The Nazis Held Anti-Masonic Exhibitions
On October 28, 1934, the Nazis issued a decree that called Freemason lodges “hostile to the state” and that any and all property held by the lodges was subject to seizure by the state. A year later, the Reichstag Fire Decree ordered that all masonic lodges be dissolved and their assets confiscated. Similar actions would be taken in any territories occupied by the Nazis which led to the looting and destruction of numerous masonic lodges.
The items confiscated from the lodges were used to create Anti-Masonic Exhibitions in several cities throughout Europe. The first exhibition was created in 1937 in Germany. There was one erected in Paris in 1940 and Brussels and Belgrade followed in 1941.
The exhibitions were meant to instill fear, hated and ridicule toward the Freemasons. There were displays created to show how rooms in a masonic lodge would look but the Nazis would add or change the rooms to fit their propaganda. These exhibitions were also used to push the Nazi propaganda that the Freemasons and Jews were linked or one in the same. Jewish symbols would be put into masonic displays or room recreations in order to give the sense that the Freemasons were really Jews or in league with the Jews. Skeletons and skulls were also used in the displays in order to play on the people’s fears.
The Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibition in Belgrade which was funded by the Germans became more of an anti-Jewish propaganda exhibition than one against the Freemasons. Despite being touted as an exhibition that was attacking the Freemasons, the masons were only nominally included while the majority of the displays and 200,000 leaflets focused on the dehumanization of the Jews and intensify hatred toward them.
There were also over 176 propaganda films shown many of which were taken from The Eternal Jew exhibitions in Germany. Commemorative stamps were even made for the exhibition and ensure that anytime someone mailed a letter it was clear that Jews, Masons and Communists were the enemies of the Serbian people.