Great National Mother Lodge "To the three globes"

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Seal of the Great National Mother Lodge To the Three World Balls.svg

The Great National Mother Lodge "To the Three World Globes" (GNML "3WK") is the oldest Freemason - Grand Lodge in Germany. It was founded in Berlin on September 13, 1740 . It is one of the eight regular Masonic grand lodges that existed in the German Reich until 1935 . She was forcibly suspended from her work in 1935 and reactivated in 1946. It was most widespread in 1933 with 22,700 members in 177 lodges. Since 1970 she has been a member of the United Grand Lodges of Germany - Brotherhood of Freemasons .


Friedrich II. As master of the chair at a master's survey, 1740, in Charlottenburg Palace

Frederick the Great was accepted into the Freemasons' League by Hamburg Freemasons in Braunschweig as Crown Prince and without his father's knowledge on the night of August 14th to 15th, 1738 . He invited Baron von Oberg and the writer Freiherr von Bielfeld , who were significantly involved in his admission, to Rheinsberg Castle , where, under the chairmanship of von Oberg, the loge La loge première / La loge du Roi notre grand maître (German: Die first lodge / the lodge of the king of our great teacher). After his accession to the throne, he continued to run the lodge himself and held his first work on June 20, 1740 in his private rooms in Charlottenburg Palace .


Ch.-Étienne Jordan,
oil painting Pesne , 1740
Protocol on the establishment of the "3WK"

Since the La Première lodge was reserved for members of the Prussian royal court and the nobility, there was a need to establish a “bourgeois” lodge. Frederick II gave his secretary, the Privy Councilor Charles Étienne Jordan (1700–1745), permission to found a lodge. Jordan had studied theology in Geneva and was one of the closest advisers to Friedrich II. The Grand Lodge was founded on September 13, 1740. On this day, its members, who lived in Berlin, formed under the auspices of the Privy Council Charles-Etienne Jordan with the approval of the king in the Hotel König von Preußen located at Brüderstraße 39, the Freemason Lodge Aux trois Globes (German: To the three world balls) based on the model of the Grand Lodge of England . When Frederick II left for the first Silesian War in the same year, the lodge La loge première was dissolved and its members transferred to the new lodge.

Name and coat of arms

The coat of arms of the lodge shows three identical globes or earth spheres, each one is surrounded by a diagonal ring and lies in a frame that stands on three feet. They represent a celestial globe, a terrestrial globe and an armillary sphere . The three terrestrial spheres stand on a musivian pavement in a triangle with the tip pointing upwards. Frederick the Great probably made reference to the Medici princely coat of arms . It is a reference to the learned societies that arose under their protectorate and to Plato's explanation of the world as a single ball floating in space. Over 850 symbols of the lodge have been installed on the old town hall in Bielefeld .

Recognition by the English grand lodge

The lodge did not receive a constitution patent (deed of foundation) from the English grand lodge. However, the lodge regulations essentially corresponded to those of the Great Lodge of Hamburg and thus to the English model. Philipp Simon, the first master of the chair, had the ritual documents sent to him from Hamburg. Furthermore, there was Masonic intercourse between the English Grand Lodge and the GNML "3WK", which is equivalent to recognition by the English Grand Lodge. On February 24, 1741, Friedrich Sebastian Wunibald Truchsess zu Waldburg , accompanied by Jakob Friedrich von Bielfeld, was introduced to the English grand lodge on the occasion of a diplomatic trip to London. On March 19, 1741, both took part in a large masons festival. After his return, von Bielfeld conveyed the greetings of the English brothers, who had declared that by inviting these brothers “(...) they wanted to honor the royal brother of Prussia (meaning Friedrich II) and his lodges, him, the natural grandmaster in his States are entitled to constitute lodges themselves. "

Foundation of daughter lodges

According to the custom of its time, the lodge founded lodges itself in the years to come. On May 18, 1741 "To the three skeletons" in Breslau , on September 7, 1741 "To the three compasses" in Meiningen , and even in Neuchâtel, then under Prussian rule, in Switzerland on February 1, 1742 "To the three flaming stars ”. On December 9th, 1754 she founded the Lodge La petite loge de la Concorde (German: Small Lodge Zur Eintracht), which operates under the name "Zur Eintracht" until today. In 1760 the GNML (3WK) granted the De l'Amitié aux trois Colombes lodge (German: friendship to the three pigeons) a constitutional patent and recognized it as a subsidiary lodge. From this emerged the Great Lodge of Prussia called Royal York for Friendship . After separating from the GNML (3WK), it finally received a constitutional patent from the Grand Lodge of England . On June 24, 1744, the GNML (3WK) therefore took on the name Great Royal Mother Lodge for the three globes and finally changed it on July 5, 1772 to Great National Mother Lodge of the Prussian States .

Establishment of a Scots Lodge

On November 30, 1742, St. Andrea's Day , Freemasons of the Lodge founded the Scots Lodge L'Union with their approval "(...) for the aspiration of the younger brothers to higher or so-called Scottish masonry (...)" . Jacobo Fabris was elected Master of the Chair (Maître de la Loge).

Strict observance

On March 5, 1767, the (Scots) daughter lodge L'Union joined the Strict Observance , a teaching system based heavily on elements of the Templar order and a clerical order. The GNML ("3WK") followed suit. The connection met with some resistance from the other daughter lodges. Only ten of the 31 members of the Zur Eintracht subsidiary worked in the Hochgraden. 21 members could not be rectified . As early as 1778, the GNML "3WK" began unofficially to withdraw from the Strict Observance. On July 5, 1779, she made the formal resolution that she and the lodges attached to her would no longer work on the high levels of Strict Observance. Out of consideration for Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig , the " Magnus superior ordinis per Germaniam inferiorem " (Grand Master of all Scottish lodges) and brother-in-law Friedrich II, there has not yet been a formal separation from Strict Obzervanz . After the Wilhelmsbad Congress of 1782, which heralded the end of the Strict Observance, it officially resigned from the Strict Observance on November 10, 1783 and declared itself independent. It adopted what is known as a "rectified system".

Weimar Republic and National Socialism

The training letter, Reich organizer of the NSDAP

After the First World War , Freemasonry in Germany was caught in the tension between the anti-Masonic propaganda of the National Socialists, which worked towards a ban on Freemasonry, and its own state-supporting character. The attitude of the GNML (3WK) was favored by an increasing national-conservative, sometimes even folk-like attitude within its subsidiary lodges. The “Wetzlarer Ring” and the “Bielefelder Ring”, both founded in 1925 by subsidiary lodges of the GNML (3WK), were a reservoir for these völkisch endeavors.

The relationship to the state is regulated in Freemasonry by the old duties as state-supporting.

II. From the supreme and subordinate state authorities

The bricklayer is a peace-loving citizen of the state, (...). He must never get involved in an uprising or a conspiracy against the peace or the well-being of his nation, and he must not behave in breach of duty towards subordinate authorities. (...) "

Open opposition was therefore not to be expected from the Masonic associations. As far as they existed, this is based on the commitment of individuals. After the " seizure of power " by the National Socialists, other Masonic associations withdrew from the German Empire. The General Freemasons League and the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Germany stopped their work. The Scottish Rite suspended its work in the German Empire.

Like the two other old Prussian grand lodges, the GNML "3WK" tried to convince the National Socialist rulers of their loyalty to the state in order to avoid a ban. She increasingly distanced herself from her Masonic foundations. Together with the two other old Prussian grand lodges, it left the German Grand Lodge Association in 1922 because it "(...) did not agree with the pacifist attitude of the German Grand Lodge Association, which was based on reconciliation and international cooperation". On February 16, 1924, the joint declaration of the three old Prussian grand lodges was published. It stated that only Christians can be admitted to a Masonic lodge and that the lodges had no relations with lodges of the victorious powers of the First World War . A deletion of the word Freemason from the name of the grand lodge, at least for the GNML "3WK", was refused by its national grandmaster Karl Habicht . However, the national members predominated and Karl Habicht had to resign as national grandmaster because he “no longer had the trust of the majority of the daughter boxes”. His successor Otto Bordes changed the name of the GNML ("3WK") to the National Christian Order of Frederick the Great . Internally, all typical Masonic elements have been changed or deleted. The kilts were abolished, the Temple of Solomon in the "Deutscher Dom" or the Strasbourg Cathedral redesigned the Hiramslegende by Balder forecast replaced. However, none of these measures could prevent a ban on Freemasonry. The Reich Ministry of the Interior instructed the grand lodges to initiate liquidation procedures for themselves and their daughter lodges by July 21, 1935 at the latest. In 1934 the lodge house on Splittgerbergasse was searched and Otto Bordes was arrested by the Gestapo and held in the Columbiahaus concentration camp for a few months .

Resumption of work after 1945

After the Second World War, the Great National Mother Lodge was reactivated in 1946. On May 18, 1946, the American occupation authorities gave the Freemasons permission to work in their sector. Her area of ​​activity was initially limited to the American sector in Berlin. In the process, she lost a significant part of her daughter boxes. A total of 42 lodges of the GNML "3WK", especially those outside West Berlin, joined the United Grand Lodge , founded in 1949 , only five lodges in the Federal Republic remained loyal to their grand lodge and waited for their approval there.

The United Grand Lodges of Germany - Fraternity of Freemasons - was founded in 1958 as a national representative to foreign grand lodges. The Great National Mother Lodge “To the Three Worlds” did not join the association until 1970.

Lodge houses

Ground plan Splittgerber Gasse extension of the GNML lodge house (3WK)
Ballroom of the Logenhaus (1900)

At first the meeting of the lodge members took place in different rooms. Often in the rooms at Brüderstraße 39, sometimes in the private rooms of the members. In September 1776, premises at Leipziger Straße 45 were rented for the first time for their own events and those of the subsidiary boxes.

On September 5, 1799, the GNML ("3WK") acquired a plot of land on Splittgerber Gasse and built a box house there, which was opened on December 19, 1800. She designed the garden into one of the most beautiful gardens in Berlin. The building soon became too small for the growing grand lodge and its daughter lodges. In particular, there was a lack of representative festival rooms and sufficiently large meeting rooms. For this reason, it was decided to convert and expand the existing lodge house. The architect Christian Heidecke was commissioned with the planning . The cost of the conversion amounted to around 310,000.00 marks (approx. 1,984,000 euros ). It was completed in the spring of 1887. The building was completely destroyed in the Second World War.

Logenhaus Heerstrasse, Berlin

After the Second World War, GNML ("3WK") rented Ahornstrasse 15A as a lodge house from 1946 to 1957 . Later the GNML ("3WK") acquired the former home of the Berlin businessman Max Feldheim, which was built from 1923 to 1924 according to plans by the architect Curt Leschnitzer. The listed villa was repaired and expanded from 2013 to 2014 according to plans by the architect Gerhard Schlotter for around 1.7 million euros.


Although the GNML "3WK" was granted the rights of a legal person by a royal confirmation patent and protectorium of November 9, 1796 and this legal capacity did not expire due to the forced release in 1935, it is today due to the change in law for associations under the old law as a registered association at the district court Charlottenburg entered in the register of associations in Berlin . At their head is the national grandmaster. He has been assisted by the Federal Directorate of Brothers in the highest degree (confidante of perfection) since 1797. The GNML "3WK" is also responsible for the higher degrees, which it calls knowledge levels. In addition to the St. John's lodges, which deal with the first three degrees “apprentice”, “journeyman” and “master”, there is the general old Scottish lodge for the 4th degree (“Schottenmeister”) and the Inner Orient for grades 5 to 7 (“ Chosen Brother ”,“ Devotee of the Inner Temple ”,“ Confidante of Perfection ”).

The GNML (3WK) founded the independent Freemasons Help Association in 1900 . This promotes cultural and social tasks in the Masonic sense. In compliance with tax regulations, needy and disabled people are supported according to the available funds. The association's income comes from donations from the Freemasons of the GNML (3WK), from contributions from the subsidiary lodges and from targeted funds on the occasion of birthdays and anniversaries.

After reunification, the GNML (3WK) received a large number of its lodge houses in the accession area back. On September 1, 1993, the GNML (3WK) founded the World Globe Foundation and transferred ownership of the property to be returned to it. The purpose of the foundation is to manage the real estate and to use the income for cultural and social tasks.

Lodge structure according to cities

Under the jurisdiction of the GNML (3WK) 41 lodges and three field lodges are constituted * :

* As of September 2016
"At the mountain of beauty"
"Blücher of Wahlstadt"
"Brotherhood on Fichtenberg"
"Three lights in the field"
"Frederick the Great / Prometheus"
"Ring of Eternity"
"To the three lilies"
"To the black eagle"
"To unity"
"To the flaming star"
"To the three seraphim"
"To secrecy"
"To Loyalty"
"To the winning sun"
"Teutonia to Wisdom"
"Field and military lodge Henning von Tresckow"


  • Federal Laws of the Great National Mother Lodge “On the Three Worlds” Great National Mother Lodge on the Three World Globes. Hänsel-Hohenhausen, Egelsbach 1992.
  • Federal Gazette of the Great National Mother Lodge “To the Three World Globes”, Berlin.

Known members (selection)


  1. Such a deed of foundation was not issued at the time. Rather, the English grand lodge granted individual brothers a patent as provincial grand master for the establishment of provincial lodges of the English grand lodge in countries where no lodges existed. See the founding of the Great Lodge of Hamburg . This dependence on the English grand lodge would have contradicted Frederick II's self-image as an absolute ruler
  2. Scots degrees were the first high degrees known to the Masonic public around 1740. Instead of the Solomonic temple building and the death of Hiram, they are based on the destruction of the temple; this resulted in the task of symbolic reconstruction by the Scottish masters. These degrees have nothing to do with Scotland, the majority of the Scottish degrees came from France. The origin of the name Schottengrade is controversial.
  3. The rectified system or rectified rite is traced back to the order of the " Chevaliers bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte ". Its tasks consist essentially in the maintenance of welfare and in the perfecting of the people through Christianity in its original purity. He works six degrees. These are apprentice, journeyman, master, Scot of St. Andrew (also referred to as a symbolic level) and two degrees of the inner order ( Ecuyer Novice and Chevalier bienfaisant de la Cité Sainte ). With the GNML "3WK" there is a further degree in the Inner Orient.
  4. Based on the purchasing power equivalent


  • Franz August v. Etzel : History of the Great National Mother Lodge of the Prussian States named for the three worlds. Berlin 1867,
  • Karlheinz Gerlach: The Freemasons in old Prussia 1738–1806: The lodges in Berlin. Studienverlag Innsbruck 2014, ISBN 978-3-7065-5199-1 .
  • Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter Binder : International Freemason Lexicon. Herbig-Verlag, Munich 2011, reprint from 1932, ISBN 978-3-7766-5036-5
  • 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 .
  • Julius Schlichting: The motherhouse of the Great National Mother Lodge "To the three world balls" in O. Berlin . Niethe, [Berlin] 1888 ( digitized version )
  • Werner Schwartz: Frederick the Great and his relationship to Freemasonry, attempt at an interpretation. Great National Mother Lodge “To the Three Worlds” 2nd revised edition, without year.

Web links

Commons : Great National Mother Lodge “To the Three Worlds”  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Eugen Lennhoff / Oskar Posner, Lemma Prussia
  2. Gerlach: The Freemasons in Old Prussia 1738–1806. Studienverlag Innsbruck 2014, ISBN 978-3-7065-5199-1 , p. 67.
  3. v. Etzel p. 3.
  4. Mark Pockrandt: Biblical Enlightenment: Biography and Theology of the Berlin court preachers August Friedrich Wilhelm Sack (1703–1786) and Friedrich Samuel Gottfried Sack (1738–1817). Gruyter, Berlin 2003, ISBN 978-3-11-017836-4 , p. 201.
  5. ^ Protocol book GStA PK, Freemasons, 5.1.4. No. 4263 italic addition by de Guionneau
  6. ^ Ernst-Günther Geppert: The origin, the founders, the names of the Masonic lodges in Germany since 1737. Bauhütten Verlag, Hamburg, p. 122.
  7. Open Monument Day 2015. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 7, 2016 ; accessed on September 8, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Hartmut Meichsner: The Old Town Hall in Bielefeldt Administrative municipal building and Masonic teaching building Niederwall 25. (PDF; 6.45 MB) Bielefeldt Building Authority, September 11, 2011, accessed on June 30, 2019 .
  9. H.-P. Meißner: Treatise: Absalom Lodge History Part 3. Freemason Wiki, April 2010, accessed on February 17, 2016 .
  10. v. Etzel p. 8.
  11. ^ Lennhoff / Posner, Lemma Prussia
  12. v. Etzel p. 11
  13. Great National Mother Lodge "To the Three Worlds": Festschrift for the 250th anniversary of the Great National Mother Lodge "To the Three World Globes" 1740–1990, Berlin 1990, p. 35
  14. Ralf Sotscheck: 250 years "Zur Eintracht". P. 20. (PDF) Zur Eintracht e. V., December 2004, accessed February 17, 2016 . (PDF 1.7 MB)
  15. ^ Lane's Masonic Records, version 1.0: Lodge Royal York of the Friendship. HRI Online Publications, October 2011, accessed August 25, 2015 .
  16. v. Etzel p. 12
  17. Facsimile of the protocol in: Mollier: L'Ordre Écossais à Berlin. P. 219.
  18. August Wolfstieg: Origin and Development of Freemasonry. Vol. 3, Unger, Berlin 1923, pp. 105f.
  19. Gerlach: Die Berliner Logen p. 154
  20. v. Etzel, p. 60.
  21. ^ Hans-Hermann Höhmann: Freemasonry: analyzes, considerations, perspectives. Edition Temmen, Bremen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8378-4028-5 , p. 63.
  22. James Anderson: Old Duties. Masonic Wiki, accessed January 9, 2015 .
  23. Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter A. Binder: Internationales Freemaurerlexikon, special production. 1st edition, Herbig Verlag, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-7766-5036-5 , p. 216.
  24. Royal York: "On the rough stone". Moorish magazine for the Great State Lodge, Berlin, year 1924, issue 3, pp. 33–34.
  25. ^ Ralf Melzer: In the eye of a hurricane. German freemasonry in the Weimar Republik and the Third Reich. In: Arturo de Hoyos, S. Brent Morris (ed.): Freemasonry in context. History, ritual, controversy. Lexington Books, Lanham 2004, ISBN 0-7391-0781-X , pp. 89-104. (English)
  26. Website of the GNML "3WK"
  27. Etzel, p. 65.
  28. ^ Karl Seidel: On the history of the Köllnisches Park . In: Berlin monthly magazine ( Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein ) . Issue 7, 2001, ISSN  0944-5560 ( ).
  29. Christian Heidecke : The lodge house of the GNML (3WK). (PDF; 4.2 MB) Berliner Bauzeitung vol. 22 (1888) p. 577, December 1, 1888, accessed on July 24, 2015 .
  30. ^ Gerhard Schlotter: Heerstrasse 28. (PDF) BASD-Gerhard Schlotter, Architects, accessed on January 9, 2015 . (PDF, 5.3 MB)
  31. ^ Carl Ludwig Heinrich Rabe: Collection of Prussian laws and regulations. Vol. 3, Halle Orphanage, 1817, p. 266.
  32. Federal Court of Justice (BGH): judgment of November 17, 1955. Jurion, accessed April 28, 2015 .
  33. Freemasons help e. V.
  34. Articles of Association of the World Globe Foundation. (PDF) Weltkugelstiftung Berlin, August 18, 1993, accessed on July 8, 2015 .
  35. der 3 WK On the website of the Grand Lodge Great National Mother Lodge "To the Three Worlds": (accessed on September 28, 2016)
  36. ^ Friedrich August Eckstein: The history of the Masonic Lodge in the Orient of Halle. A ceremony for the Secular celebration of the Lodge zu den Drei Degen, Halle, Gebauer 1844
  37. ^ Robert A. Minder: Freemason Politicians Lexicon. Studienverlag, Innsbruck 2004, ISBN 3-7065-1909-7 , p. 292.
  38. ^ Franz August O'Etzel : History of the Great National Mother Lodge of the Prussian States called To the Three Worlds, together with a report on the founding and effectiveness of the charities. ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1875, p. 495.
  39. ^ Aristocratic German Freemasons (MZ). Institute for German Aristocracy Research, 1998, accessed on February 5, 2015 .
  40. Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter A. Binder: Internationales Freemaurerlexikon. Revised and expanded new edition of the 1932 edition. Munich 2003, ISBN 3-7766-2161-3 .
  41. Jens Lader: Traces of Freemasons in the business center of Steglitz. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Heimatverein Steglitz e. V., archived from the original on June 22, 2015 ; Retrieved April 21, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. PDF 860 KB @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  42. Alexander Geipel: Our Lodge / Your story. (No longer available online.) JL Friedrich der Große / Prometheus e. V., May 22, 2015, archived from the original on August 16, 2015 ; Retrieved July 26, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  43. ^ Theodor Merzdorf: History of the Masonic lodges in the Herzogthume Oldenburg. Berndt-Verlag, Oldenburg 1852, p. 1 ( online ).

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 '32.9 "  N , 13 ° 15' 44.4"  E