Jewish fraternity

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Jewish student associations arose in the German Empire and in the Danube Monarchy . The first association established by Jews only for Jews was the Viadrina , donated on October 23, 1886 at the Silesian Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität . The Jewish student associations still existed in the Weimar Republic and in the corporate state (Austria) . The Nazis took them to an end.

Jewish students

Zionist connection Jordania Munich (SS 1912)

In the Habsburg monarchy the Jews were finally given legal equality in 1867, in the German Empire in 1871; However, it was not fully implemented in practice because, for example, a Christian-religious oath had to be spoken for employment in the civil service. At that time, the state was by far the most important employer for academics. Jews still could not become officers, diplomats, civil servants, teachers, or professors. The aim was therefore above all the liberal professions and the subjects of law and medicine , which were also chosen by the majority of the members of effective associations. The corps contributed significantly to the assimilation of the Jews . A turning point was the duel between Vering and Salomon .

The opportunity for university studies was eagerly used by the Jewish population. While the proportion of Jews in the total population in Prussia was only around one percent in 1886, the proportion of Jewish students at universities was around nine percent. The proportion of Jews among Prussian lawyers was only 3% in 1871, in 1880 it was already 7.3%, in 1893 the proportion had grown to 25.4%. The development among freelance doctors was similar.

In the Kingdom of Prussia , Berlin , Breslau and Königsberg i. Pr. The largest Jewish communities. At that time every tenth inhabitant of Vienna was Jewish, but every second lawyer and every second doctor was Jewish. This favored hostility towards Jews and “racially” based anti-Semitism (until 1945) , which was also directed against baptized Jews and their descendants. Many student associations gradually went over to no longer accepting Jews as new members. Some student associations included the Aryan principle in their statutes. The exclusion of existing Jewish members had against highly held in the compounds lives covenant principle violated and was isolated only in the 1920s discussed, as well as legally required later after the seizure of power by the National Socialists. Many student associations - if not dissolved - still had Jewish members after 1933.

Due to the declining willingness of the student associations to accept Jewish students into their community, special Jewish associations of their own were soon founded in the 1880s, which had different goals and forms, but to a large extent took over and continued the traditions of the German student associations . About his time in the Russian-Jewish club to Konigsberg has Shmaryahu Levin in youth in turmoil left (Berlin 1933) an insightful report.


German-Jewish connections

Jewish students after the Mensur, Heidelberg 1906. They are members of the Kartell-Conventes , u. a. probably the Bavaria Heidelberg

The German-Jewish connections viewed the Jews in Germany as German citizens of the Jewish faith and as an integral part of German society. They were strongly based on German student traditions. They wanted to overcome discrimination by proving their equality with the rest of the population and show that Jews can also be dashing and defensive fraternity students and thereby refute the prejudice of cowardice and softness. The legal emancipation of the Jews in Germany after the establishment of the Reich in 1871 was for them the proof that this goal was achievable. They combined German national consciousness and Jewish cultural affiliation.

The first exclusively Jewish association in Germany was founded in Breslau on October 13, 1886, the Viadrina with the boy colors black-gold-red, the fox colors black-red and black hats, based on the colors black-red-gold of the bourgeois-democratic National movement. The Viadrina's motto was: Nemo me impune lacessit! ( Nobody provokes me with impunity! ) And points to the self-protective character that Jewish connections had. Viadrina anticipated the program of the Cartel Convent of the Associations of German Students of the Jewish Faith (KC), founded in 1896, with its orientation, namely Jewish members, "German-Fatherland" sentiments, colored and unconditional satisfaction with the weapon . In 1894 Viadrina was dissolved by the rector and the senate, mainly because of her enthusiasm for fencing, while an old gentlemen's association continued to exist, which later joined the KC.

Zionist connections

The Jewish national corporations like the Kadimah Vienna viewed the attempts to integrate the Jews into the German nation as futile and the legal emancipation of the Jews in Germany as failed. They shared the goals of Zionism and sought the formation of a Jewish state in Palestine . In her opinion, her stay in Central Europe was only provisional. Nevertheless, they stuck to Germany's student traditions. An important association was the Union of Jewish Corporations (1901) which merged with the Cartel of Zionist Associations (KZV) to form the Cartel of Jewish Associations (KJV) in 1914 .

Denominational association

The Union of Jewish Academics (BJA, founded in 1903) did not take any socio-political positions. He hardly had the typical characteristics of a student union. He did not differentiate between active and old men and rejected Mensur , Couleur and pub . It was about faith, culture and science.

Parity connections

Coats of arms of the equal corporations in four associations ( Doeberl 1931)

The liberal, in Austria also referred to as “free-spirited” (equal) connections, saw the separation of Jews from the rest of the population as the wrong way and wanted to bring Jews and non-Jews together in their ranks. Due to the large number of Jewish students and students of Jewish origin and the low level of interest from other quarters, they soon developed into almost purely Jewish connections. The first foundation was the Free Scientific Association in Berlin in 1881, which was soon followed by other associations in other cities. The largest corporate federation of parity student associations, the Burschenbunds-Convent , refused to be called a Jewish association. The only equal corps were the Marchia, Raetia and Amelungia in Vienna. In 1926 they signed a relationship agreement with the Burschenbunds-Convent.

Question of honor

The German-Jewish, but also the Zionist connections, saw the traditional German forms of student fraternity as suitable for gaining social respect. They wanted to counteract prejudices against Jews, especially through the uncompromising care of the scale and duel . Also, the bulks them was not unfamiliar (see Corp Student Inaktivenvereinigungen # Wroclaw ). The fact that every anti-Semitic statement by a fellow student was acknowledged with a saber demand soon earned some Jewish connections a reputation for being particularly aggressive. Some were banned. Towards the end of the 19th century, several gun duels with fatal results were fought in this matter.

The successes of the Jewish fraternity students in the field of duels and mensur soon became uncomfortable for the anti-Semites, because they contradicted their view of the “cowardly” and “pinching” Jews. The first reaction took place in German Austria with the Waidhofen principle . Then the Jews were denied the honor and thus the ability to be satisfied :

“In view of the many proofs that the Jewish student also gave of his dishonor and lack of character, and since he is completely devoid of honor in our German terms, today's meeting of German well-fortified student associations makes the decision: No more satisfaction for the Jew on guns to give because he is unworthy of them. "

- Waidhofen decision

These resolutions also aroused protests from many conservative fraternity students in Germany, because the declaration of dishonor towards a group of students contradicted the most intrinsic traditions of fraternity students. Allegations of cowardice towards other students have traditionally been considered the worst violations of the Comment . It was precisely the view that all students belonged together to a special class, by which they differed from the rest of the population, was the basis of the weapons students according to the opinion of the time. The Waidhofner resolutions thus violated the oldest traditions of the student associations.

The “Waidhofner Principle” remained controversial for a long time, but was also able to assert itself in Germany, albeit only after the end of the First World War.

The KC insisted on its weapons student principles:

“We carry our weapons to protect our honor from any attack by those who see the essential in these forms, to show with the saber that bears our colors that it is nothing but a prejudice to be courageous to the Jew and fearlessness denies. We therefore refuse to lay down our arms because they are being disputed with us. That is why we also wear color. "

- Thomas Schindler

Some (non-hitting) Jewish corporations subsequently went so far that they trained their members in martial arts (boxing, jiu jitsu, etc.) so that they could defend themselves against physical attacks by fellow students.

Forced dissolution of Jewish connections in the German Reich

While the Zionist associations immediately called on their members to leave the German Reich after the Reichstag elections in March 1933, the association magazines of the German national Jewish associations made no mention of the change in power.

On June 30, 1933, all Jewish connections in the German Reich were declared dissolved and their property was confiscated. The old rulers could continue to exist under the supervision of the Secret State Police until 1938. There were re-foundings after the Second World War with the equal connections. The old gentlemen's association of the Cartel of Jewish Connections was still active in Tel-Aviv. The JAV Charitas Graz also had an old gentlemen's association in Israel. The contribution of members, especially of the Zionist alliances, to the construction of Israel must not be underestimated. There were also members of the government to be found.

Known members

Well-known members of Jewish student associations

Color card of the Koenigsberg Association of Jewish Students

Well-known members of parity student associations

The equal student associations were open to students regardless of their religious affiliation; The following list therefore also includes people of other religions (such as the Catholic Thomas Dehler ).


  • Adolph Asch: History of the KC (Cartel Association of Jewish Students) in the light of German cultural and political development. London 1964.
  • Kurt U. Bertrams: The cartel convent and its connections. WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2008, ISBN 978-3-933892-69-0 .
  • Kurt U. Bertrams: Jewish-national student associations and associations. WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2013, ISBN 978-3-944052-24-3 .
  • Kurt U. Bertrams: Past color worlds - memories of Jewish corporates. WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2006, ISBN 3-933892-48-1 .
  • Eli Rothschild (Ed.): Milestones. On the way of the cartel of Jewish connections (KJV) in the Zionist movement. Tel Aviv 1972.
  • Martin Biastoch : Jewish students and student anti-Semitism 1919 to 1922 in Tübingen. In: then and now . 38: 249-252 (1993).
  • Norbert Kampe : Jews and Antisemites at Universities in Imperial Germany (I). Jewish Students. Social History and Social Conflict. In: Year Book of the Leo Baeck Institute, Vol. 30, 1985, pp. 357-394.
  • Thomas Schindler: Student anti-Semitism and Jewish student associations in Germany with special consideration of Bavaria from 1880 to 1914 , scientific work to obtain the academic degree of a Magister artium (MA), Würzburg 1987.
  • Norbert Kampe: Jews and Antisemites at Universities in Imperial Germany (II), The Friedrich Wilhelms Universität of Berlin. A Case Study on the Students “Jewish Question”. In: Year Book of the Leo Baeck Institute, Vol. 32, 1987, pp. 43-101.
  • Norbert Kampe: Students and the “Jewish question” in the German Empire. The emergence of an academic support layer of anti-Semitism (= critical studies on historical science . Volume 76). Goettingen 1988
  • Thomas Schindler: Student Anti-Semitism and Jewish Student Associations 1880–1933. In: Jürgen Setter (Hrsg.): Series of publications by the Student History Association of the Coburg Convent , issue 27, Jever 1988.
  • Christian Käselau: The cartel convent of the tendency connections of German students of the Jewish faith as an example for Jewish corporation associations in the German Empire and in the Weimar Republic . (Full text: [1] )
  • Thomas Schindler: The fight of the Cartel Convent (KC) against anti-Semitism. In: Einst und Jetzt (Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research). Vol. 36 (1991).
  • Norbert Kampe: The Jewish Arrival at Higher Education. In: Herbert A. Strauss (Ed.): Hostages of Modernization. Studies on Modern Antisemitism 1870-1933 / 39 , Vol. 1, Berlin 1993, pp. 80-106.
  • Norbert Kampe: From the “founder crisis” to the “Berlin anti-Semitism dispute”. The emergence of modern anti-Semitism in Berlin 1875–1881. In: Reinhard Rürup (ed.): Jewish history in Berlin. Essays and Studies , (volume accompanying the exhibition in the New Synagogue, Oranienburger Str.), Berlin 1995, pp. 85–100.
  • Norbert Kampe: “Student Jewish Question” and “New Nationalism” in the German Empire. On the history of the impact of the associations of German students. In: Marc Zirlewagen (Hrsg.): Emperor loyalty - leader thought - democracy. Contributions to the history of the associations of German students (Kyffhäuser Association) , Cologne 2000, pp. 37–77.
  • Fritz Roubicek : From Basel to Chernivtsi. The Jewish Academic Student Associations in Europe . Vienna 1986 (contributions to Austrian student history 12). GoogleBooks
  • Harald Seewann : Licaria Munich 1895–1933. A connection between German students of the Jewish faith in the field of tension among weapons students. In: Einst und Jetzt (Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research). Vol. 52 (2007).
  • Harald Seewann: Circle and Zion Star. Pictures and documents from the lost world of the Jewish-national fraternity student. 2 volumes, Graz 1990.
  • Miriam Rürup : A matter of honor. Jewish student associations at German universities 1886–1937. Göttingen 2008. Review
  • Matthias Stickler : Jewish student associations. Notes on a neglected topic in university and student history . Once and Now, Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research, Vol. 61 (2016), pp. 11–66.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Shmarya Levin: The beer question played a fateful role , in: Kurt U. Bertrams: As a student in Königsberg. Memories of known corporates . Hilden 2006, pp. 177-122.
  2. Michaela Neuber and Matthias Sticker, "The equal and Jewish connections", chapter: Corporations in Breslau - Viadrina in the KC, EINST UND JETZT, Volume 61, Yearbook 2016 of the Association for Corpsstudentische Geschichtsforschung, 2016
  3. Kurt U. Bertrams: The cartel convent and its connections. WJK-Verlag, 2009, p. 189, ISBN 978-3-933892-69-0 .
  4. ^ Michael Grüttner: The student body in democracy and dictatorship . In: R. v. Bruch, HE Tenorth (ed.): History of the University of Unter den Linden. Volume 2: The Berlin University between the World Wars 1918–1945. ISBN 978-3-05-004667-9 . Pp. 187–294, here: p. 225.
  5. Thomas Schindler: The fight of the cartel convent (KC) against anti-Semitism. In: then and now. Volume 36, 1991 yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research, p. 192.
  6. ^ Hermann Berlak: The cartel convention of the connections of German students of the Jewish faith (KC). Berlin 1927, p. 14f.
  7. Thomas Schindler: Student anti-Semitism and Jewish student associations 1880-1933 . Edited by Jürgen Setter. Erlangen, self-published by the Student History Association, 1988. P. 131 OCLC 25203368
  8. Harald Seewann (Ed.): JAV Charitas Graz 1897–1938. The story of a Jewish fraternity in words, pictures and documents. (= Historia Academica Judaica 7), self-published, Graz 2001, p. 39ff. OCLC 46481760
  9. History of the Hasmonaea
  10. limited preview in the Google book search
  11. Timothy W. Ryback: Hitler's First Victims: The Quest for Justice. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014, ISBN 978-0-385-35292-5 .
  12. a b c Udo Wengst : Thomas Dehler 1897–1967. A political biography . Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-486-56306-8 , p. 36.
  13. Austria in History and Literature. , Volume 13, Stiasny Verlag, 1969, p. 456. OCLC 457007429
  14. Harald Seewann : Zirkel und Zionsstern: Pictures and documents from the sunken world of the Jewish national corporation: a contribution to the history of Zionism on academic ground. , Volume 3, self-published, 1992. p. 25, OCLC 311591994
  15. ^ R. Rill:  Scheuer, Oskar Franz. In: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 10, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-7001-2186-5 , p. 99.
  16. ^ Leon Zeitlin Collection, 1930-1967 , Center for Jewish History, New York