Looking in the Kindle store for Jan Snoek, I ran into this book of which Snoek proved to be one of four authors (the others being Heike Görner, Ralph-Dieter Wilk, Werner H. Heussinger. The full title of the book is: “Freimaurer: Wie Sie die Prinzipien des erfolgreichsten Netzwerks der Weltgeschichte für Ihre Persönlichkeitsentwicklung nutzen” (‘Freemasons: What are the principles of the most successful network in world history for your personal development’). Indeed, this is a book in the German language. The title also shows that this is not an in depth book for Freemasons such as other titles of Snoek, but more a general introduction for the general audience.
The book covers the width and breadth of German Freemasonry, which had a development quite unlike Freemasonry in other countries. Different Grand Lodges worked together under an umbrella that changed its name. There were also other Grand Lodges that did not cooperate and this development led to roughly two types of Freemasonry in Germany: Christian (old-Prussian) and Humanistic. Especially the latter is again a varied current with men-only, mixed gender and women-only Grand Lodges for example.
First a few steps back. The book begins with a general history of Freemasonry cultural sources for the symbolism and system, etc. The authors also describe Masonic view of mankind, conspiracy theories, ritualism, community spirit, personal development, young people in Freemasonry, women in Freemasonry, humanism, etc. You will find no Masonic histories, details of the rituals but in support of the general picture. Only the appendices are more specific (early history, women’s Freemasonry and Illuminati).
The authors put quite some stress on “Aufklärung” (‘enlightenment’) and the social (rather than the initiatic / esoteric) side of Freemasonry. The book gives a good impression of Freemasonry in Germany, but because of the language of the book, only for the German speaking audience. I think the unique paths that Freemasonry has walked in Germany, some information would benefit non-German-speaking readers too.
It is a good book for people who are looking for general information. Personally I am more interested ‘Masonically scholarly’ books.
2020 Finanzbuch Verlag, isbn 3959723032