The five Grand Lodges differ in their histories, their manifestation and in what we Freemasons call system, meaning the very concrete and detailed objects of masonic body of thought. Because all Grand Lodges commit to the universal principles of freemasonry, they are organised in the umbrella organisation of the VGLvD.
This means there are five corporate members of the United Grand Lodges of Germany. A Freemason can only become a personal member of one of the five Grand Lodges and will then indirectly belong to the VGLvD.
Because its task is to represent the Grand Lodges as a united entity in foreign countries and for the German press and general public, the VGLvD has been called the ‘foreign ministry’ or the ‘voice’ of German Freemasonry.