The International Masonic Association (French: Association maçonnique internationale, also known as the AMI) founded in 1921 and dissolved in 1950, was an international grouping of Masonic obediences. Based in Geneva, the home of the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland, the international was directed along the lines of Continental Freemasonry and heavily influenced by the Grand Orient de France. The organisation was involved in political activities in Europe between the First World War and the Second World War.
In 1889, the Grand Orient de France proposed to create an international Masonic federation. This was done in 1902 at the International Masonic Congress in Geneva. The following year, an international office of Masonic relations was opened in Neuchâtel in Switzerland and placed under the direction of Édouard Quartier-la-Tente who was then Grand Master of the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland (GLSA). Caught in the turmoil of the First World War, the office had to cease its activities, it was dissolved in 1920.
Foundation and growth
In October 1921, during the Geneva Convention under the presidency of Isaac Reverchon, Grand Master of the GLSA, the obediences of the liberal Continental Freemasonry current came together to found a new organization: the International Masonic Association. Its aim is to maintain the existing relations between the Grand Lodges, to develop them and to create new ones. Among the founders are the GLSA, the Grand Orient de France, the Grand Lodge of New York, the Grand Lodge of France, the Grand Orient of Belgium, the Grand Orient of Italy and the Grand Orient of the Netherlands. With the exception of the Grand Lodge of New York, most of the obediences were located in the European sphere of influence and were part of the radical political current. According to the historian Yves Hivert-Messeca in 1923 the association had 23 obediences including 14 European, in 1924 seven new memberships were registered including five coming from Latin America and two new ones from Europe bringing its membership to thirty. Between 1927 and 1934 eleven new obediences including three large Mexican lodges swelled the numbers which reached their maximum that year.
Portrait of Arthur Groussier, president of the International Masonic Association from 1927 until 1930.
From 1927 to 1930, the AMI was chaired by the Frenchman Arthur Groussier, president of the Council of the Order (Grand Master) of the Grand Orient de France.
In the 1930s, the AMI played a leading role in coordinating the political activities of the Continental freemasons. On May 6, 1933, during the Brussels congress the International Masonic Association launched an appeal to all lodges and grand lodges in the world to protest against the rise of National Socialism in Germany and called on them to: "unite to ensure respect for the principles of human freedom and dignity which are the honor of our civilization ” .
During World War II the AMI moved its office from Geneva to Lisbon and unsuccessfully made political efforts to convince the British and American governments not to recognize the reign of Francisco Franco over the Spanish State, but to work for the reconstruction of Spain along liberal lines (either under the guise of a constitutional monarchy under Juan de Bórbon or as an outright republic).Indeed, the Spanish State under Franco constantly accused the International Masonic Association by name of being part of an international anti-patriotic plot and as having caused the Spanish Civil War.
1921-1921 Geneva, Switzerland
1923-1923 Geneva, Switzerland
1924-1924 Brussels, Belgium
1925-1925 Geneva, Switzerland
1927-1927 Paris, France
1930-1930 Brussels, Belgium
1932-1932 Istanbul, Turkey
1936-1936 Prague, Czechoslovakia.