Historically, German Freemasonry can trace its origins back to September 13, 1740, when the “Grosse National Mutterloge zu den drei Weltkugeln” (translation: Grand National Mother Lodge of the Three World Globes) was established as the first Grand Lodge in Germany, by Frederick The Great, who served as its first Grand Master. It still proudly exists today as part of the VGLvD.
The VGLvD can best be described as a federation of five grand lodges, united to form one sovereign Grand Body for Germany. This unification originally was designed to accomplish two basic goals; first, to facilitate the need to regain recognition for German Freemasonry after the debacle of World War II, second, to unite different Masonic ‘systems’ existing in Germany under one common roof. Prior to the war, there were a number of active Grand Lodges in Germany. After the war, the partition of Germany and the near-decimation of Masonic membership in Germany over the preceding decade resulted in efforts to consolidate the somewhat varying ‘systems’ existing within the remnants of Freemasonry in Germany.
The VGLvD was formed, and the constituting Grand Lodges united under the terms of what is called the “Magna Charta” (pronounced Karta) of German Freemasonry. The
Magna Charta, the ‘constitution’ of the VGLvD. can perhaps be more appropriately termed articles of confederation’. The Magna Charta has been amended several times,
and under its authority, laws and regulations for the government of the VGLvD have been adopted.
The five Grand lodges which are signatories to the Magna Carta are:
1) The Grossloge A.F.u.A.M. von Deutschland
2) Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutschland
3) Grosse National-Mutterloge “Zu den drei Weltkugeln”
4) Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany
5) American Canadian Grand Lodge AF&AM e.V.(ACGL)
Generally referred to simply as “ACGL” this jurisdiction is composed of approximately 2,700 Master Masons (we mention MMs only because membership figures for each of the other German-speaking jurisdictions include Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts. Composed predominantly of members of the American and Canadian Forces or government personnel stationed in Germany, subject to constant turnover resulting from reassignments, most of its current membership is not physically resident in Germany.
In almost every other jurisdiction, reference to the Grand Lodge is always simply “the Grand Lodge”. Here in Germany, we almost always use the acronym or nickname -
even for the VGLvD itself. This may be a natural result of the proliferation of Bodies, or simply the result of the German penchant for abbreviating everything, a habit which comes quite naturally to military and government personnel as well. It must be mentioned that although the official language of the ACGL is English, the ACGL has lodges in Germany which work under other languages such as German, French, Turkish and Italian. In other words, “Unity in Diversity”
In 1995 Turkey Lodge # 995 was chartered by the VGLvD under the ACGL and consecrated in Frankfurt am Main. This Lodge usually works in the Turkish language.
The first German speaking Lodge in the ACGL, Europa Lodge # 1051 was consecrated on the 15th of December 2012.
Dominion Lodge #848 was solemnly reactivated on the 17th of March 2012. This Lodge works in the French language. This was then subsequently followed by the consecration of other French speaking Lodges in District #5.
Presently the only ACGL lodge working in Italian is Leonardo da Vinci Lodge #1064 which was consecrated in 2014.