The conspiracy of Freemasons, Jews and Communists. Analysis of the French en German nationalist discourse (1918-1940).

Jimmy Koppen

    Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)Research


    In the aftermath of the First World War several books and leaflets were published, both in defeated Germany/Austria as in victorious France, in which Freemasonry was called the dark force that caused war and revolution in order to gain supreme power. Publications like Worldfreemasonry, worldrevolution and worldrepublic by the Austrian politician Friedrich Wichtl or Destruction of Freemasonry through the revelation of their secrets by general Ludendorff became best sellers and were a source of inspiration for emergent Nazism. These notorious anti-Masonic authors regarded Freemasonry as the antithesis of the German national identity. The brotherhood itself was at least infiltrated or perhaps even invented by the "International Judaism", as claimed in the Russian Protocolls of the Elders of Sion. At the other side of the Rhine, the same frightening conspiracy theory was put forward by the extreme right catholic priest Ernest Jouin, founder of the Revue international des Sociétés secretes. From 1912 on, Jouin proclaimed in this magazine that the anti-patriotic attitude of Freemasonry would sooner or later lead to the downfall of France in revolution and decadence. Jouin considered the outcome of the war as a Pyrrhic victory and freemasons and jews in French politics were to blame for the tremendous death toll. The magazine and its spokesman had a huge influence on ultra-nationalistic and anti-Masonic writers in France and abroad. The visions of both French and German/Austrian anti-Masons paved the way for the anti-Semitic world view of the Nazis, and were the transition of the traditional, catholic-inspired anti-Masonry to a new level. This paper will discuss resemblances and differences in the nationalist and anti-Masonic discourse during the Interwar period. How did the protagonists analyse Freemasonry and the Nation? How could they involve communism in their conspiracy theories? And how were they influenced by their sociological or (semi)religious background?
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelSecond International Conference on the History of Freemasonry, Edinburgh, UK
    StatusPublished - 30 mei 2009
    EvenementUnknown - Stockholm, Sweden
    Duur: 21 sep 200925 sep 2009




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