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Thursday, June 23, 2016

More Books Stolen By Nazis Returned To Freemasons

The AP is reporting news out of Germany this morning:
The Berlin State Library is returning 384 books, magazines and other publications dating back to the 18th century to a Freemason Lodge after determining they were stolen by the Nazis in the 1930s.
Matthias Bohn, the head of the Johannis Lodge "Teutonia zur Weisheit" in Potsdam, said Thursday the books were important for the history of his organization, and contained "the stamps and traces of their previous owners."
The Potsdam lodge, which held one of the biggest Freemason's libraries in Germany, closed when Freemasonry was banned by the Nazis. It didn't reopen until 1991.
Hermann Parzinger, president of the foundation overseeing Berlin's museums and state library, said it is committed to researching the provenance of its works and returning items stolen during the Nazi era.
In March, it was announced that a trove of 13,000 books, confiscated by the SS from the library of the Norwegian Order of Freemasons and others, and recently rediscovered in Oslo, were being turned over to a joint project between state libraries in Norway and Czechoslovakia. 

In 2002, 750 crates of Masonic objects and papers stolen from occupied lodges and Grand Lodges across Europe and held by the Russian Military State Archive were delivered to the Museum of Freemasonry of the Grand Orient of France in Paris. These included membership lists that were used to help round up Freemasons to be sent to concentration camps. (The entire library of the Grand Orient of France was confiscated when the Nazis occupied Paris, and the books were taken to Berlin and subsequently burned.) 

A lengthy work, Restitution of Confiscated Art Works - Wish Or Reality?, was published in Czechoslovakia in 2008 as a collection of presentations from a conference in the city of Liberec. Buried in it are several references to the SS's RSHA Amt VII unit's activities in assembling a vast library on the occult, witchcraft, esoteric, and Masonic books, eventually estimated to be in excess of 160,000 volumes. It is believed that the massive collection was eventually destined to be housed in Himmler's Wewelsburg castle.

For a much more detailed post on this, SEE HERE.

1 comment:

  1. In 2002 when the Nazi collection of looted Masonic material later held by the Russians arrived back in Paris, I had the opportunity thanks to Pierre Mollier of the Grand Orient to look for items pertinent to work I later published in Heredom. Not surprisingly. Margaret Jacob was on the scene only a few weeks later. It was extraordinary to see the markings left by the German and Soviet intelligence. Because of correspondence between French and foreign masons, much was not only of French but international importance and it will be many years before it can all be incorporated into research.


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