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Austria Hungary and Czecho-slovakia

Freemasonry in these countries began when Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine, husband of the Empress Maria Theresia was made Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft in 1731 in a Lodge of which Doctor Desaguliers was Worshipful Master. On September 17, 1742, a Lodge was instituted at Vienna but it was closed during the following year by order of the Empires. Various Lodges were established by German authority but in 1764 a Royal Decree was issued against Freemasonry, although the Emperor Francis was at the time Worshipful Master of the first Lodge at Vienna. By 1784, 45 Lodges under six Provincial Grand Lodges had been instituted in Austria. The Provincial Grand Lodges of Vienna, Bohemia, Hungary and Sieberburgen formed a National Grand Lodge of the Austrian States. Count Dietrichstein was elected Grand Master but when the new body was opposed by the National Grand Lodge at Berlin he accepted the rank of Provincial Grand Master. In 1785 the Emperor ordered the new Grand Lodge to be independent and he was obeyed. During the next few years edicts directed against secret societies were issued by the Emperor and all activity of the Craft ceased. Some Lodges were formed or revived but they soon disappeared again.

In 1867 Austria and Hungary were separated into two Kingdoms and the Brethren took advantage of there being no law in Hungary against Freemasonry to open several Lodges. A Convention of Unity Lodge and others at Temesvar, Oedenburg, Baja, Pressburg, Budapst and Arad met on January 30, 1870 and established the National Grand Lodge of Hungary. For the Austrian Freemasons the only thing left to do was to form social clubs which, when they met as Lodges, were convened in the neighboring country of Hungary. The great World War changed these conditions. A Grand Lodge of Vienna was formed on December 8, 1918. The formation in 1919 of the Republic of Czecho-Slovakia resulted in the establishment of the National Grand Lodge of Jugoslavia for the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

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