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The Nazis rejected Freemasonry, banning it in January 1934, partly because it was associated with Jews.

The secrecy associated with Masonic rituals has always made the organisation susceptible to conspiracy theories. The Nazis believed that the Freemasons were part of a conspiracy working against the interests of German nationalism. Criticism of Freemasons was a regular theme in Nazi propaganda – often framed in antisemitic discourse about the threat from ‘World Jewry’.

Thousands of Freemasons were persecuted by the Nazi regime and many were imprisoned in concentration camps, classed as political prisoners.