HISTORY of FIDELITAS LODGE 830 AF & AM
The war had ended on 8 May 1945. Many of our Brethren had given their lives to free Europe and Germany from the Nazi Regime. Masonry in Germany was completely demolished. The Lodge properties had been completely confiscated or destroyed by the Nazi authorities. The Military Government of the Allied Forces made it possible for life to return to some semblance of normalcy. The few remaining German Brothers were able to again hold communications. They tried as early as 1946 at a Convent held in Frankfurt am Main to form a Federal Grand Lodge. They opened a Work Shop throughout the period 1947-1948 until at last on 19 June 1949 in the Paulís Church (Paulís Kirche) in Frankfurt the United Grand Lodges of Germany, AF & AM, was founded. At the end of the Second World War Karlsruhe was about 70% destroyed. Contact was made by the Brethren within the city and surrounding area, and through a decree of the Military Government in Stuttgart on 4 December 1946 they were allowed to reopen the Karlsruhe Lodge, Leopold zur Treue, on 15 January 1947 with Worshipful Brother Martin Kaiser as the first Master. He had been the Master of the Lodge when it was closed on 11 June 1933.
Because of the language problems and the Ritulistic differences between the Lodges in the United States and Germany, the American Brothers formed a Square and Compass Club in Karlsruhe. After the American-Canadian Provincial Grand Lodge (ACPGL) was founded under the authority granted by the United Grand Lodges of Germany (VGLvD) the road became clear to consider an English speaking Lodge in Karlsruhe. On 15 December 1955 Fidelitas Lodge #830 was Chartered by the ACPGL. This was done through the assistance of Brothers located in Heidelberg and Mannheim.
The Brethren at first found a location in the Gasthaus ìZum Salmenî on the Ludwigís Platz to hold their meetings. Also the German Brothers from Leopold zur Treue Lodge used the same facilities. Through reparation action the German Brothers acquired the pre-war premises of the Lodge located on Lamm Strasse in Karlsruhe. These premises were not usable, but through an exchange deal, they were able to acquire the premises at 83 Bismarck Strasse. What monies were not readily available the Brothers contributed. Leopold zur Treue Lodge was consecrated on 4 May 1957. Brothers from three Lodges were present together with many distinguished guests, including the Grand Master of the VGLvD, Most Worshipful Master Theodor Vogel. Fidelitas Lodge 830 was considered as a Sister Lodge of Leopold zur Treue.
Fidelitas Lodge flourished during the time that the American Forces were stationed in Karlsruhe. Every Thursday evening the Lodge Hall was filled and many activities were carried out by the Lodge Members. Some of those included such things as at the Christmas Season the Lodge put on a dinner for the homeless of the Karlsruhe area. There were also many social function such as dances, boat rides, etc. In 1994 the draw-down started and the number of military in Karlsruhe was greatly reduced. By 1996 there were no longer any military in Karlsruhe and the Lodge faced the reality of either closing or moving the Charter. It was decided by the ACGL that the Charter would be moved from Karlsruhe to Illesheim. This took place in September 1997. Because of various extenuating circumstances, the Lodge again faced closing in 2000. It was placed in a custodial status until 2001 when it was again brought to life. Again in 2002 the Lodge reverted to a custodial status and remained in such until 2005 when again the Light was returned to the Lodge. During the time 2003 through 2005 the Lodge found new members at the Germersheim Army Depot. A number of Brothers were initiated. The Lodge obtained Private Organization Recognition in 2004 and obtained the use of a building on the Depot. In September of 2005 the Lodge Hall was consecrated in Building 7842 at the Depot and the Officers were installed.