Pub (fraternity)

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A pub is a traditional student celebration that was and is especially common among student associations .

Corps Moenania Würzburg pub , register sheet July 18, 1815
Gießen Wingolf pub around 1900


In pubs - following the comment and usually associated with the consumption of beer - student songs are sung and rites relevant to connections are held, often supplemented by speeches. The members of colored student associations wear their color to this . In addition to the active members, old men (former students of the associations) of the organizing corporation are also present at official pubs . Usually members of friendly connections and possibly non-incorporated guests are also invited to celebrate together. From today's perspective, student pubs are quite formal in terms of process, mood and clothing compared to later forms of student events.

In addition, many compounds also call for holding a provided of pubs space in a corporate house as a pub , other than Kneip hall . Many corporation houses even have several rooms of different sizes for the implementation of this type of event, which are referred to as large / small bars and are used according to the expected number of participants. Cellar pubs , small rooms in the basement with seating areas and beer dispensers are particularly cozy .

Group photo of foxes from Leonensia (1883)

The student term pub was adopted into German general language around the middle of the 19th century as an expression for a restaurant in which mainly alcoholic beverages are served.

"Pub" as an event

Today practically every officially organized pub of a student union is a comparatively formal evening event, which is usually held in a corporation house in a room or hall provided for it. If the participants do not wear traditional student clothing (“Vollwichs”, “Kneipack”, “ Pekesche ”, “Bergkittel” etc.), a dark suit with a tie is considered appropriate for the occasion. The participants sit at arranged tables and drink beer - mostly by candlelight. In men's groups, the pub usually takes place as a men's event, in women's associations mostly as a women's event and in mixed student associations in the presence of women and men, although this does not automatically include partners or spouses.

At the Catholic-Austrian student associations, women and guests are usually welcome at pubs, with the exception of internal events such as the funeral bar or Landesvater .

With most connections, a guest book is kept - often with a lot of effort - in which all participants of the events make entries.

Pubs are "guided", that is, there is an executive committee, which is usually from the three Chargierten is the organizing joint. The actual management function is only exercised by the first person charged. He gets up from time to time and orders “Silentium” (Latin for “rest”), whereupon all those involved interrupt their conversation (“Colloquium”). The leader uses this break in conversation to sing student songs, greet guests and have speeches made.

In order to support the executive function of the Presidium, a basic seating arrangement is usually given. Popular table arrangements are the T-shape and the U-shape - depending on the number of participants. At the head of the table at a transverse - mostly particularly old, elaborately decorated - table, the presidium sits - often on special chairs. This part of the tablet is called the praesid . The other participants sit at the longer rows of tables, called cones . On the opposite side of the board sits the fox major , who is responsible for the young members, the " foxes ". The foxes sit by his side. The fox major supports the president in running the bar by getting up during the silent session and helping to keep the break in conversation. This is particularly useful for larger events. With some connections this function is also called “Contraprésid” or “Contrarium”.

The singing of the songs is supported by piano accompaniment (also called "beer music" or " beer organ "), provided an instrument is available and a capable player is present. Important items of equipment in pubs are the Kommers books , in which the lyrics are recorded.

The detailed implementation of the Kneip implementation varies between the connection types. So the Kösener Corps differ significantly from the other hitting associations, and the non-hitting / Catholic corps also have peculiarities.

With striking connections

When connections are strong, there is usually an official and an unofficial part of the pub. In the official part, which usually lasts around two hours, guests are greeted, speeches are given and the more solemn songs are sung. It is frowned upon to get up, walk around, change places or leave the room. A smoking ban is often pronounced for the official part. The official part usually ends with a certain song that has a special meaning for the respective connection (“color song”). The German song is often sung in fraternities .

In the unofficial part, speeches are usually no longer given, the songs are more relaxed. One or the other beer boy can also be drunk. The seating arrangement dissolves and new discussion groups are formed.

If, at the end of the official part, the presidium leaves its seat and the participants continue to drink without a “lead”, some connections call this “Fidulitas” or “Bierdorf”.

With non-striking Catholic connections

Kneipsaal of the Arminia Catholic Student Association , Arminenhaus, Bonn (1900-present)

Catholic / Christian connections typically also celebrate formalisms in the pub that are cultivated with other types of connections in convents or in private circles. The pub is divided into a high official, an official and (optionally) an unofficial. In the high official at the beginning of the pub there are the admission of new members, philistines , the celebratory speech, etc. In the following official the senior usually has his say and guests are welcomed and greetings are given. This is usually followed by a colloquium (see above). A little outside the pub is the Inoffiz z. B. with beer facial expressions , surf and tip swap . This is followed by fidulity, fidulitas or beer village; the casual get-together at the end of the pub.

The Catholic corporations in particular also maintain a number of linguistic features. A lot of Latin and especially pseudo- Latin is spoken. (“Ad hymnam” as an invitation to sing the hymn, “Ad stropham” for the next verse of the song, or “Ein Schmollis omnibus cantoribus musicoque”). Historically, this arose as a corruption of the perceived as too stilted customs of the long-established knocking connections. Over time, however, this attitude changed, so that over time these special and typical terms became part of general custom, which today is often far more complex than that of the older connection types.

In the case of Catholic connections in Austria, there is no distinction between high official and official; only one office is held, which can optionally be followed by an inofficium. Bars (except mourning bar and country father) are uniformly opened with the song Gaudeamus igitur (“First General”) and closed with When we move through the streets (“Last General”). The latter includes the color stanzas of the connections to the same melody, or in summary the hymns of the umbrella organizations. The Catholic connections in Germany have no or different conventions in the choice of songs.

Bars of corporations of different umbrella organizations do not differ significantly for outsiders; those involved perceive numerous larger or smaller differences.

Special forms of the pub

A particularly celebratory variant of the pub is the Kommers , which is often held at foundation festivals or other important events such as university anniversaries . Kommerse can have over 200 participants. Usually a prominent speaker gives a speech. There is no unofficial part. It is quite common to end a Kommers on the occasion of a large foundation festival, which is held every five years, with a solemn national father .

In contrast to bars, Kommerse also often has a demonstrative character. They are often celebrated in honor of someone or in memory of something. In the imperial era, Kommerse was customary on national commemorative days to express the student's commitment to the state, its ideals and goals. In times of distress or oppression, Kommerse is organized as a commitment to student traditions, for example as an expression of resistance to the totalitarian claims of the respective state. In the Third Reich as well as during the GDR, unofficially existing connections were illegally deterred Kommerse.

As a cross bar (in Switzerland and two-color bar or two-dyer ) a celebration of two friendly connected students compounds is referred to, whereby the two compounds in the Bureau alternate. Run more than two connections in such a pub the Bureau, they will ring pub (Switzerland: multicolor bar or more dyers ) called. Pubs that serve wine are called wine bars . Some men's associations organize ladies' pubs where female guests are invited, who will also be asked to lead the event in due course.

The German-Baltic connections until 1939 at the universities in Dorpat , Riga , Saint Petersburg and Moscow were particularly old and simple, but also very special . This tradition is still maintained by three associations in Germany today. At the beginning of the 19th century, these connections took over the customs then cultivated by the corps and preserved them as a kind of traditional island in the Baltic States . Some typical features of the country have been incorporated. For example, a samovar with tea is set up in Baltic pubs , vodka is drunk and snacks are served with it ( see also: Vodka consumption ). A fixed seating arrangement is unknown. The leader sits among the participants. These pubs are z. B. at the Fraternitas Dorpatensis in Munich in the semester program under the name "Gentlemen's evening".

Another form of the unofficial part of a pub can be a high pub . For this purpose, tables are moved together and a row of tables and chairs similar to the shape of a small pub are placed on these tables. In most cases there is only one student on the presidium. This high bar is then in the “1. Floor ”.

An even more unusual form of pub is the submarine pub, which is usually held (struck) in the basement. Little emphasis is placed on seating arrangements and tables or chairs, as the spatial conditions often greatly impair or prevent this.

So-called spontaneous bars are also very popular, especially in unusual places. Spontaneous bars are sometimes celebrated in public places, in stairwells, on roofs, in rivers or in other places.

Background: Guided drinking events


Greek symposium around 500 BC

Guided, ritualized drinking events with alcoholic beverages are obviously a specifically European invention. They come into the light of history for the first time in ancient Greece in the form of the so-called symposium , an originally religiously motivated banquet. Such events are not known from ancient Egypt or the Middle East.

In Greece, over time, a pious feast becomes a popular entertainment event for upscale circles. Typical of the symposium is the leader, called the symposiarch , and certain rituals and regulations that must be observed. In addition to artistic performances, witty conversations through to the discussion of philosophical questions play an important role. In Plato's work “ Symposion ”, Socrates appears as a symposiarch who first determines the mixing ratio of wine and water and then confronts his fellow drinkers with philosophical questions.

A work called “Symposion” has also come down to us from Xenophon , in which the drinking event of a group of men is also described.

In his last work Nomoi (German: "Laws"), Plato explained in detail that strictly guided drinking bouts based on the model of the symposium practiced in Athens exercised self-control of the people and were thus more conducive to the development of an ideal state that he had worked out than perfect alcohol - Abstinence and sobriety, as practiced in Sparta to maintain military combat strength. Celibacy maintains physical strength, but the training of self-control strengthens the mind, which is generally more useful to the state.

This custom was adopted in ancient Rome. Here the so-called comissatio , the drinking feast, took place after the convivium , the actual feast. The leader here was the arbiter bibendi ("drinking referee "), the magister bibendi ("drinking master") or simply the rex ("king"), who had to ensure compliance with the strict drinking rules. In doing so, people were obviously still following the principles developed in Greece, drinking according to the mos graecus , the Greek custom.

Here, too, the key point was that those who wanted to join the community of drinkers also had to submit to the rules so that the socially reinforcing element of these rituals also worked. Cicero put it in a nutshell : Aut bibat aut abeat (German: "He may drink or go away.").

Martial and Horace mentioned these drinking rules in their poems, but Horace rather negatively. Petronius showed the degeneration in the later imperial era in his work Cena Trimalchionis (" The Banquet of Trimalchio "), in which the newly rich freed Trimalchio randomly invites scroungers from the street to boast of his wealth in front of them with a lavish feast.

The classical scholar Joachim Marquardt described these Roman drinking rules in Volume 7 (The private life of the Romans) of his work Handbuch der Roman Antiquities 1886 using the terms of the student beer commentary of his time:

“Actual drinking started after eating, either with dessert or later in the evening. One drank More Graeco, that is, after a certain comment; wreaths and ointments were given and a praeses, magister bibendi, arbiter bibendi, rex, was mentioned.

It was drunk around in sequence, so that one starts from above or from any other person; the Magister, who was determined by dice, prescribed the mixture of the wine and the measure which should be drunk. Since the intention was to drink heavily, so one mixed ... the wine with water ...

The characteristic of the drinking session is that you drink a certain number of jugs at once, and this is the technical term. . . ad numerum bibere… You either drink with what is proper to someone else, to whom you hand the cup, whereupon he has to empty it completely, or you bring out a toast or a health that requires as many proper things as the name of the celebrated person Person contains letters; the main thing is always to empty the cup in one go and without putting it down so that not a drop remains. "

With reference to the ancient traditions, the Corps Symposion in Vienna (originally Academic Society Symposion ) named itself in 1886 after the Greek drinking bout.

Christianity and early modern times

Blasius Mulitbibus, Jus Potandi , 1616

The spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire also showed in its Eucharistic celebration the approach to a religiously motivated eating and drinking event led by a master. The Holy Mass was celebrated by the early Christian community in Jerusalem as part of a common satiation meal. However, the apostle Paul soon heard of the degeneracy of the church in Corinth , where apparently everyone brought their own food and drink and ate them for themselves instead of sharing with the needy and consuming them together:

Because everyone anticipates their own meal while eating, and one is hungry, the other is drunk.

Paul directed the ward to have the satiety meal family after family at home. The Eucharist became a ritual within the divine service and developed completely differently from the ancient symposium.

When the influence of the Catholic Church in large parts of Europe was pushed back by the Renaissance and Reformation almost one and a half millennia later and interest in antiquity reawakened, the first signs of guided drinking events showed up again. The first reports of "drinkers" come from the 16th century.

In 1616 the German version of the book Jus Potandi ("Zechrecht" or "Trinkrecht"), originally published in London, appears in Leipzig . The author Richard Brathwaite (1588–1673) appears under the pseudonym Blasius Multibibus ("Vielsauf").

The German edition Jus Potandi or ZechRecht had the subtitle Darinnen von Ursprung, Customs, und Solenniteten, so also from the Antiquitet, Effect and Wirckung deszeichen and Zutrinckens, Even what might otherwise go on in disputes has not yet been decided, very well-behaved, and the current world is being discussed very funny.

The first report of a "Pope game" comes from 1644, the ritualized drinking game "Prince of Thoren" is documented for the first time in 1697. See also: beer state .

The directed private invitation in the 18th century

Hospitium in Jena, library painting around 1750

In the 18th century, a student social event called a hospitium or feast was common at German universities. There were these events both in the form of a private invitation from a student to his fellow students and as an official representation event of the then country team associations of the students.

At private events, one of the students was invited to the accommodation. Here the guests were entertained by the innkeepers. The host determined what everyone had to drink. As a sign of his dignity he wore a dressing gown. The house key, which he held in his hand or had lying on the table in front of him, as can be seen from illustrations from the 18th century, served as a further badge.

Written rules of the hospice have been preserved. In 1747, for example, the work Das Hospitium or Correct Proof of All Rights and Customs Common to the Hospitio was published anonymously .

Origin and development of the student pub in the 19th century

Pub as a community event

Corps Suevia Tübingen pub around 1815

The following explanation of the term "pub" can be found in the 1813 book by the Göttingen corps student Daniel Ludwig Wallis , who was matriculated in 1811, about life at the Göttingen University:

“A pub is not only called every inn, but also every room. “A cheerful pub” means: a friendly room and also a good inn. Kneipe is also used synonymously with "Zeche": "That was an expensive pub for me!"

The event later called “pub” is still called “Commersch” by Wallis (see Kommers ):

“Commersch is an association of happy drinking brothers for a communal drinking binge. The company takes a seat at a long table; Above and below there is a praeses who is in charge of the lead singer and who beats the beat with the hammer or goat hammer on the table. As soon as a song is finished, the praesides dictate punishments consisting of drinking to those who have not performed properly during the song; whereupon a colloquium is decreed by the praesides, by virtue of which each can rise from his seat. But as soon as the "ad loca!" Sounds, everyone rushes to his place, when the call "Silentium!" Everything must be as quiet as a mouse; the singing begins again. The most solemn song is the father of the country. "

In the early 19th century, the newly established connections looked for restaurants where they were among themselves, so to speak at home, in their "pub", and the name was transferred to the common evening event, in which all members took part without special invitation . The senior managed the event as the host.

The statutes of Corps Suevia Tübingen in the version from 1819 stipulated :

“Every member is eager to contribute as much as possible to mutual amusement during the recovery hours, so they are exhorted to visit the corps bar at the usual hour and not to be absent-minded in other local bars. Dabey is still seriously given up on anyone never to hit big pumps. They should not exceed a sum fixed by the Convention. By the word of honor everyone is obliged to pay debts to the corps pub. "

At the beginning of the 19th century, a more binding form of self-governing student associations had formed, which placed value on common leisure activities - at least in the evening hours - and which tried to have a positive influence on the behavior of students at the university through grassroots democratic convention resolutions . The emergence of these early corps marked the emergence of fraternity in today's sense. The pub as a student event organized in the group played a major role in this.

The pub as a formal representation event

Student pub scene around 1810

In the further course of the 19th century, further regulations for the implementation of evening drinking events were formed on the territory of the German Confederation . The formalism became increasingly complex. A special culture developed, whereby individual connections, but also the connection types that developed differently over the course of the century, produced their own peculiarities.

Only in the Baltic States ( Dorpat , Riga , but partly also in Moscow and Saint Petersburg ) was the old, more informal form from the beginning of the 19th century retained until 1939, which is still maintained by Baltic connections in Germany in isolated cases.

In the Habsburg monarchy , Metternich's system of oppression severely hindered the development of a student culture of connection, so that essential elements from other German states were not adopted until the second half of the 19th century. This mainly affected the universities of Vienna , Graz , Innsbruck , Prague and Brno , and from 1875 also Chernivtsi .

As an evening drinking event, the pub became the essential, central event of the fraternity. Even today, the personality of a connection is expressed above all in the charisma that a pub organized by it has on connection members and guests.

That was also one of the main springs in the early 19th century: the pub as a representation event for the association. It was increasingly common for representatives of friendly associations from other university cities to be guests. Also, more and more former students came back to the place of study to celebrate together with their old student union, the later so-called " old men ". That now required formal greetings in the pub, which were often accompanied by toasts. As a particularly solemn form of Zutrinkens the developed Schopp Salamander .

These visits again represented special events that had to be honored in pub speeches. To this day, the speech of an old man (often the chairman of the old gentlemen's association) is a standard element of a pub. In addition to the greetings and expressions of thanks, the socio-political and / or scientific content of the speeches was increasingly important. Whereby, as the hour progressed, the entertaining elements came to the fore.

With some of the younger connections, the so-called “beer mimicry” or the “fox joke” emerged from witty speeches. Humorous poems or parodies can be performed - often by younger members - right up to staged performances, as it were as a "pretend joke". ( See also: Beer State )

Also in the 19th century, the particularly formal and solemn form of the Kommerses developed . A Kommers is only held at occasional festivities and usually has significantly more participants than a pub. It also has no unofficial part. As a rule, a prominent personality is invited as a keynote speaker, who is at his own lectern and not just at the beer table.

Pub discipline: pub as a means of education

While in the first half of the 19th century it was primarily a matter of giving the event dignity and seriousness, in contrast to the exuberant events of the 18th century, another aspect was in the foreground in the further course of the second half of the 19th century . With the repeal of the Karlovy Vary resolutions in 1848, the associations were no longer forbidden secret societies of wild youth, but developed into established institutions for the extra-professional education of the next generation of academics. Particularly during the imperial era, society relied on the connections to ensure that the young students internalized the basic concepts of social interaction , etiquette and self-control .

The pub played a special role in this. Here it was important to keep to the forms and - especially under the influence of alcohol - never lose the role. The constant challenge of representing one's own connection and of having to give a speech as a guest often unprepared, encouraged the rhetorical practice and the mental agility of the young academics. The educational function of the pub was regularly and explicitly emphasized in the student publications, especially during the imperial era.

There were already ancient models for this conception. In his last work, Nomoi (German: "Laws") , Plato stated that strictly guided drinking sessions exercised people's self-control and were therefore conducive to the development of an ideal state that he had worked out. This concept was well known to the humanistically educated students of the 19th century.

Beer comment: Drinking as a socially strengthening ritual

“Beer duel” by Georg Mühlberg (1863–1925): Drinking games like beer boys are traditionally something for the unofficial part of a pub

When the first corps were founded around 1800 , the oldest connections in today's sense, they tried to regulate the life of the students internally through their constitutions and across all connections for the entire university through SC comments . The Senior Citizens' Convention (SC) issued regulations on how students had to behave in a “socially acceptable” manner; the rules governing duels played a major role.

These comments shaped life at German universities in the years that followed. But soon there were parodies at the beer table. The beer comment made fun of the SC comment. The penalty of the SC disreputation became the beer waste , the court of honor became the beer court, the word of honor became the word of beer . The formalized standard insult "stupid boy" became the beer boy .

Beer comments were soon also set in writing. The oldest surviving beer comment comes from Tübingen and dates back to 1815. Beer comments did not regulate the organization of a pub as a whole, but rather the behavior of the individual drinkers among themselves. When drafting the beer comments, it was assumed that the "drink suitable for the comment" (usually beer, in the early days often wine) would never be drunk alone, but only together. If someone drinks for the benefit of another, care should be taken that, as a matter of courtesy, this drink must be returned in any case. From these basic rules, a number of games quickly developed that contributed to the "wet and happy course" of a bar.

The impression of outsiders that there is an obligation to drink in pubs is based on these basic rules. This is true in that, after the beer comment, a participant was already prescribed when and how much for what reason to drink. On the other hand, there were also reasons that exempted us from this. So anyone who was unable to drink could report “beer sick”. This was already documented in Jena in 1815. Here one could also refrain from drinking “because of cannon”, ie because of having become drunk.

Since the happiness had of course often assumed excessive proportions, there were soon the first countermovements. The emerging Christian student associations now often admitted to the so-called principle of moderation , which rejected excessive alcohol consumption but also other excesses of the students at that time.

What started out as fun in the first half of the 19th century became more and more serious in the second half of the century. In the imperial era the beer comment became an integral part of the official comment of a connection. A consistent violation of the beer comment could result in the dismissal from the connection, since it had to be assumed from a person affected that he did not have the ability to integrate into a strictly regulated social system required by the society at that time.

In 1899, Reclam's general German beer comment appeared , which first attempted to summarize and unify the beer comments that were then different in every university town.

Natural pub in the Tübingen Lindenallee
Greetings from the nature pub

But at least since the emergence of the youth movement in 1896, the social consensus regarding the alcohol consumption of young men began to crumble. “Healthy living” and “Back to nature” were the keywords of the new movement. Alcohol consumption was no longer considered natural and indispensable by all social groups. At the same time, the first associations of students ( free student movement ) emerged, which did not follow the old tradition of associations and demanded that students be represented independently of corporations. Since that time there have been alternatives to the student life previously considered “typical”.

How much disgruntled heaviness, lameness, dampness, dressing gown, how much beer is there in the German intelligentsia! How is it actually possible that young men who dedicate their existence to the most spiritual goals do not feel the first instinct of spirituality, the self-preservation instinct of the spirit - and drink beer? ... The alcoholism of the learned youth is perhaps not yet a question mark in terms of their erudition - one can even be a great scholar without a spirit - but in every other respect it remains a problem. - Where would you not find it, the gentle degeneration that beer produces in the spirit! I once put my finger on such a degeneration in a case that has almost become famous - the degeneration of our first German free spirit, the wise David Strauss, the author of a beer bank gospel and “new faith” uche Schose! ... It was not for nothing that he made his vow to the "lovely brown" in verse - loyalty until death ... "

- Friedrich Nietzsche , Götzen-Twilight, What the Germans lack

"Pub" as a space

Kneipsaal of the Hallenser Wingolf
Share in the “Bonner Preußenkneipe” for “Three Hundred Marks”, drawn by Kaiser Wilhelm II. ( Text on Wikisource )

In the second half of the 19th century, with the increasing establishment of connections and the integration of the old gentlemen in the communal life, the desire for their own space arose in which the respective connection was among themselves and did not have to deal with foreign innkeepers. The oldest sources speak of a “home” that one wants to build for oneself, or of one's own “pub”.

From the 1880s, most came to about 1,912 fraternity houses Germany where the premises for celebrations and other events dominated the architecture. During this time, some architectural firms specialized in the construction of fraternity houses, which led to the development of some typical local styles that bore the signature of the local architect. Of course, connections then made different demands on the structure of a building than a middle-class family.

In some of the connecting houses that were built for this purpose, the “large bar” is by far the largest room today, and it can sometimes be several floors high. A corp house in Erlangen has a ceiling height of nine meters in its large pub.

Such a pub room is usually decorated with memorabilia from the respective connection. Wooden elements are decorated with carvings, old pictures adorn the walls, some connections collect the pictures of all their members, which are hung on the walls in chronological order.

Since the catering service providers were no longer available after the construction of their own houses, the connections now had to keep their own employees, the so-called faxes , also couleur or corps servants.

20th Century: Social Polarization

Weimar Republic

After the First World War, the old worldview of the empire collapsed in the Weimar Republic. New ideas, some of which had already started in the German Empire (see also the German Association of Abstinent Students ), began to gain acceptance. Society polarized. For example, healthy eating and sportiness were given a higher priority. The social value of excessive drinking was also increasingly questioned among student associations. During the 1920s there were official statements in several student associations that there was no compulsion to drink in the associations in question, and that there never was. This was received in public with incredulous astonishment and on the one hand ensured approval, on the other hand it also caused biting ridicule. While in the 19th century the "hard-drinking student" had become a fixed topos in literature and satire, in the first decades of the 20th century there were more and more caricatures about student alcohol abstinence .

When the Kösener Seniors Convent Association declared in the 1920s that there was no “compulsory drinking”, a caricature by Karl Arnold appeared in the magazine Simplicissimus on June 18, 1928 : A group of students from the corps is sitting there in a garden bar with juice glasses and fruit bowls instead of beer mugs. In addition the text (excerpt from the quotation):

Walter Caspari : “A Unique”, caricature from 1906: “You, father, there is a student who asks for a glass of milk!” - “Where is he? I have to look at it! "(Ridicule of health-conscious students in the 20th century)
There is an inn on the Lahn,
no beer wagon stops there-:
in the Kösener SC was
the compulsion to drink completely abolished ---
O Wotan, how I was hurt!
Gone is the blissful exuberance:
there is the "abstinence comment",
who could have guessed that?
"Allow me to have a yogurt!"
Follow with three bananas! "
The landlady, tender as a deer.
the empty heart hurts so much
She sobs: “Damn it!
The guys are training themselves healthy,
and I'll get chlorosis! "

In June 1928, the Munich magazine Jugend published a caricature by Erich Wilke entitled Mourning Salamander , in which students from the corps stand serious-looking in front of their beer mugs decorated with mourning ribbon during a pub. The senior speaks: A high Cösener SC liked to abolish the obligation to drink. I still expect everyone to do their duty.

It can be assumed that the actual drinking behavior of the students was hardly influenced by such decisions.

Third Reich and World War II

After the National Socialists came to power, the time for student traditions, especially in the field of recreational activities, deteriorated. The students' free time was increasingly filled with military sports exercises and National Socialist training courses, which were a prerequisite for studying.

Student formalisms were seen as relics of a "feudal society" that should be abolished. The comradeships founded by the National Socialist German Student Union had other forms of event, as special student traditions were not in the interests of those in power. Since students essentially came from the wealthy bourgeoisie, cultivating student traditions was also seen as an attempt to distance oneself from the rest of the people. The National Socialists, however, ostensibly wanted to abolish class antagonisms in favor of a unified national community, which in turn is defined on the basis of racial criteria. The National Socialist propaganda therefore accused the Jewish student associations of trying to "cover up racial characteristics" with the help of their couleur .

Hilarious student events that went hand in hand with the consumption of alcoholic beverages were a popular point of attack for National Socialist propaganda when it came to bringing the student body into line. Here one could be sure of the approval of the “working population” ( see: Göttingen riots , Heidelberg asparagus meal ). On the occasion of the events surrounding the “Heidelberger Spargelessen” in 1935, Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach spoke of the “abysmal meanness of a small clique of corporation students who make noise and drink while Germany is working” and ordered all members of the Hitler Youth (HJ) to be one Association were to leave either their corporation or the Hitler Youth.

On July 15, 1935, Adolf Hitler himself spoke out in favor of the "slow death" of the connections. In quick succession, associations and their umbrella organizations were banned and terminated.

However, the authorities and party committees kept hearing rumors that old, undesirable traditions were being maintained in the National Socialist comradeships , which led to threats of punishment. Functionaries spoke of "phenomena which, in the absence of better thoughts, often lean on survivors", which represents a "mindless imitation of long-outlived forms". This was particularly the case in Leipzig, Würzburg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Tübingen and Bonn.

The secret fraternity student activities should even lead to the re-establishment of the officially dissolved Corps umbrella organization Kösener Senioren-Convents-Verband (KSCV) during the war. For this purpose, representatives of the secretly existing corps from Leipzig, Jena, Halle, Tübingen, Bonn and Würzburg met at the Rudelsburg , where appropriate agreements were made. After signing, a Kommers with 20 participants took place here on June 11, 1944, as noted in the guest book of Corps Misnia IV under the heading “Kommers auf der Rudelsburg”.

One of the highlights of the subversive cultivation of tradition was the common comming of all secretly existing Würzburg connections on July 17, 1944 at the house of the Corps Rhenania Würzburg . This was a special provocation, because at exactly the same time the German student body celebrated in the presence of the Reichsstudentenführer Dr. Gustav Adolf Scheel celebrated its 25th anniversary with a large rally - just two blocks away. Contemporary witness Hans Dörrie, member of the Corps Rhenania, wrote about the Kommers of the Würzburg connections:

Over a hundred representatives of the individual associations in ribbon and hat at the long white-covered tables in our hall, that was a wonderfully colorful picture that made everyone's hearts beat faster. Knaup opened the Kommers with a short, successful speech and drank the first glass of beer for the good of our common cause. ...
It is perhaps absurd to make comparisons between the Kommers at our house and the large rally by the Reichsstudentenführung. It takes a large portion of conviction of one's own worth to oppose a numerically thousandfold superiority. But we have this conviction of our own worth and we are becoming more and more certain of it the more rallies and proclamations the Reichsstudentenführung organizes. We have the forehead to assert: on one side (the leadership) there is the word, the phrase, on our side there is the deed.

Such activities could not be kept secret. The action to re-establish the KSCV was caught and the Gestapo initiated proceedings, among other things, for high treason . In the chaos of the last months of the war, however, there were no more consequences.

Post-war period in the Federal Republic of Germany

After the collapse of the Third Reich at the end of the Second World War, the development of the universities began with considerable difficulties. The equipment of the university facilities and the economic situation of the students were desolate. A “happy student life” with exuberant celebrations was hard to think of. Nevertheless, the students looked for forms of contemporary student coexistence and came into contact with the old men of the disbanded student associations.

In the age of the new beginning, however, there was not inconsiderable mistrust of large sections of the population and university management in student traditions. As recently as 1949, the West German Rectors' Conference (WRK) declared in its Tübingen resolution : “In the image of the coming student community there will be no more space for events of courses, the assertion of a special concept of honor, the holding of mindless and noisy mass feasts, the exercise of a non-freedom Club discipline and the public wearing of colors. "

These ideas determined the picture: pubs as “mindless and noisy mass feasts” and the comment / beer comment as “non-free club discipline” . Nonetheless, the fraternity culture at universities in Germany and Austria was able to gain a foothold again. At the beginning of the 1960s, around every fourth male student in Germany was a member of a student association and thus regularly celebrated pubs and the Kommerse.

The next major turning point in the continuation of student traditions was the student movement , which peaked in 1968. According to the motto Under the Gowns - Muff of 1000 Years , all traditions were called into question. The traditional connections were also in the focus of the revolutionaries. Reactionary ideas were suspected behind all formalisms. Another moment was the massive expansion of universities in the 1960s and 1970s. Some universities increased their student numbers tenfold. As the number of fraternity students stagnated or fell during this period, university fraternity students became a single-digit minority. The traditional student culture, which a few years earlier was also largely present in the non-academic population, was forgotten.

The corps historian Erich Bauer published the first edition of the internal publication Schimmerbuch for young corps students in 1964 , in which the corps student tradition was to be preserved for the post-war generation. He wrote to the pub:

The official pub has always been a cornerstone of corps life, not because of the beer consumption associated with it, as our opponents claim, but as an essential means of corps education and bonding. Because, according to old experience, a properly managed official pub brings the active ones among themselves and these again with the older generation much closer than any other communal event.

In the continuation of the development from the 1920s, however, the beer comment was not nearly as important as it was in the German Empire. Today beer comments are only practiced in a semi-official form out of nostalgia and tradition awareness as well as out of exuberance and youthful enthusiasm by the young students. At some German universities they have become completely unusual.

Bars and Kommerse in the GDR

In the opinion of the Soviet occupying power and the socialist leadership of the newly formed GDR, student associations and their customs were an outgrowth of bourgeois society and an expression of their privileges. Now the children of the proletariat could study, there was no longer any room for connections, they moved to the West. Customs have been erased from cultural awareness. When a few students began to take an interest in traditional academic customs in the 1960s, there were few sources on the subject. At first, the songs were in the center of interest, later also the traditional forms of celebrations such as pub and Kommers. The first applications of the newly discovered traditions took place in the Catholic and Protestant student communities , where special freedom prevailed, also with regard to the songs sung and celebrations held there.

In the early 1980s, the first approaches of the later student associations in the GDR were formed , which had to exist in secret for the time being. In the ranks of some of these associations, pubs were celebrated on the basis of old student customs, which, due to inaccurate knowledge, were used in a highly modified manner on this occasion. So the knot salamander and the associated implementation of the bar as a salamander bar developed .

In 1987 there was the first step in public. For this, the event form of the Kommerses was chosen. On June 20, 1987, the association (later KDStV) Salana Jenensis organized the first "Allianzkommers" of the GDR student associations on the Rudelsburg . Only 19 participants were present at this event, some of whom had come to the Saale on rafts and in zinc bathtubs. This should refer to the tradition of boat trips on the Saale, which can be seen on old depictions. This Kommers was the first official traditional student event registered with the police in the history of the GDR .

More pubs and Kommerse followed, only tentatively tolerated by the SED leadership. The "Allianzkommers" was a lasting success. This event is still held every year by the Rudelsburger Allianz , the union of all student associations founded in the GDR.

After German reunification

Today, the more than 1000 student associations in Germany continue to host formal pubs, as they do in Austria and Switzerland. In everyday life there is an unofficial, greatly simplified form of the beer comment, which essentially includes certain forms of politeness when drinking and the still very popular beer boy .

Even today, politically more left-wing groups continue to vehemently fight the connections at the universities and try to warn especially the first-year students against entering a connection with various publications. The traditional pub with its rituals is one of the points of attack.

See also


  • Rolf-Joachim Baum (ed.), “We want men, we want action!” German corps students from 1848 to today, Siedler-Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-88680-653-7
  • Erich Bauer , Schimmerbuch für Junge Corpsstudenten , o. O., 4th edition 1971 (not available in bookshops)
  • Erich Bauer, Schimmerbuch für Junge Corpsstudenten , 7th edition 2000, self-published by the Association of Old Corps Students (VAC) (not available in bookshops)
  • Hans Günther Bickert / Norbert Nail: The inn on the Lahn: The legendary "Gasthof zum Schützenpfuhl" in Marburg and its guests. With an article about "Letters of Heaven". Marburg: Büchner-Verlag 2019, ISBN 978-3-96317-166-6
  • Harm-Hinrich Brandt and Matthias Stickler : Der Burschen Herrlichkeit - Past and present of student corporations , Historia Academica Vol. 36, Würzburg, 1998, ISBN 3-930877-30-9
  • Michael Doeberl , Otto Scheel , Wilhelm Schlink, Hans Sperl, Eduard Spranger , Hans Bitter, Paul Frank, (Eds.): The academic Germany , 4 volumes and a register volume, edited by Alfred Bienengräber, Berlin, 1930–1931.
  • Paulgerhard Gladen : Gaudeamus igitur - The student connections then and now , Munich, Callwey, 1988, ISBN 3-7667-0912-7
  • Friedhelm Golücke et al. i. A. of the Association for German Student History e. V .: Richard Fick (ed.): On Germany's high schools , photomechanical reprint of the Berlin 1900 edition, SH-Verlag, Cologne, 1997, ISBN 3-89498-042-7
  • Robert Paschke : Student History Lexicon , GDS Archive for University History and Student History, Supplement 9, Cologne, 1999, ISBN 3-89498-072-9
  • Gerhard Richwien: Being a student, a small cultural history , Association for German Student History (GDS), Small writings of GDS 15, SH-Verlag, Cologne, 1998, ISBN 3-89498-049-4
  • Friedrich Schulze / Paul Ssymank: The German student body from the oldest times to the present , 4th edition 1932, Verlag für Hochschulkunde Munich
  • Hermann Schauenburg, Moritz Schauenburg (ed.): General German Kommersbuch , Edition D., Morstadt Druck + Verlag, 162nd edition, January 2004 (first edition 1858), ISBN 3-88571-249-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes 5, 14
  2. ^ Karl Marquardt, The private life of the Romans. Handbook of Roman Antiquities Volume 7 , Leipzig 1886, page 331ff.
  3. 1 Corinthians , Chapter 11, verse 21
  4. ^ Ludwig Wallis: The Göttingen student. Or remarks, advice and instructions about Göttingen and student life on the Georgia Augusta , Göttingen 1813, p. 105
  5. ^ Ludwig Wallis: The Göttingen student. Or remarks, advice and instructions about Göttingen and student life on the Georgia Augusta , Göttingen 1813, p. 98
  6. Rolf-Joachim Baum (ed.), “We want men, we want action!” German corps students from 1848 to today, Siedler-Verlag, Berlin 1998, page 154
  7. ^ Rolf-Joachim Baum: Die Würzburger Bayern part 2. Corps history in pictures , Munich: Birds 1985, page 312
  8. ^ Erich Bauer, Schimmerbuch für Junge Corpsstudenten , 4th edition 1971, self-published by the Association of Old Corps Students (VAC), page 56

Web links

Wiktionary: pub  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Student Union Portal  - Overview of Wikipedia content related to the Student Union
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 22, 2005 .