Propaganda against Freemasons Blamed Them for the War and Called them Jews
As Hitler rose to power it was no surprise that the propaganda and backlash against the Freemasons only grew. In Mein Kampf, Hitler had written that “the Jew” used Freemasonry as a tool and that the masonic lodges were “completely under the Jews spell.” By 1935, masonic lodges in Germany had been effectively shut down, their possession seized and members who held any positions of power were relieved of their duties.
Despite this, propaganda against the Freemasons only increased. Articles and cartoons were frequently printed that told of the “Jewish-Masonic Conspiracy.” Propaganda pushed the idea that there was a conspiracy between the Freemasons and Jews to dominate the world. Posters would boldly proclaim “All Masons Jews! – All Jews Masons!” To aid in his propaganda mission, Hitler had the Russian anti-Jewish and Anti-Masonic book called Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion translated into German.
The propaganda spread throughout Nazi occupied territories. In 1943, the French released Occult Forces – The Mysteries of Freemasonry unveiled for the first time on screen. The plot of the film follows a young man who joins the Freemasons in the hope of relaunching his career. As he joins the fraternity he learned that the Jews and Anglo-American countries are conspiring together to push France into war with the Germans.
The propaganda built upon the already widespread suspicions against Jews and Freemasons. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion had already been published around the world and Freemasons had already been under attack in Spain and Russia. In Spain, many masons had already been brutally killed and by 1940 anyone who was known to be a mason faced ten years in prison at a minimum and possible death. With propaganda and hatred rampant most Freemasons went underground and only met in secret.