Is it true that Masons commit murder?
Shed light on the mystery of the Freemasons
But if you actually look for the box house of the Nuremberg Freemason lodges on Hallerwiese, you will get the first shock. A small concrete block next to the clinic, that should be the seat of the elitist, historical circle? Under one roof with an ornately decorated Bohemian restaurant, which you can tell that Chinese was still being cooked here recently?
There are two gentlemen at the bar. I came across the Nuremberg Freemasons through Gerd Berghofer from Georgensgmünd, the winner of the District Literature Prize. He had held his ring with the symbols square and compass in the camera so demonstratively, as if he wanted to say: "Just ask!"
Robert Peisl answered the answers today, but only after he had given a regular introductory lecture. Peisl goes on the offensive and addresses even the worst rumors, whether it is Freemasons who get a pistol for suicide after they go broke three times, virgin victims or drinking vessels from the scraped heads of children.
A matter of the soul
Peisl, a Freemason for 18 years, has been Berghofer's guarantor since he was unanimously accepted by the "To the Three Arrows" lodge (one of seven in Nuremberg) in September of last year. Accepted into an elite circle, not appointed as a budding Freemason. Because if Berghofer is now completing an apprenticeship period of around one year, then is a journeyman and becomes a master, you cannot become a Freemason. "You are a Freemason in your soul without being a member," says Peisl. "We want to intensify this emotional feeling. That is good for him and us too."
What the 200 Nuremberg Freemasons actually do only knows who has experienced it themselves, who is a member of the circle. But it looks like the Freemasons are a federation, somewhere between parish and Lions club, with only one goal: to be cultivated to spend a few hours together each week. Like a British gentlemen's club, with noble goals: to recognize yourself. To try to understand the other. "Here we have the chance and the opportunity to work on ourselves," says Peisl. "And not to improve the other, to turn around."
The Freemasons maintain two types of gathering: On the one hand, they meet in the long club room on the ground floor, a 1960s conference room with long tables and simple chairs. Every Friday, but not from Midsummer up to and including the summer holidays, a previously determined topic is discussed. "It can be anything, anything except party politics and denominational issues," says Peisl. "Our ancestors knew that these were the ignition points."
It becomes interesting when the brothers, the members of the lodge, go up to the first floor. Past the restaurant, through the glazed wall with the blue velvet curtain, into the windowless room that smells like long meetings. So this is where the Lodge meets? This is one of the fabulous temples of humanity, where the priest asked Mozart's Tamino in the Magic Flute the questions about admission to the box? Peisl has no problem opening the most important room in the lodge: "Only in Germany are the craziest things in the mind. We want to present ourselves as we are."
There is a myth that many Freemasons do not want to talk about their rituals, because otherwise it would be known that there is not much behind them - except sentimentalism. Peisl has no problems with the information. Surely there is the requirement of secrecy, he says. "But that is because these personal feelings cannot be put into words."
Tailcoat instead of jeans and slippers
And so he tells of the fact that he himself would never have thought that one day, dressed up in tails, he would come to a ritual conversation in ancient German. "But this is how we create a world of emotions in which one is more receptive than in jeans and slippers."
Peisl was chair master for seven years, primus inter pares, first among equals, he presided over the meetings. Now he is automatically an old chair master and has also received the title of Honorary Chair Master. The chair master sits in the east, everything is geared towards him. Three columns as tall as a man stand on the edge, a Doric for wisdom, an Ionic for strength and a Corinthian for beauty. Peisl and Berghofer distribute them in the room as they are at the meetings. Photo? No problem. As a matter of course they place themselves in the temple between their symbols. I get on a chair, no problem either, take the photos · and with the best will in the world I can't imagine what the magic of the meeting is supposed to be. That's it.
What is strange, however, is that the box opens on the one hand, so that even the temple can be photographed and no picture can be found on the chip of the digital camera the next day. Disappeared. Just a coincidence? Technical failure?
Be that as it may: Anyone interested in the Nuremberg boxes can stop by the Hallerwiese tomorrow, Sunday. As part of the guided tours around the city of Nuremberg, Gerd Berghofer will give a lecture at 12, 3 and 5 p.m.
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