The English province was soon reactivated under Captain von Gräfe.

After Absalom and St. Georg the following were founded until 1811: Emanuel zur Maienblume (1774), Ferdinande Caroline to the three stars (1776), Ferdinand to the rock (1787). The next step in development came from the ritual reformer Friedrich Ludwig Schröder , who based the old English rituals had a complete revision by 1800 and also revised the constitution of the provincial grand lodge. From 1808 he also proposed to break away from the English grand lodge. This idea was promoted by the French occupation of Hamburg. To prevent subordination to the Grand Orient de France , it was decided on February 4, 1811 to found the Great Lodge in Hamburg . The canon Joh. Phil. Beckmann became the first grand master, followed by Schröder in 1814.


Since 1795 there has been a Masonic hospital in Hamburg (Kleiner Schäferkamp in the Schanzenviertel ), which was built according to the plans of the Danish architect Axel Bundsen . Two years earlier, Schröder and other Freemasons of what would later become the Great Lodge of Hamburg had come up with the plan to set up this first private hospital in Hamburg. Originally the house was used to accommodate female servants, but was then expanded with the construction of a second house for male servants, and finally it was used for sick people of all classes. Not only the five Hamburg lodges at that time contributed to the financing, there were also generous donations from the citizenship and the Admiralty. In 1892 a new building was moved into, which fully met modern hygienic requirements. In all German wars since 1813, the Masonic Hospital became a military hospital. During the First World War , 2397 soldiers were admitted with 173,387 days of catering - the hospital has meanwhile become the Elisabeth retirement and nursing home of the Freemasons of 1795 e. V. The sponsors of the home are today the United Five Hamburg Lodge , Welckerstrasse 8, 20354 Hamburg.

Entrance to the lodge house of the "United five Hamburg lodges", Welckerstrasse 8

Years after the end of the Second World War and a formal resolution to dissolve the Great Lodge of Hamburg (1962), these were registered with the Senate Chancellery as successors to the Great Lodge of Hamburg . From the point of view of the legal office of the Hamburg Senate, the resolution to dissolve had become necessary, although the Great Lodge of Hamburg actually no longer existed. The "United 5" (today's Freemason jargon in Hamburg: "The V5") succeeded in regaining ownership of the loge house property (Welckerstrasse 8) as well as the Masonic hospital. The lodge house of the Great Lodge of Hamburg (Welckerstrasse 8) had been demolished brick by brick by the National Socialists in 1935: no evidence of the “Masonic Secret” or documents proving treason were found. After the war the post office used the property as a parking lot. Since 1971 a lodge house has stood here again, jointly owned: The United Five Hamburg Lodge . The lodge operation of the V5 and another approx. 17 boxes take place on the ground floor, parts of the economics and social science faculty of the University of Hamburg are housed as tenants on the upper floors.


  • Carl Wiebe: The Great Lodge of Hamburg and its predecessors . According to the sources of the archives of the Great Lodge, the United 5 Lodges and the Historical Association. Hamburg, Br. FWRademacher, 1905.
  • Rolf Appel: Schröder's legacy. 200 years of the United Five Hamburg Lodge . Hamburg-Barsbüttel 2000, ISBN 3-00-004644-5 .
  • John Lane: Masonic Records 1717-1885. Lists of all the Lodges with their Dates of Constitution etc. London 1895 (holdings of the German Freemasons Museum, Bayreuth)
  • Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner: International Freemason Lexicon . Almathea-Verlag, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-85002-038-X . (Reprint from 1932)
  • Hans Schröder : History of the Provincial Lodge of Lower Saxony to Hamburg for the years 1927-1952 , Hamburg 1952
  • 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 1931/1932. (Reprint: Edition Lempertz, Bonn 2006, ISBN 3-933070-96-1 )

Web links

Notes and individual references

  1., history
  2. ^ John Lane, p. 65
  3. Johann Daniel Krafft had traveled to England and France and has been since 1736 in Paris as a member of Loge à la Ville Tonnerre out
  4. Lennhoff / Posner pp. 660-663
  5. Lennhoff / Posner p. 536
  6. Rolf Appel, p. 159 f
  7. | Link to the WiSo Faculty of the University of Hamburg