Several members of the forum have recently made the claim that Adolf Hitler, and members of his Nazi Party, were either Masons or pro-Masons. Although this has been covered before on the Secret Societies, I am gathering the facts concerning these assertions here in one place for easy reference, and hopefully benefitting the serious-minded members of ATS here in doing so.
One charge recently made was that Adolf Hitler was a member of the Thule Society. In reality, it seems that Hitler was never a member of the Thule Society, although Rudolf Hess and Alfred Rosenberg were members. There are several articles on the Internet that claim Hitler was a member, but this is speculation only, and is almost cetainly not true due to ther factors that too lengthy to go into here; interested readers are directed to "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William Shrirer.
The Thule Society was not Masonic, nor did it have any ties to Freemasonry. It was originally a Germanic re-hashing of the Theosophical Society, but began developing a racist character under direction of the notorious anti-Semite Alfred Rosenberg. Eventually, the Thule Society ceased being a mystical society altogether, and became just one of many white supremacist organizations, with a militant right-wing political agenda. The Society began to fall apart, but a couple of its members went on to join the fascist National Socialist Party, and eventually to take it over.
Several posters have seemed to claim that in German Masonry, there is a difference between "old Prussian Lodges" and "Lodges that admit Jews", although this claim is, to put it charitably, ambiguous at best. In reality, regular Masonic Lodges admit Jews, and always have since the formation of the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Masonry requires only a belief in a Supreme Being, and not that potential members follow a certain religion.
Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of the German Reich on January 30, 1933, and ordered that several anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic pamphlets be printed by the government and circulated among the citizenry. Among these official Nazi documents were "Annhilation of Freemasonry", "Freemasonry, Marxism, and Judaism: The Cause of War", and "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion". At this time, the Nazi Party began to take on the extreme characteristic of an organization of anti-Masonic conspiracy theorists.
In 1933, there were 638 Masonic Lodges in Germany with 79,000 members, working under authority of 9 Grand Lodges which all recognized each other. In 1934, Nazi Party hack Hermann Goering issued a decree dissolving the Lodges. The three largest Grand Lodges (Three Globes, All German Freemasons, and Royal York of Friendship) ceased to exist completely. There is evidence that other Lodges continued to meet secretly.
In order to combat any remains of Freemasonry, Goering ordered the establishment of an anti-Masonic fraternity called the Christian Order of Frederick the Great. Originally, the primary purpose of this organization was to oppose Freemasonry, but also soon became a place to instill Nazi ideology more heavily into its members. Similar to the Brown Shirts, the Christian Order of Frederick the Great were a paramilitary order, and it was they who were assigned the task of looting and destroying Masonic buildings in Germany.
The very name �Christian Order of Frederick the Great� was an anti-Masonic tool. According to the Nazi legend, Frederick, king of Prussia, became a Christian in his old age, and because of that, he renounced Masonry because of its Jewish and Kabalistic symbolism, and dedicated the rest of his life to right-wing nationalism and anti-Semitism. This Nazi legend, like all of their legends, was a pure lie. Frederick never renounced Masonry, and was buried with Masonic funeral rites. He had served as Grand Master of both Symbolic Masonry and the Rite of Perfection. He was a life-long Deist and never became a Christian. And he was the first Prussian monarch to grant full equal civil rights to that nation�s Jewish and Muslim minorities. The Nazis� �Christian Order of Frederick the Great� is a perfect example of a group of conspiracy theorists rewriting history in order to control their dupes through propaganda.
There were indeed several former Masons who were members of the Christian Order of Frederick the Great; however, it was required that any former Mason who joined would publicly denounce Masonry, and accept, in its place, �the gospels of Christianity and National Socialism�. Needless to say, not only was the society not Masonic, but it wasn�t Christian either.
On August 8, 1935, Adolf Hitler signed a decree demanding the immediate arrest and imprisonment of all persons who had not resigned from Masonic societies. The military corps of the Christian Order of Frederick the Great, along with the SS, raided the homes of suspected Masons on this night; all who were suspected of being Masonic leaders were executed, while mere members were jailed. Eventually, most were shipped to concentration camps, where they were gassed.
After the beginning of World War II, the Nazis banned Freemasonry in each country they conquered. The Christian Order of Frederick the Great organized the infamous �Anti-Masonic Exhibit� at Belgrade in the early 1940�s. The Center For Holocaust Studies has images of the exhibit�s posters on its website here;