|Founding:||July 20, 1881 in Eisenach|
|Principles:||colored, facultative striking|
|Member connections (2017):||66|
|Association body:||Fraternity leaves|
The Deutsche Burschenschaft (DB) is a corporations association of fraternities , a specific form of student associations , in Germany and Austria . It was founded in 1881 as the General Deputy Convent (ADC) and was given its current name in 1902. It goes back to the ideas that were associated with the founding of the original fraternity in Jena in 1815.
In the last few years there have been repeated internal wars for direction, which were sparked, among other things, by controversial statements made by individual persons from member associations, in connection with which the German fraternity was associated with right-wing extremism in the German-language media . The struggles for direction culminated in a movement of fraternities leaving the DB: While 123 fraternities belonged to it in 2008, there are currently only 67, a third of them are based in Austria. Various German state offices for the protection of the constitution keep monitoring individual connections due to possible right-wing extremist efforts. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution refuses to monitor the German fraternity. The Federal Government repeatedly stated that there were no sufficient indications of efforts directed against the free democratic basic order .
The fraternities came into being after the Wars of Liberation against Napoleon . In 1815, the so-called Urburschenschaft was founded in Jena , and most of the fraternities still refer to their ideas today. In 1818 fraternities from 14 university towns founded the General German Burschenschaft , which was supposed to replace all previous student associations. Ultimately, however, this goal of uniting all students could not be achieved because, on the one hand, the fraternity movement diversified at the same time as it expanded and, on the other, the majority of the corps continued to cling to their old traditions.
During the time of the demagogue persecution , the General German Burschenschaft disintegrated , and parts of the fraternity movement radicalized. It was only after the German Revolution of 1848/49 and the end of the persecution of demagogues that it seemed possible to found a fraternity association again.
The foundation of the first German nation-state in 1871 came about through several wars that were accompanied by severe economic crises. Domestically, the unification of the empire meant, on the one hand, an enormous boost for the fraternities that had committed themselves to the national unity. You could now appear confident and recruit members. On the other hand, the new situation permanently changed the fraternity movement in the German Reich. After fulfilling the most important demands of the fraternity, it changed from a revolutionary movement to one that supported the state. Unlike in Austria, where the fraternities continued to be an integral part of the German-national and German-free opposition. During this time, many fraternities in the Reich align themselves with the corps , a few even converted and joined the KSCV .
The General Convention of Deputies
The history of the Association of German Burschenschaft begins in 1881 with the establishment of the General Deputy Convention . In the previous decades, short-lived umbrella organizations had emerged again and again, but they were never able to unite the majority of the fraternities and broke up after a few years due to internal disputes ( Allgemeine Burschenschaft (1850), Eisenacher Burschenbund (1864), Eisenacher Convention (1870), Eisenach Deputy Convent (1874)).
On July 20, 1881, the three Jena fraternities finally invited to Eisenach again. There, 35 fraternities founded an association which was given the non-binding name of the General Deputy Convent (ADC). The admission of fraternities from Austria was initially rejected on the grounds that “the ADC as such fundamentally rejects active participation in political issues and leaves this to the individual fraternities.” Two years later, the General German Burschenbund was founded as a liberal counter-foundation to the reform fraternities .
In 1887 the magazine Burschenschaftliche Blätter was published for the first time as an organ of the German Burschenschaft.
After 1880, anti-Semitism increased in almost all umbrella organizations of the corporations in the German Empire and the Austrian Empire . The extraordinary Boys' Day in 1896 required its members to acknowledge Germanism and Christianity . The old men were unable to slow this trend, which continued even after the First World War .
When the Association of Old Burschenschafter (VAB) was founded in 1890 , the old men gained greater influence on the development of a fraternity for the first time. In addition to the boys' day, an old men day has been held in parallel since then. On May 22, 1902, the fraternity monument was inaugurated in Eisenach . In the same year the ADC changed its name to Deutsche Burschenschaft .
In the First World War, about 3,500 members of the German fraternity were killed. To support wounded academician of the German fraternity was in 1915 at the initiative of the Academic Hilfsbund founded. This existed until the 1920s.
Until the conclusion of the Versailles Treaty , the German fraternity did not completely reject the political system of the Weimar Republic . Instead, she saw this as an opportunity to realize her old goals of a stateless and democratic national assembly since the days of the first Wartburg Festival . For example, on November 22, 1918, at a conference in Berlin , it swore its members to work constructively. A major trigger for a change in mood was the Peace of Saint-Germain , which destroyed hopes for a Greater German Empire including Austria.
In the flag dispute , the German Burschenschaft advocated a black-white-red state flag to emphasize the continuity with the Wilhelmine Empire . She only wanted the colors black, red and gold to be regarded as large German colors. The Burschentag decided:
"If the colors black, red and gold have now been declared the new imperial colors by a weak majority in the National Assembly, then these cannot be seen as the national uniform symbol of the old fraternity."
In 1919, the German Burschenschaft merged with the RVDB , the fraternity association at the technical universities, and in July of the same year, as an expression of its greater German self- image , it finally merged with the fraternity of the Ostmark (BdO), the association of Austrian fraternities founded in 1907, making it the largest corporate association grew.
As dies academicus , it celebrated not the constitution day , but the day the empire was founded . It first stipulated this at the 1920 Eisenacher Burschentag. On this boys' day she also decided not to accept any more Jews and to require all new members to take their word of honor that they were "to the best of their knowledge and belief free of Jewish or colored blood":
"The Burschentag is of the opinion that according to the existing regulations and the custom since then, accepting Jews is out of the question."
This racial standpoint , which was also included in the principles of the German fraternity, especially under pressure from the Austrian fraternities, extended to the future wives as well. In retrospect, the student historian Kaupp assesses the decision as a “breakthrough of the fateful racial anti-Semitism.” Some old men felt the Eisenach decision as deeply degrading and firmly rejected it. The international lawyer and pacifist Hans Wehberg (1885–1962) wrote a critical article and collected signatures against this decision. About 100 old men actively supported him. That was a small minority. The Berlin fraternity and historian Friedrich Meinecke (1862–1954) warned in 1925 of the anti-Semitic "confusion and confusion": "A good political cause certainly does not get worse if it is also represented by Jews."
Politically, the German fraternity was a part of the "patriotic" camp that opposed and opposed the republic from the very beginning. The fraternities are rated by the historian Ingo Haar as one of the "military associations", "which belonged to the most active element of the anti-republican military associations between 1918 and 1923". The German Burschenschaft (as well as other student associations) shared the declarations of sympathy of the German University Ring for the Hitler-Ludendorff Putsch in 1923 and its victims.
In 1929 the German Burschenschaft became a member of the Kampfbund for German Culture and the Reich Committee for the referendum against the Young Plan . It was there that the anti-republican parties and associations came together for the first time. There was no incompatibility resolution in the relationship between the German Burschenschaft and NS organizations. There was therefore personal overlap with the National Socialist German Student Union (NSDStB), the student organization of the NSDAP, as well as with the SA.
The German fraternity, like the majority of the student associations, affirmed a “ nationalist nationalism ”, but denied that the National Socialists had a “sole right of representation”. Only after the 1931 Student Day did an open dispute break out. On the Burschentag of 1932, the German Burschenschaft expressed mistrust in the NSDStB and decided that its members would withdraw by self-exclusion if they accept instructions from people outside the German Burschenschaft. With this, the German Burschenschaft reacted to NSDStB members smuggled into the ranks of the student associations, who, according to Baldur von Schirach's will , were to transfer them to the NSDStB. At the Burschentag in 1932, a letter from the NSDStB to NSDAP members who took part in the Burschentag became known. They were instructed to make and support certain applications. The Burschentag then protested unanimously against the "presumption of authority over fraternities" and finally, shortly before the seizure of power, together with other conservative groups, formed the University Political Working Group of Student Associations (Hopoag), which was in opposition to the NSDStB . They demarcated themselves against the NSDAP with the accusation that the NSDAP was obedient to Rome and Freemasons.
time of the nationalsocialism
The " seizure of power " by the National Socialists was welcomed by the leadership of the German fraternity; In the Burschenschaftliche Blätter it said: "What we have longed for and strived for for years and what we have worked for year in and year out in the spirit of the fraternity from 1817 has become a fact." Also the Allgemeine Deutsche Waffenring (ADW), to which the German Fraternity, expressed his satisfaction with the "national uprising". The "political conditions" in Germany have "happily changed fundamentally."
In the spring of 1933, the German Student Union (DST), which was dominated by NSDStB since 1931, fully into line dissolved the Hopoag. Initially, the leadership of the DSt tried to woo the corporation associations, and professed the values of corporation studentism. In 1933, the new rulers officially released the Mensur from punishment.
The German fraternity, like all corporation associations, was forced by the National Socialist rulers to introduce the Führer principle . The fraternities in Austria and Czechoslovakia then left the German fraternity and reactivated the fraternity of the Ostmark (BdO). The functionaries of the German fraternity transferred the management of the German fraternity for a year to Otto Schwab , who had become a member of the NSDAP a few months earlier. The Burschentag approved this procedure and thereby disenfranchised itself.
The ADW, which was also brought into line, adopted a new federal law, according to which all affiliated associations should provide evidence of the " freedom of Jews " by their members on a form by February 28, 1934 . However, the provisions of the Law on the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service should be followed here. Some associations, including the German Burschenschaft, demanded that the more extensive principles of the NSDAP for the admission of party members be adopted instead. A plan announced in September 1934 by the leader of the DSt Andreas Feickert envisaged the inclusion of students in the Reich Labor Service and the introduction of "Wohnkameradschaften" of the NSDStB. Few associations supported this idea, especially those whose leaders sought a means of expressing their loyalty and cooperation with the new government. The German fraternity under Otto Schwab belonged to them. The German Burschenschaft, as its leader explained the new self-image, claimed to want “to want to take the same position and attitude within the university in the future” “like the NSDAP in the state”. He endeavored to make the German fraternity into a “unified National Socialist federation with tight leadership and as far as possible to reduce the influence of the individual fraternities”.
The German fraternity isolated itself and subsequently left the ADW with other associations on October 27, 1934. Feickert's plan, however, was not discussed with the government and was not implemented. In addition to this plan, the binding rule to exclude all Jews and Freemasons from the ranks of the fraternities triggered growing resentment and resistance from some fraternities. The many other interventions in the rights of the individual member associations - including the no longer realized plan to introduce uniform hats and uniform colors for all fraternities - led to an alienation between many member associations and the management of the German fraternity, which was in favor of the system. At the end of 1934, fraternities who had been excluded and resigned from the German fraternity founded the Association of Old Fraternities , which finally united 35 fraternities that did not agree to the National Socialist conformity of the German fraternity.
The German Burschenschaft joined forces with other associations that had left the ADW on December 15, 1934 in Berlin to form the Völkischer Waffenring , which dissolved again in April 1935.
The co-ordinated German fraternity and the NSDStB concluded the Plauen Agreement on October 5, 1935 , which provided for the orderly and closed transfer of the fraternities of the German fraternity to comradeships of the NSDStB. Schwab's successor as "Leader of the German Burschenschaft", Hans Glauning , mistakenly saw the link to the NSDStB as a way of keeping the German Burschenschaft alive after other corporation associations had already been unable to maintain their political neutrality. On October 18, 1935, the German fraternity dissolved in accordance with this agreement with a ceremony reminiscent of the Wartburg Festival and handed over its flags to the NSDStB. The old fraternity had already disbanded two days earlier in Berlin because the university political situation had deteriorated further. On January 27, 1936, at the celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the NSDStB , the Plauen Agreement was unilaterally declared null and void and the old forms of student union life were required to completely disappear. Fraternities that had already been taken over as comradeships in the NSDStB were then declared dissolved. All members had henceforth a new join individually requesting camaraderie, the old name could not be accepted and the fraternity house was forcibly override the NSDStB.
In March 1936 Rudolf Hess finally forbade all students of the NSDAP from membership in a student association, making active public life impossible. Not all fraternities of the German fraternity turned into comradeships, many opted for an official dissolution instead. At the end of 1936 there was finally no active fraternity in the German Reich. The fraternities of the BdO that left the German fraternity in 1933 were also dissolved as the last fraternities after the annexation of Austria in 1938 and the establishment of the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939.
Re-establishment in 1950
Those fraternities whose university towns were east of the Oder-Neisse line , in Czechoslovakia or in the GDR had to venture a fresh start in western Germany after the war or merge with fraternities based there.
The association bans issued by the Allied military governments in 1945 also affected student associations. This ban was not officially lifted again in the Federal Republic until 1950. In that year the German fraternity was founded again. Since then, many of its members have dealt intensively and self-critically with their own history at numerous conferences, seminars and in the fraternity papers . The German Burschenschaft is committed to the free and democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany and has distanced itself from any form of anti-Semitism. In 1958, she took the Zind case - a member who had made anti-Semitic comments - as an opportunity to reaffirm Article 1 of the Basic Law and "emphatically distance itself from any anti-Semitism and racial madness". The crimes of the Third Reich “oblige every German to do everything in his power to contribute to understanding among the peoples.” The German fraternity “therefore affirms its will to continue to vigorously oppose anti-Semitic tendencies wherever they occur. “This decision is still binding for all fraternity members of the German fraternity.
The use of colors and the scale were optional in the first years of existence. The use of colors quickly caught on again. In 1953, by a judgment of the BGH , the determination of the censorship was finally removed from any internal “honorary cleaning” and thus legalized. Since the Boys' Day of 1954, all members have again been asked to strike a scale. This year the German Burschenschaft had around 26,000 members, including over 4,000 active members.
Fraternity and historical compromise
At the Burschentag of 1961, an application to merge the German fraternity, which was purely West German at that time, with the Association of Austrian fraternities German fraternity in Austria (DBÖ) did not find a majority. As a result, several fraternities founded a new working group within DB and DBÖ, the Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft (BG). The aim of this new foundation was to give Austrian alliances the opportunity to become a member of the German fraternity. At the same time, the social climate changed by the student movement of the 1960s led to the desire among many fraternities to adapt the traditional student customs to the zeitgeist and to abolish compulsory censorship.
The sharp disputes over these two questions led the German fraternity into a deep crisis, which also made a split in the association appear possible. Der Spiegel reported on the Boy's Day in 1970:
“In the case of more progressive-minded alliances, which from now on no longer want to use scaling, the establishment of a counter-association has been seriously considered since last week. Co-initiator Jürgen Gutknecht: 'We are becoming less and less credible if we stay in the club.' Gutknecht's concept: On the basis of the 'New Landauer Kreis' (NLK), a working group founded in the previous year, which is more important to politics than drums, 'an association of its own' should be created as quickly as possible. 'Because with the current majority,' predicts the NLK spokesman, 'nothing will change in 1971 either.' "
Applications to adjourn or dissolve the German Burschenschaft testify to the inability of the association to act at this time. In 1970, a constitutional committee was set up, which was able to present a compromise solution on the 1971 Boys' Day, which included four major changes:
“The determination of the individual connections will in future be free. In return for this, the fraternities from Austria can join the German fraternity until August 31, 1972. In addition, the people-related concept of fatherland is anchored in the principles and the so-called self-exclusion clause becomes effective if the principles are abandoned or violated. "
A written test vote carried out under the activities on this so-called historical compromise showed that the necessary 3/4 majority was not to be expected on the Burschentag. In the fraternity papers one could read about the reasons:
“If you try to analyze the reasons of those who have rejected the proposal of the Statute Committee, you come across two main motives: A 'conservative group' would definitely like to receive the determination mensorship as an association principle [...] their antipode, a 'liberal one Gruppe ', is against the admission of the fraternities of the DBÖ, from which they fears strengthening the conservative forces, especially in political terms. "
On the following Burschentag, which took place from October 6th to 8th in Landau , several fraternities were also present, which had previously been excluded from the German fraternity due to self-exclusion determined by the legal committee, but had obtained participation in the Burschentag through temporary injunctions and thus were entitled to vote. The proposal of the statutes committee initially missed the required 3/4 majority, whereupon the boys' day was postponed for a few hours in order to then discuss a motion by the southern German cartel to dissolve the German fraternity. During this break, however, the head of the negotiation found "that the temporary injunction with which Alemannia Freiburg had (had) obtained approval, had not been legally served". The fraternity was excluded from participating in the boys' day, the previous vote was invalid. After the discussion had resumed, the fourth amendment that had been negotiated was finally approved with exactly the 3/4 majority required. The long-feared break between conservative and liberal fraternities was thus avoided - at least for the time being.
Many fraternities from Austria joined the German fraternity in 1971 by declaration, the Viennese fraternities Libertas and Vandalia (today: Olympia ) on the day of the vote, others at a later point in time via a proper application for admission after approval by the boys' day. Contrary to what was originally planned, the BG did not dissolve after the compromise. Many fraternities left the BG in 1971. By joining the Austrian fraternities, the influence of the BG on the German fraternity was nevertheless strengthened.
In some cases, the compromise is seen as the point at which the influence of the BG, the “bearer of right-wing ideology”, took over the DB: “Since the BG's founding goal was met 10 years later with the 'historical compromise', this developed ' latent-aggressive 'fraternity' working group 'continues to the dominant group within the German fraternity today. ”The 2015 report on the protection of the constitution in Hamburg stated about the BG:
"The right wing of the DB, which is still strong, is formed by the" Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft "(BG), which represents nationalist-revisionist positions and adheres to the popular concept of the fatherland" (p. 181)
The BG demands, among other things, two compulsory roles from its member unions, which excludes the participation of facultative fraternities. Until the late 1990s, parliamentary groups were compulsory within the BG . This enabled her to influence the composition of the executive bodies of the German fraternity and other decisions of the Burschentag. For example, the BG was able to prevent fraternities from joining the German fraternity through its blocking minority, as a two-thirds majority is required for them.
Spin-off of the NeueDB
The historical compromise could not resolve the fundamental internal conflicts about the overall political course of the German fraternity. Several fraternities could not come to terms with either the popular concept of fatherland or the abolition of compulsory censorship and left the DB in the following years, including the fraternities of the South German cartel .
A majority of the Burschentag of 1973 decided not to accept any more conscientious objectors in DB fraternities. The strengthening of the "readiness for military service" was now derived from the fatherland principle as a "natural duty" of every boy. Only those who had already been recognized were allowed to remain members in order to avoid a conflict with the principle of life covenant. The legal committee of the German Burschenschaft interpreted a violation by DB member federations of this regulation as "automatic self-exclusion". This led to the fact that the German fraternity from now on repeatedly excluded individual fraternities that continued to accept conscientious objectors. In 1996 the legal committee of the German fraternity overturned this decision. Since then, it has been left to the respective federal government to establish a connection between conscientious objectors.
One of the main points of conflict was the voting mode. In the German fraternity there is traditionally one vote per old man and per Aktivitas, if the Aktivitas is not adjourned, which equates small fraternities with large fraternities when voting. At the same time, the membership fees are calculated according to the number of members, which means that some "large" fractions felt disadvantaged. However, amendments failed due to the blocking minority of the BG. The long simmering conflicts about compulsory censorship, the admission of non-German students, the limitation of association membership to the German national territory on the one hand or to the German cultural area on the other hand ( state-related or people -related fatherland concept ) and the acceptance of conscientious objectors finally led to the resignation of several member fraternities in 1996. Some of the fraternities that had resigned merged with other non-union fraternities to form the New German Burschenschaft (NeueDB). Even after that, the disputes in the German fraternity about their overall political course continued.
In 1999 the German fraternity opened up to students at technical colleges and subsequently accepted the eight fraternities of the German University Burschenschaft (DHB).
Initiative fraternity future
The Stuttgart Initiative (SI) was founded in 2003 , a platform of the Stuttgart fraternities Alemannia , Ghibellinia, Hohenheimia and Hilaritas as well as the Association of Old Fraternities Stuttgart. The aim of the SI was to work out topics through which the German fraternity could be reunited in terms of content. In March 2010 she also turned against extremist tendencies within the German fraternity.
The SI was also significantly involved in the founding of the Burschenschaftliche Zukunft (IBZ) initiative , which was founded on March 3, 2012 in Stuttgart by 21 fraternities of the German Burschenschaft. The aim of the IBZ is the implementation of the fraternity principles today. The IBZ is committed to keeping the German fraternity away from any extremist or racist positions on the political or ideological fringes , true to the ideals of honor and freedom . The initiative represented the liberal-conservative wing within the German Burschenschaft and represented a counterpoint to the Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft (BG).
The Burschenschaftliche Zukunft initiative received nationwide attention for the first time on the occasion of the 2012 Burschentag in Eisenach, when it appeared as an actor in internal disputes that made a disintegration or split of the association appear possible. At an extraordinary boys 'day in Stuttgart in November 2012, which had become necessary after no new chairman of the fraternity could be found at the previous boys' day, the IBZ failed with most of the applications. Only the demand for early dismissal of the controversial editor of the Burschenschaftliche Blätter, Norbert Weidner , was successful. In response, over 40 fraternities, including numerous members of the IBZ, have resigned from the German fraternity. Several of the fraternities who had resigned accused the association of a lack of distancing and inadequate demarcation from right-wing extremist statements and the positioning of various officials and members.
In 2015, the IBZ had 37 fraternities, of which only three are also members of the German fraternity, as well as twelve individual members.
Tradition - colors, motto and hymn
The colors black-red-gold
The colors of the German Burschenschaft have been the colors black-red-gold used by the original fraternity for the first time since the Hambach Festival . They have been the German national colors since the Hambach Festival and became the official state colors in 1848, 1919 and 1949.
The motto honor, freedom, fatherland
According to the constitution of the German fraternity, the principle of honor requires “every fraternity member to have a fair, upright and truthful attitude in thinking, speaking and acting. To respect and protect the inviolable dignity of the human being is his absolute duty ”.
For the German fraternity, the principle of freedom consists of personal, political and academic freedom and “requires every fraternity member to acquire the inner freedom of the spirit for himself. The fraternity should be free of prejudices, independent and independent in thinking as well as frank and energetic in representing their own opinion ”.
In contrast to other corporation associations, the fatherland understands the German fraternity to be independent of political boundaries. In their opinion, this includes the entire German language and cultural area : “The fraternity is committed to the German fatherland as the spiritual and cultural home of the German people . By the people she understands the community, which is connected by the same historical fate , the same culture, related customs and the same language ”. According to the fatherland principle - unlike other student umbrella organizations - only people who belong to the "German cultural group" can become members of a DB fraternity ( see also: Admission requirements and membership ).
The fraternity song
The unofficial hymn of the German fraternity is the swear by this sheer defense , also known as the fraternity song. The song is based on the fraternity's motto - honor, freedom, fatherland . The text was written by Rudolf Baumbach in 1879 . In the same year the song won a competition for Austrian student songs . The setting was done by Hans Treidler.
Organization, structure and function
Organs, officers and committees
The supreme body of the German fraternity is the Burschentag , the general assembly of the individual member fraternities . It defines the political and organizational principles of the association, elects the other organs of the German fraternity and decides on punishments and financial issues. Each fraternity and each old gentry have one vote. The boys' day has been taking place every year in Eisenach since reunification . During the years of the division of Germany , the Burschentag met in various cities in the Federal Republic. The most frequent conference location was Landau in the Palatinate .
The chairman of the fraternity organizes and leads the Burschentag and the association meetings, is responsible for the implementation of the resolutions of the Burschentag as well as for the press work. It is elected by the Boys' Day each year one year in advance. In the time between two boys 'days, the association council performs some of the functions of the boys' day, but its decisions must be confirmed by the latter afterwards. In addition to the chairing fraternity, it includes several officials qua office and two assessors. The Legal Committee checks that the other bodies are complying with the DB constitution.
Association of the Associations of Old Fraternity Members (VVAB)
In 1890 the first Association of Old Burschenschafter (VAB) was founded in Marburg . Since then, more than 100 VABs have been created in various cities. These are joined by the old men who remain connected with DB after completing their studies and want to continue doing fraternity work in their place of residence. The VAB are organized in the Association of Old Fraternity Members (VVAB). The management of the VVAB is taken over by a regularly changing VAB.
Labor agreements and cartels
DB maintains friendship and work agreements with the Federation of Chilean fraternities and the Conservative Delegates' Convention.
At the end of 2012, the German Burschenschaft resigned from the Convent of German Academic Associations (CDA).
Within the German Burschenschaft there are so-called cartels , which are friendly or politically justified amalgamations of member associations, for example the Black-Red-Golden Cartel or the East German Cartel, as well as the political interest group Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft (BG), which is comparable to a parliamentary group, and the Burschenschaftliche Zukunft initiative (IBZ).
The German Burschenschaft is one of the few corporate umbrella organizations with decidedly political goals. These are based on the German fraternity on their motto honor, freedom, fatherland . The main goal of the political work of the German fraternity is the "political education of young fraternity members to realize fraternity ideals". Since its inception, the German Burschenschaft has been committed to the "close ties of all parts of the German people in freedom". It therefore stuck to the goal of reunification even during the time of Germany's division as a result of World War II . Since then, she has been committed to the "unrestricted cultural development and self-determination" of all peoples in a free Europe. DB is also involved in university politics . She has been calling for tuition fees to be abolished since 2005 .
In terms of party politics, the German fraternity sees itself as neutral: "In pursuit of the fraternity ideals, the German fraternity has no ties to a specific political party or political group." In Austria, the fraternities are traditionally close to the Third Camp , which is reflected in numerous double memberships FPÖ and BZÖ makes noticeable. There is no such traditional solidarity in Germany, fraternity members were found in all major parties in the old Federal Republic.
On March 27, 2006, the party executive of the SPD decided the incompatibility of simultaneous membership in a fraternity of the fraternity and in the SPD. In June 2007, the Berlin Regional Court assessed the exclusion of a fraternity from the SPD as arbitrary and overturned it for violating the party law . On June 20, 2016, the SPD party understanding decided the incompatibility of membership in a DB fraternity and in the SPD.
Since 2014, fraternity members of the DB have been increasingly active in the AfD , such as Joachim Paul , Christian Wirth , Nikolaus Kramer and Dubravko Mandic . Observers explain this with the fact that the numerous scandals due to right-wing extremist attitudes in recent years have caused fraternities to increasingly lose their social influence and find hardly any support in the Union parties either; the founding of the AfD as a political formation to the right of the CDU / CSU offered them a new home.
Aachen: Brno Libertas. Bayreuth: Thessalia Prague . Berlin: Arminia • Germania • Gothia • Märker . Bielefeld: Normannia-Nibelungen. Bochum: Arminia from Prague. Bonn: Raczeks . Braunschweig: Thuringia. Deggendorf: Markomannia Vienna . Dresden: Arminia Leipzig • Salamandria. Düsseldorf: Rhenania-Salingia . Erlangen: Frankonia . Freiberg: Glückauf. Freiburg: Saxo-Silesia. Giessen: Dresdensia-Rugia . Graz: Allemannia • Arminia • Carniola • Cheruskia • Germania. Greifswald: Markomannia Aachen • Rugia . Hall: Germania. Hamburg: Germania • Hansea-Alemannia. Hanover: Ghibellinia-Leipzig. Heidelberg: Normannia . Innsbruck: Brixia • Suevia. Jena: castle cellar. Karlsruhe: Tuiskonia . Kassel: Germania. Kiel: Königsberger Alemannia. Cologne: Germania. Leipzig: Arminia • Germania . Lemgo: Cimbria. Leoben: Cruxia • Leather. Linz: Arminia Czernowitz. Mainz: Germania Halle. Marburg: Germania • Normannia-Leipzig • Rhine Franconia . Munich: Alemannia • Cimbria • Danubia • Stauffia. Münster: Franconia. Osnabrück: Arkadia-Mittweida. Salzburg: Gothia. Vienna: Albia • Aldania • Bruna Sudetia • Gothia • Libertas • Moldavia • Nibelungia • Upper Austrian Teutons • Olympia • Silesia • Teutonia . Würzburg: Prague Teutonia .
Admission requirements and membership
Membership in fraternities belonging to the German fraternity can only be male German students . Since 1999 membership has also been open to technical college students. However, the individual member associations are free to set stricter admission criteria. For example, many fraternities do not accept conscientious objectors , while others continue to refuse to accept college students . In a report dated November 1, 1958, the Legal Committee declared membership of non-German students to be incompatible with the principles of the DB:
"Since each individual fraternity has recognized the principles of the German fraternity and is obliged to participate in the joint implementation of these principles (Art. 1, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution), it may only accept members who are personally capable of the principles of the Germans Not only to recognize fraternity, but also to realize it. […]
A non-German student is not able to participate in the full implementation of the principles of the German fraternity. Even if he is otherwise a free and honest fellow, he cannot fulfill the highest life obligation of every fraternity member to live and fight for his German fatherland. "
A membership of foreigners is therefore permissible if they belong to the German nationality . Because of the people-based concept of fatherland , citizenship is irrelevant. The provisions for membership are jointly responsible for controversial discussions within the German fraternity and some fraternities leaving. The Legal Committee of the German Burschenschaft confirmed in 2011:
“The German Burschenschaft understands the German people to mean the community that is linked by the same historical fate, the same culture, related customs and the same language (Art. 9 of the Constitution). According to this, German ethnicity is linked to various characteristics such as descent, language, upbringing, culture and creed. Descent is therefore an essential, but not the only, characteristic for assessing ethnicity. It is possible that a descendant of a German nationality may lose his or her German nationality through assimilation to a foreign nationality. Conversely, it is also conceivable that a descendant of foreign nationals acquires German ethnicity through assimilation. "
Controversy and criticism
Of social scientists , political groups and parties an unclear relationship to be with Deutsche Burschenschaft right-wing extremism and the so-called New Right seen. The anti-Semitic resolutions of the Burschentag 1920 are another point on which the criticism of the German fraternity is still based today. In Austria, fraternities are generally accused of having a strong relationship with the German national camp and of rejecting the idea of an Austrian nation . The Vienna academic fraternity Olympia and the Brixia Innsbruck fraternity are the focus of criticism. In the 1960s, members of these fraternities, which were later accepted into the German fraternity, were involved in terrorist activities in South Tyrol . The later DB functionary Nachtmann was convicted in absentia in 1970 in one of the so-called "South Tyrol Trials" in Florence . The Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance (DÖW) criticizes the adherence to the “people-related concept of the fatherland” as “ethnic nationalism”.
Criticism of the political orientation of the German fraternity is raised not least by other student associations. In 1998 there was a scandal at the ceremony of the corporations in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt : The old gentlemen of the Kösener and Weinheimer Corps refused to participate officially because the German fraternity had too much influence on the event. There are fraternities in their fraternities, "in which right-wing extremist and nationalist ideas are demonstrably represented and in which misogynist and racist ideas celebrate a happy birth". One does not want to support this by participating. The corps associations then resigned from both the Convent of German Academic Associations (CDA) and the Convent of German Corporations Associations (CDK) in 1999 .
In 2001, the German fraternity hit the headlines after the Munich fraternity Danubia was accused of hiding a violent right-wing extremist. The fraternity does not deny the presence of the perpetrator, but they do deny that they knew about the previous brawl. Günther Beckstein , himself an old man in an artistic student union and at the time Bavarian Interior Minister, criticized right-wing extremists trying to gain influence in academic fraternities and through them at universities. Bavaria does not want to look the other way when right-wing extremists cultivated contacts with fraternities or even tried to subvert academic connections. Individual fraternities of the German fraternity were or are subsequently monitored by various German state offices for the protection of the constitution. In 2015/2016, for example, this concerned the Aktivitas of the Munich fraternity Danubia, the Aktivitas of the fraternity Frankonia Erlangen and the Hamburg fraternity Germania. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution refuses to observe the entire German fraternity . In response to a parliamentary question from the Left in January 2007, it said: “The vast majority of the member unions have no contact with right-wing extremists” and “at this point in time there are sufficient indications for efforts directed against the free democratic basic order , not before". This statement was renewed by the federal government in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The political scientist Alexandra Kurth said of an article published in August 2011 in the right-wing extremist magazine Die Aula under the title Passage contra Volkstum by Fred Duswald ( Danubia Munich ): "The text is malicious and right-wing extremist, that is the lowest regulars' table racism ." This article and the possible lawsuit by a liberal fraternity left the impression that both sides were forcing a split: “All attempts to discourage racist tendencies that have become public since the Burschentag seem to have failed”, and now “a conflict within the German fraternity is open that has been boiling under the lid for years. "
In 2011, a motion for exclusion made by the old Breslau fraternity of the Raczeks against the fraternity of Hansea Mannheim triggered nationwide criticism because the motion for exclusion was based on the membership of a fraternity of Chinese origin. The request was not dealt with.
The German fraternity was also criticized because with Herwig Nachtmann (among other things convicted for violating the Nazi re-employment ban ) and Norbert Weidner (among other things, a former functionary of the banned FAP ) relevant right-wing extremists were elected to the offices of press spokesman and editor of the association organ of fraternity leaves . In 2012, Weidner was criticized in a Spiegel Online article for describing the conviction and execution of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1945 as a “traitor” as “purely legally justified” in a letter to the editor printed in the member newspaper of the Alte Breslauer Burschenschaft der Raczeks . The letter to the editor was in response to an article by another member of the Raczeks who had named Bonhoeffer as a “role model for today's fraternity members”. In June 2012, Weidner was not voted out of office, a renewed vote in November 2012 ultimately led to Weidner being voted out of office prematurely. Right-wing extremist Philip Stein has been press spokesman since 2017 .
In 2013 the Innsbruck exhibition hall was rented for a meeting of the German fraternity . Shortly before the meeting in November of the same year, the contract with the German fraternity was unilaterally terminated at the instigation of Innsbruck mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer .
In 2014 the Wartburg Board of Trustees decided, in view of the political developments within the German fraternity, to no longer make the castle courtyard available for the ceremony of the Burschentag . The ceremony therefore took place at the fraternity monument for the first time.
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- Changing editors, including Ernst Elsheimer: Directory of the old fraternity members . Various editions between 1893 and 1933.
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On the history of the German fraternity
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- Internet presence of the German Burschenschaft
- Society for fraternity historical research e. V. (GfbG)
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Data leak: Internal papers reveal right-wing extremism among fraternities , in: Spiegel Online from July 15, 2012; Retrieved on December 31, 2012.
Right-wing extremism: Kampfansage to the brown fraternities , in: Die Zeit from May 25, 2012; Retrieved on December 31, 2012.
Shift to the right in the umbrella organization: Burschenschafter rush against “non-Aryans” , in: Spiegel Online from August 25, 2012; Retrieved December 31, 2012.
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