The Essence and Secrets


of Freemasonry


Theodor Emil Fritsch [F. RODERICH-STOLTHEIM]



Translated from the German by Capel Pownall





From Metapedia


Theodor Emil Fritsch (October 28, 1852 near Leipzig – September 8, 1933) was a German antijudaist whose views did much to influence popular opposition to Jewish supremacism in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A believer in the absolute superiority of the Aryan race, Fritsch was upset by the changes brought on by rapid industrialization and urbanization, and called for a return to the traditional peasant values and customs of the distant past, which he believed exemplified the essence of the Volk.

In 1883 he founded the Hammer Publishing House.

One of Fritsch’s major goals was to unite all Jew-resister political parties under a single banner; he wished for opposition to Jewish supremacism to permeate the agenda of every German social and political organization. This effort proved largely to be a failure, as by 1890 there were over 190 various patriotic parties in Germany. He also had a powerful rival for the leadership of the patriots in Otto Böckel, with whom he had a strong personal rivalry.

In 1893, Fritsch published his most famous work, The Handbook of the Jewish Question also known as the Anti-Semitic Catechism which criticed the Jews and called upon Germans to refrain from intermingling with them. Vastly popular, the book was read by millions and was in its 49th edition by 1944 (330,000 copies). The ideas espoused by the work greatly influenced Hitler and his party during their rise to power after World War I. Fritsch also founded a journal – the Hammer (in 1902) and this became the basis of a movement, the Reichshammerbund, in 1912.

His better known book, The Riddle of the Jew’s Success was published in English in 1927 under the pseudonym F. Roderich-Stoltheim, and dealt with the negative impact that Jewish values and the centralization of the German economy in Jewish hands had on the German people. This book was recently republished by Noontide Press, and was the subject of a media controversy after it was banned by and other online book sellers.

Fritsch held the publication rights to the German edition of Henry Ford’s work The International Jew.





 by Theodore Fritsch in the Liberty Bell, November 1997

(Translated from the German by Capell Powell)



The conception of freemasonry in the minds of many millions of people is that of an ideal league or confederacy of humanity which, filled with a noble spirit of freedom and human sentiment, occupies at the same time the post of a voluntary custodian of the highest human talents, and is desirous of leading its adherents towards spiritual and mortal ennoblement. The following are the best known watchwords of the freemasons: Tolerance, freedom, equality, and brotherliness. Who would not approve of such watchwords used in the right sense?


And thus the Masonic Lodges always enjoyed a good reputation, which they have known how to enhance by practicing a wisely administered charity, and by investing their proceedings with a certain amount of ceremony and mystery. They are also intelligent enough to attach importance to a worthy mode of living on the part of their brethren, and to proclaim good will and mollification in their public activities. Yes, and to the superficial observer it really appears as if this freemasonry constituted the sound core of a moral community, and contributed to restrain both our public and social life within well-considered limits.


If one also takes into consideration the fact that freemasonry enjoys the reputation of helping and supporting one another, and that none of their people is allowed to fall, it is quite comprehensible that they should be the recipients of respect and sympathy from all quarters. Yes, it has become easy to understand how in all parts of the world, educated and cultured men, and certainly not the basest sort, gather in multitudes to enter this secret fraternity to find there solace for body and soul. Perhaps it is precisely the idealist, those who can no longer find consolation in the stereotyped articles of faith, those who yearn for a glorified and ideal religion and spiritual direction — perhaps it is precisely those who see in the lodge a new temple behind whose sacred mysteries they believe life’s deepest secrets lie hidden, and where they will be able to find the path which leads to perfect discernment.


We could find fault with those, who, impelled by such motives, fly towards the new light? If freemasonry was really all that these light-hungry should imagine it to be, who would not praise and bless it. But quite recently very gloomy shadows have fallen athwart this sunny picture.


Nothing less has been asserted and maintained than that world freemasonry bears the guilt of being one of the chief contributory causes of the World War, that in its lap the heinous plans where hatched, and that its mighty organism, the ramifications of which extend over the whole earth, provided the machinery by which passions were inflamed in all directions, the necessary men were placed in the necessary positions, and armies composed of millions were set in motion in all parts of the world in order to annihilate a single nation — that nation which has the temerity to direct the searchlight of its incorruptible spirit into all dark corners wherever the latter are to be found, whether in the church — in Jesuitism, in Jewry — or in Freemasonry.


Are there any grounds for bringing such a charge against freemasonry? Gentle natured people recoil at the mere thought of such all accusation; the fearless say:


“Let us see.”


Shall freemasonry perhaps prove to be something else than the all-reconciling league of welfare and humanity?


First of all, one question; If this league desires the well-being of all, the fraternization of the nations, the diffusion of spiritual light and of a noble culture, the victory of justice in “all walks of life,” why then does it envelop itself in deep secrecy? What has it to hide if it indeed wishes good to all?


The reply will be made that secrecy in this case is only harmless artifice, it is intended to wet the curiosity. Is, however, such artifice worthy of so great and distinguished a league and is it even necessary? And if indeed there is no secret to conceal, why then does the league exact such terrible oaths, as the following for example, from those who are about to be initiated:


“ … that if I do not keep my word, I submit to the punishment, namely that my lips shall be burned off with a hot iron, my hands hacked off, my tongue torn out, my throat cut, and finally that my body shall be hung up in a lodge of my brother freemasons, during the ceremony of initiating of a new brother, to the disgrace of my infidelity and to arouse horror amongst the rest; and shall afterwards be burned, and the ashes thrown into the air so that not a trace shall remain to remind anyone of my treachery. So help me God and his holy gospel.”


Is it necessary that men, whose only desire is good, should exact — and take — such terrible oaths? Are men who think nobly capable of devising such senseless atrocities, far less practicing the same? Here we stand face to face with a puzzling inconsistency, a veritable secret behind freemasonry. We will endeavor to get to the bottom of it.


The origin of freemasonry — as one can ascertain in every Encyclopedia, is to be traced back to the workings of the stonemasons and builders of the Middle Ages. It was from these that one learned for the first time the rules, usages, and knacks of the handicraft as the former evolved out of the practical application of the art of building to the erection of the mighty cathedrals of that period. The wisdom of the guild was evolved in a certain amount of secrecy, and its is probable that the sound culture and good advice as to the manner of living also received attention, and even that the deepening of the spiritual feeling soon extended into the religious life — all the more so as the church at that time, endeavored to stifle all spiritual development, and threatened any attempt in that direction with the inquisition. Thus the lodges and workshops became havens of refuge for human spiritual freedom; and it is comprehensible that it was not long before men of all stations of life sought membership in the lodges, and that they gradually expanded into nurseries of a deeper spirituality and of a nobler culture. Also those who were persecuted by the Church as heretics because they were the friends of freedom in religious practice and belief, such as the Waldensians, the Apostolic Brethren, the Beghards, etc., sought safety in the lodges. The nature of the earlier lodge is denoted by the following sentence taken from Anderson’s Constitution Book;


“The Mason is bound to obey the moral law, and if he has a correct understanding of the art, he will become neither a dull atheist nor an irreligious libertine. Although in olden times, the mason was in duty bound to practice the religion of this land or of that nation, whichever it might be, it is now considered more useful to leave them free to follow their own individual opinion, but to pledge them to observe that religion in which all men agree: namely, to be good and true men or men of honor and rectitude, however much they may differ from one another by the convictions which they hold, or the applications which they give themselves. By this means freemasonry ‘becomes the central point of unity, and the instrument for promoting true friendship amongst people who otherwise must have remained permanently separated from one another.’”


That the origin of the lodges is to be found in the honorable medieval building guilds is beyond all doubt. If in modern times the attempt is made to ascribe a much greater age to freemasonry, and to refer it back to the time of the building of Solomon’s temple, this can be dismissed at once as one of these forgeries, the essence and aim of which will. soon become clear to us.


When numbers of respectable and prosperous men from all classes of society began to find their way into the lodges of freemasons, it was only a question of time for prosperous Jews to find their way in as well. This happened about 150 years ago and sealed the fate of freemasonry. By the sanctioning of admission of Jews, the lodges proved that they did not possess that profound wisdom and experience of life with which they had been credited. It was their aim, by means of an honorable fraternization of humanity, to build bridges across the contrasts of all orders, classes, privileges, nations, and races, and they believed that they were not justified in excluding the Jew. They were not aware that the Jews presented a quite unique case, and that it was not merely a harmless confession of faith, which separated the Jew from all other men, but that the Jew “of his own free will” separated himself from all other men, and declined to fraternize in any way with them.


If they had only taken the trouble to examine the rabbinical writings even superficially, they would have been forced to the recognition that the essence of Jewry is based on a coarse refusal to associate with other men; yes, even on an openly expressed hostility toward all non-Jewish nations which aims at the disintegration and destroys the latter. They would then have known that Jewry is based upon hatred toward all the rest of mankind, a fact, which Tacitus had already recognized (odium generis humani). Consequently, no other being is less adapted for universal fraternization than the Jew. He is the born “Anti-Freemason,” yes, the born Anti-Man.


Through its failure to recognize this fundamental truth, which can be proved in a thousand facts, freemasonry is threatened with ruin. One does not sin with impunity against eternal laws and against the primordial understanding of life.


Here is not the place to establish or confirm this perception in every direction; the Hammer publications include a long list of comprehensive works, which go to the very bottom of the subject and corroborate what is here maintained. See the Riddle of the Jew’s Success, The False Gods, Sins of High Finance.


But freemasonry, in spite of its lofty conceptions and noble intentions, meets with disaster because of its superficial and defective knowledge of racial psychology, philosophy, and religious science. It has disregarded the pronouncements of the greatest spirits of all times upon this deepest of all questions. Otherwise freemasonry would have known that it was practically in the Jew where its most deadly enemy was to be found.


After a number of Jews had obtained entry into the lodges, what always happens in similar cases, was not long in happening in this case as well; since the Jews are much more closely united among themselves than are the members of any other human community, they invariably combine to form within any league into which they penetrate a wheel within a wheel or inner league, whose silent mission it is to support its own secret members, to place them in supreme control. This secret operation of the silent conspirators is accomplished all the more easily because the artless Aryan members have not the slightest idea of what is going on. The latter consider themselves in duty bound — precisely on account of the Masonic principle — to display, if possible, more than the customary good will toward the Jew in order to convince him of their tolerance and freedom of prejudice. The honest brother freemason believed that he was best acting up to his exalted principle by sowing the Jew exceptional consideration — not only in the lodge, but in the outside world. He was prepared at all times to favor the “unrecognized” Jewish human brother, to protect him against prejudices, to accord him a much higher measure of affection than he accorded to other fellow-men, with whom he was far more closely united both spiritually and racially.


Thus, assisted and advanced from all sides, it was not long before the Jews secured all the leading positions. There was no lack of the requisite cunning and power of dissembling amongst this ancient trading community, for they have inherited for thousands of years a talent for playing a false part before other men in order to deceive and over-reach them.


Accordingly, in the very midst of unsuspecting freemasonry, a monstrous state of things was brought about in all stillness and secrecy; after a few decades nearly all the leading positions in the Grand Orient were occupied by Jews, so that a man like Matthias Erzberger, who was certainly impartial in this respect, wrote in his Recollections:


“When the Freemasonic Grand Orient of Paris met, it is practically synonymous with meeting of the chief committee of the Israeli Alliahoe.”


Where, however, the Jew sets foot, he secures, not only the power for himself,  but the opportunity for instilling, at the same time, his own peculiar spirit in everything — the spirit of decomposition, of demoralization, of corruption. And thus one is entitled to say: since the Jews penetrated into the lodges, Freemasonry has changed its very nature. If it was a league to promote the fraternization of the nations, it is, at the present moment, a direct agent for making the nations hostile to one another.


The Jews had long recognized what an excellent tool the mighty league of Freemasonry would be if it could be made subservient to Jewry. And this they have accomplished. When a candid English freemason admitted years ago that:


“Freemasonry is a mighty means for maintaining English mastery over the world,


he might well have substituted the word “ Jewish ” for the word “English,” for at the present time it is impossible to draw any definite boundary between what is English and what is Jewish. Proud England lies completely in the fetters of Jewish High Finance, as does haughty France. And in both cases this is due to Jewish manipulation of freemasonry.


Today the nations are slowly beginning to see. Deep mistrust of the freemasons has arisen throughout extensive circles; terrible accusations have been brought against them; it is impossible not to see that one day this smoldering indignation must burst into flames.


In all events, the freemasonry question is the focus of public interest at the present moment, for freemasonry forms the secret axis around which all political proceedings revolve. And the freemasonry question cannot be separated from the Jewish question; today, both blend into one — because the leading personalities in both cases are the same. In any case, the freemasonic question cannot be understood without accurate knowledge of what Jewry is. For the roots of that public spirit, which is universally operative at the present time, are grounded in Talmudism.


By means of the organization of freemasonry, Jewish high finance has been able to secure for itself the entire influence over all governments. For several decades no politician has been able to occupy any high and responsible position in the state who has not possessed the sanction of Jewry and freemasonry.


Even Dr, Streseman had to become a freemason in order to make himself eligible for the post of Foreign Minister.


However, by this insolent and relentless pursuit of the Jewish principle of violation and outrage, the whole system has reached the brink of what can be tolerated, the over-taut strings threaten to snap. Moreover, the dull masses have taken alarm. Jewish greed and lust for power are displayed in such a shameless fashion at the present moment that they are apparent even to the most stupid and unobservant. Jewish vanity helps as well to spoil the receipt and entice the otherwise cunning Jew to perpetrate acts of incredible stupidity. Instead of remaining silent, satisfied with the fact that, owing to secret overreaching, all the threads which control the whole of freemasonry had passed into Jewish hands, Jewish conceit could not refrain from boasting that the entire order of freemasonry was a Jewish creation and could be referred back to the building of Solomon’s temple (although it is well-known that it was not Jewish but Tyrian builders who erected the temple). Thus, the American rabbi, Dr. Isaac Wise, actually went so far as to declare in public in 1855.


“Freemasonry is a Jewish arrangement of which the history, degrees, offices, passwords and declarations are Jewish from beginning to end.”


Deficiency in delicacy of feeling prevented the Jews from perceiving that freemasonry was exposed and its value destroyed for all time. For the artless brother freemason may well become more reflective when once they suspect that they are laboring under Jewish knout, and are being misused by being harnessed to the Jewish triumphal war in order to promote Jewish business. It is fortunate indeed that vanity and insatiable greed bring blindness and stupidity — as an aftermath — for such being the case, we may rest assured that the Jews, in their infatuation and conceit, will finally destroy their own work.


From what has already been stated and confirmed, the following conclusions can be drawn: if we wish to be truthful, we are compelled to admit there are two kinds of freemasonry, an ancient and honorable kind, which was in real earnest about its moral aims, and a modern and spurious kind, which has in view the infatuation, demoralization, subjugation and spoliation of honest humanity. The old freemasonry was Aryan and Christian, modern freemasonry is Jewish. To arouse the consciousness of this fact in the minds of the millions of unsuspecting brothers who are attached to their lodges by sheer idealism, is the first task. It is the only way in which to safeguard them from becoming, in their artlessness, the servants of evil effort, and from assisting unconsciously in the undermining of culture and morality.


The freemasonic question, therefore, stands in the foreground of all questions of the present time, and it is a matter for congratulation when a man so meritorious as General Ludendorff turns his attention in this direction. He has published a paper Destruction of Freemasonry by the Revelation of its Secrets. Ludendorff is only acquainted with the spirious freemasonry, and turns upon it with justifiable indignation. He says the “secret of freemasonry is the Jew,” and asserts that the training of the members as “artifiicial Jews” is the mission of the lodges. There is much that is true in this remark, for the lodges of recent times have understood, in a masterly manner, how to convert their adherents to Jewish views without the said adherents being in the slightest degree aware of what was taking place.


Ludendorff does not disdain the trouble of giving detailed and accurate information concerning the various hues of freemasonry, and their distribution, degrees, formalities of admission, oaths, etc. If, at the same time, the essence and aims of freemasonry of today are not touched upon, many will be only too glad to learn all they can about the first mentioned formalities (some of the passages, which we quoted earlier in this essay, were taken from Ludendorffs book, in which the actual sources of information are also given;)


He makes disclosure as well about the great signal of distress, criticizes the master-virtues, and other customs and impositions, and calls upon all to join in the war of deliverance from such unworthy fetters.


Deliverance is doubly difficult because most of the prisoners themselves are not clear as to the situation; and finally, those who do understand, consider that they are restrained from any action by the oath which they have taken — those terrible oaths which menace body and even life. And thus they do not dare shake off the chains which have been laid upon them.


At this junction, the following question calls for discussion; Are oaths and vows binding in all cases, even in those cases where they have been taken under false suppositions? If the person who takes them has been deceived as to the aims to which he pledges himself? If the obligation of the person who takes the oath, is abused by the attempt to extend it so as to cover transactions, which offend against moral consciousness and honorable conscience?


The modern lodge, a forgery in spirit and in form, deceives its adherents on important points; it conceals from them the fact that ultimately the lodges are under the supreme direction of the Jews, and are misused exclusively to further the particular aims of the Jews; it conceals from them the fact that the Jews occupy a unique position in the Order, inasmuch as they, by their own acknowledgement, belong to another and far more firmly established conspiracy, from which they neither wish to free themselves, and the aim of which is hostile to all men who are not Jews — hostile also to the non-Jewish Brother-Masons. The Jewish supreme command, therefore, by thus taking advantage of the ignorance of all freemasons who are not Jews, is guilty of downright deceit and treachery toward the latter. Can one indeed swear to be true to anyone who disregards the fundamental laws of human civilization and himself at infidelity?


Accordingly, no upright freemason can feel his conscience in any way burdened if he refuses to obey those set in authority over him when the latter are themselves guilty of breach of faith and treachery.


Ludendorff calls for the annihilation of freemasonry; it is quite certain that if it continues in its present condition, it will go to ruin. The Jews are born destroyers, and have, up till now, invariably cheapened and destroyed everything which they have laid their hands on, they will also in due course destroy freemasonry.


It will be a cause of regret to many that an organization of such marvelous construction, which came near to being a blessing and a benefit to mankind, should fall so miserably into decay. Accordingly the question arises: can freemasonry reform itself? Can it be led back again to the old and honorable path?


It is for the freemasons to discuss this question amongst themselves. It is for them to look around and see if they cannot find a man in their ranks who possesses sufficient insight, strength and courage to carry this work to a successful conclusion.


The task is an indescribably difficult one, for the innocent freemasons in their blindness have placed all the power in the hands of the Jews, the traitors. It would require more than normal human strength and farsightedness to break this demonical ban. And yet, that spirit, which idealism and the noblest men have hitherto attempted to instill into freemasonry, deserves ultimately to become reality. Make the attempt.


For more information on Freemasonry read Freemasony, The Growing Menace of Freemasonry and Freemasonry at a Glance, available from Liberty Bell Publications.





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