First Published 1925.
Volume One - A Reckoning
Chapter XI: Nation and Race
To strengthen his [the Jews] political position he tries to tear down the racial and civil barriers which for a time continue to restrain him at every step. To this end he fights with all the tenacity innate in him for religious tolerance - and in Freemasonry, which has succumbed to him completely, he has an excellent instrument with which to fight for his aims and put them across. The governing circles and the higher strata of the political and economic bourgeoisie are brought into his nets by the strings of Freemasonry, and never need to suspect what is happening.
Only the deeper and broader strata of the people as such, or rather that class which is beginning to wake up and fight for its rights and freedom, cannot yet be sufficiently taken in by these methods. But this is more necessary than anything else; for the Jew feels that the possibility of his rising to a dominant role exists only if there is someone ahead of him to dear the way; and this someone he thinks he can recognize in the bourgeoisie, in their broadest strata in fact. The glovemakers and linen weavers, however, cannot be caught in the fine net of Freemasonry; no, for them coarser but no less drastic means must be employed. Thus Freemasonry is joined by a second weapon in the service of the Jews: the press. With all his perseverance and dexterity he seizes possession of it. With it he slowly begins to grip and ensnare, to guide and to push all public life, since he is in a position to create and direct that power which, under the name of 'public opinion,' is better known today than a few decades ago.
The general pacifistic paralysis of the national instinct of self preservation begun by Freemasonry in the circles of the so-called intelligentsia is transmitted to the broad masses and above all to the bourgeoisie by the activity of the big papers which today are always Jewish. Added to these two weapons of disintegration comes a third and by far the most terrible, the organization of brute force. As a shock and storm troop, Marxism is intended to finish off what the preparatory softening up with the first two weapons has made ripe for collapse.
From this it can be see that Hitler, and his adherents, considered the Jew and Freemasons to be one in the same. The reality was that whilst some Jews were Freemasons they were a minority within the Fraternity. However, in the eyes of the Nazis being a Freemason was as 'bad' as being a Jew and therefore the Gestapo treated Freemasons no differently from their Jewish victims. Indeed frequently the words Jew and Freemason are used interchangeably throughout Nazi writing.
Elsewhere on this site we shall provide more information regarding documents relating to the persecution of Freemasons during the Holocaust.
The Holocaust was not limited to one country and it was not only in Hitler's Germany that Freemasons were hunted down and executed. The genocide of target groups occurred in occupied countries and also in Spain. Time permitting it is hoped that documents about the experiences of Freemasons outwith Germany will also be made available here.