Table of Contents

Conrad Hahn
  1. For Men Must Brothers Be
  2. Biography of Conrad Hahn

The book "House Undivided: The Story of Freemasonry and The Civil War" by Brother Allen E. Roberts has this poem inside the front cover.

For Men Must Brothers Be

Then blood was shed, and there was slaughter,
Staining the soil of our brave new world;
When brothers, to defend their freedom as they knew it,
Cruel canister at one another hurled.

Still sleep the brave
Who fell so long ago.
But life is love
And love they gave
Who saw a Brother in the foe.

A chosen few, with hopes despairing,
Insisted yet that Craftsmen try
To build the House of Brotherhood. In North and South
With love they wove, strands of the Mystic Tie.

Now sleep the wise
Who labored long ago.
For life is love
And love they gave
Who knew a Brother, though a foe.

Bright symbol of those war-time mercies
Was Brother Mackey, Charleston's pride,
Begging his townsmen for some simple comforts
For lonely captives from the Union side.

Now sleep those hearts
That loved so long ago.
But life is love
And love they gave
Who served a Brother, though a foe.

But men still wage a bitter warfare
Against the powers of hate and greed.
Ignorance spawns anew her coarse and spiteful soldiers;
Yet brothers everywhere our love still need.

Now wake the souls
Of those who dare to see
That life is love
And love will win
Wherever men must Brothers be!

Conrad Hahn (1906—1977)

(This bio is digested from Short Talk Bulletin, Feb.1978. okl.)

Because Brother Hahn's best-known poem was about the Civil War, and sounds as if it were written by someone who had experienced it, some modern-day Masons have assumed Conrad had been a soldier in that conflict. As you can see from the dates above, he was born more than 40 years later, and was still a child through World War I. The greatest conflicts of his life may have been during his 30 years as a school teacher and headmaster. However, Freemasonry owes a lot to Connie Hahn, who served as Executive Secretary or other position of the Masonic Service Association of the United States from 1958 until his death.

He was born to a medical missionary serving in Mexico on Dec.13, 1906. He earned his BA at Yale, with honors, and his MA from Columbia University. He and his wife, Margaret, were married March 21, 1930, and had two daughters.

Conrad Hahn was elected Worshipful Master of Apollo Lodge in 1944, only five years after he was raised. He served as District Deputy, and on April 3, 1957, after filling the subordinate offices of the Grand Lodge, he was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Connecticut. In September, 1962, at Philadelphia, he was coronetted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33rd Degree, and an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. [He was elected to the Blue Friars in 1964, and served as Head Abbot from 1974-1977. And he was one of the founders of The Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not, a group of Masonic writers and educators organized in 1972. He died Dec.15, 1977.]

"How can words describe the unseen facets of a great heart dedicated to the love of mankind? And what picture can show the working of a keen mind whose intellect is directed toward benevolent service in the cause of humanity? This man embodies a philosophy which is a remarkable blend of the simple and the complex; simple as a child in his attitude toward morality and truth; complex as the wisdom of the ages in his knowledge and application of every commendable virtue.

"Tall and erect; combining dignity, humor, and compassion in his every act; he met the problems of life with a firm but gentle hand. He was dedicated to home, to family, and to his fellowmen. A man of letters, he was also a man of God. His words have served to inspire Masons and non-Masons alike throughout our vast country.

"Conrad Hahn was a living example of a moral and upright being; a willing servant where service is needed — a brilliant leader when called upon to lead. He exemplified the principles of Freemasonry by precept and example. It was not for us to teach him the tenets of the Fraternity at our Altars, for the high ideals which Masonry teaches were inherent in his nature. The contributions of this man cannot be weighed or counted but his good deeds, like his friends, were as the sands of the sea."