Mensur (student union)

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A mensur is a traditional, strictly regulated fencing match between two male members of different student associations with sharpened bladed weapons. The technical term “ mensur ” (from the Latin mensura , “dimension”) has been used since the 16th century to describe a fixed distance between the timpani edges . Scale lengths are fought by many associations in Germany , Austria , Switzerland and a few in Belgium , Poland and the Baltic States , depending on the university location with basketball or bell strikers . Today, the edges of the timpani are largely protected from injury, except for parts of their head and face. Any resulting wounds and their scars are called smears .

Scale length of the four Tübingen Corps ( Gustav Adolf Closs , 1890)
On the scale! - Illustration in the magazine Die Gartenlaube , 1887, after a drawing by Carl Gehrts , 1886

Character and purpose

Theodor Körner's "System of Hitting" (1808)

Scale fencing is neither a sport nor a duel , but has similarities with both forms of human strength testing. As with sport, it is not about dealing with personal differences; A certain amount of trust in one another is even necessary for a " pounding relationship ". However, a scale has no winners or losers. More important than a victory is the "upright participation", perseverance and the control of affects ( see also: Contenance ). The performance of each participating fencer - the "swashbuckler" - is assessed independently of the performance of his opponent: for example, according to level, morale and technique. This is done by the Mensurconvent , which is a committee consisting of the corps or federal brothers present, i.e. members of the student association of the respective timpanist who has fully seen the Mensur.

Like the duel, the Mensur is a duel between men in which it is important not to back down and to get through this combat situation in a disciplined manner and without external signs of fear despite possible injuries. The practice of “ bravery ” by overcoming one's own fear is the actual goal, so that backing away is perceived and assessed as defeat, but not an injury suffered.

Unlike the duel it's doing neither life or death a matter, for "violation of honor" satisfaction (satisfaction) to give. This is legally forbidden and expressly no longer makes sense of the scaling. These days these may only be fought under conditions that exclude serious or even fatal injuries to the participants.

Striking, particularly compulsory connections consider the scale length to be an important aid in personal development. Because in preparation for it, the participant has to practice a clean fighting technique (the "drumming") and develop discipline and care. He has to deal with a situation that is perceived as threatening, overcome his own fears and face it calmly.

The timpani should also strengthen the cohesion of their own connection by having the timpanist stand up for them. That is why most of the activities of the associations involved and often many of their old men take part in a day .

In contrast to sport fencing , only blows are performed with a scale length, but stinging is not allowed. The weapon is called a "bat" and is used as a basket or bell bat, depending on the university location. The hit area for the blows is exclusively the head, the rest of the body is protected by bandages. The only moving part of the body is the beating arm, which is also used for cover.

Participants and process

Preparation of a timpani

Each weapon ring has its own traditionally grown fencing comment , which defines the rules of the games from the nature of the fencing weapon to the protective equipment (also called protective weapons ) to the number and duration of the gaits , allowed and forbidden blows and combinations of cuts, commands, etc. These comments sometimes differ considerably from one another. What all the comments have in common, however, is the rule that normally an honor walk is struck at the opening and ending of a mensur . Otherwise, fencing at a different place of study or a change of place of study can often require fencing.

The following are involved in a scale length:

The referee is selected by the two seconds in front of each measure. He may not belong to any of the two paukantenstellenden fraternities, but to a weapons student be of some scales after the relevant Paukcomment allegedly beaten and ideally also seconded. He has to ensure that those present and those involved behave properly during the mensur and has the right to do so in the pub. In contrast to a referee in sport, at most university locations he is not allowed to interrupt the game and is not allowed to impose sanctions on his own initiative. Only when a second doubts the legality of an action is he asked for a decision. He must meet this to the best of his knowledge and belief. Usually his decisions are sacrosanct, i. H. cannot be challenged retrospectively. For example, a referee cannot be contracted because of a possibly wrong decision.

The timpani are the two fencers who strike the length. In principle, they belong to different compounds; there is no scale between members of the same connection. You follow the commands of your second and only talk to him during the measure, and only in a whisper. The second takes care of everything else. Some drama comments allow them to shout, z. B. with problems with protective weapons.

A second is responsible for the protection and “legal representation” of his timpani during the game. He is his point of contact in the event of any difficulties with weapons, protective weapons or equipment. Before the start of the game, he checks the protective measures of both timpani edges so that his protégé is not disadvantaged. He gives the commands at the beginning and end of each course and guides his timpani through the scale. If he doubts an action or wants a sanction, he asks the referee about his decision on the matter. He is completely protected against possible contact with the sharp blades. In addition, it is equipped with a blunt second beater in order to be able to cover its drum edges before “go” and after “stop” from unauthorized blows. When “stop” he literally “steps in” in order to provide effective protection.

A tester may interrupt the scale length in some places by making inquiries, just like a second. He, too, may question illegal ("not commented") blows. In addition, he has to disinfect the blade of his timpani before each course and check that it is in proper condition.

Scale protocol from July 9, 1906

The two secretaries are provided by the two student associations involved. You stand right next to the referee and record the names of all those involved and all important data on the course of the game on the scale card. With these documents they complete the crotch book, which keeps and keeps every striking connection. Therefore, the lengths of famous men can be reconstructed from early drum books of the 19th century.

A drag fox has to support the task of Fechtarm of Paukanten during breaks and prevent uncontrolled movements blades, could be hurt by the other people in the Pauklokal. The term "Schleppfuchs" comes from the time around 1820, when the scale was still strictly forbidden and the pedals (university employees ) sniffed after the students in order to catch them fencing. That is why the games mostly took place outside the city in secret places, in bars or simply in the forest. One of the foxes was given the task of "hauling" the scale equipment to the kettling area. That was not only physically strenuous, but also dangerous, because those who knew about it and accomplices were also punished.

At least one licensed doctor must be present as a drum doctor - in Austria also known as "Bader" - at every mensur. He must assess whether an injury requires the immediate termination of the scale. Then or after the end of the game, he takes care of any injuries, usually by sewing the cuts. Some comments call for a doctor for each side. Many connections strive to have their own members with them as drummers.

Risk of injury

Up until around 1850, because of the fencing weapons used, the lack of protective devices and the practice of duels, the length of the lengths was often accompanied by serious and fatal injuries.

In Hiebfechten, which began around 1760, targeted protective measures were taken for the head, neck, arm and stomach area. As a result, there were only minor injuries, especially because the game was broken off with minor wounds. Due to wound infections, fencers who were slightly injured had to allow for two to three days of bed rest until 1900.

Since the invention of the goggles to protect the eye sockets in 1857, deaths in scales as well as in saber fencing have become increasingly rare. According to statistics from the Berlin surgeon Zeller on fatal sports accidents, between July 1, 1928 and April 15, 1930, only one of about 1,500 people died in a saber duel. The last known scale with a fatal outcome happened on January 28, 1933, when an accident occurred between the fraternity of Holzminda and the Alemannia fraternity in Göttingen, in which Holzminden's bat got caught under the Alemann's nose plate and penetrated the brain .

Since 1945, the protective measures, especially for the eyes and neck, have been further strengthened. In the Federal Republic of Germany and parts of Austria, but not in Switzerland, a metal splint protects the goggles, the nose plate and the bridge of the nose. A bandage on the neck protects all important blood vessels, and an extended ruff also protects the facial nerve , which is responsible for motor facial innervation in order to prevent facial paralysis caused by injury . The entire upper body is covered by a cut-resistant vest, the plastron, in combination with a chain mail.

Slash or cut wounds on the head or face, bumps and bruises from technically unclean hits with the flat blade are still possible. The fencing comments of many study locations favor a bloodless course, some on the other hand do not. This is mainly dependent on the distance between the timpani edges (the scale length ), the permitted combinations of cuts and the number and duration of the turns.

Scale lengths may only be fought in the presence of one or two doctors with appropriate medical equipment. These are consulted for every hit and can break off a scale at any time for medical reasons. Such terminations have no negative consequences for the person concerned. At some university locations, however, scales that are finished too early are considered invalid and must be repeated by both timbers (“seven-course rule”).

Due to the constant disinfection of the blades, wound infections no longer occur. Still scarred arise from cuts scars .

Despite all precautionary measures, there is still a residual risk of serious injury today.


Fencing master at Heidelberg University, around 1910
Drum room with chain dress in a Gießen fraternity house

The learning of student racket fencing - the timpani - represents a great challenge for the young member of a beating association, which takes up an essential part of his activity in the community. This challenge of discipline and commitment that the young student has to muster is an essential part of the personality development that the Mensur should bring about.

In the case of mandatory connections, at least one lesson (i.e. practice hour) per working day in the semester is the rule. Participation is mandatory for active members of the connection. The lesson is led by the fencing officer of the respective connection (in the case of corps by the consenior ). If possible, an external fencing master is called in as a trainer once or several times a week , but some connections do without the use of fencing masters and rely on the support of the older semesters (the inactive ones ).

While the universities paid their own fencing masters and maintained their own fencing floors (practice rooms) until the Second World War, today fencing lessons are held on the corporation houses of the associations in the rooms provided for this purpose. If necessary, the sharp gauges are also carried out in these rooms ( pauktag ).

Extensive equipment is required for training in mensurfing, because both weapons and protective weapons differ in practice from the equipment used in fencing with sharp weapons. Compared to the scale bats, the timpani clubs are more robust, have blunt blades and no colors inserted into the basket . The protective weapons for practicing are less complicated, because they only have to protect against the impact of the blunt blade, not the sharpness. A helmet is used when practicing, the so-called Paukhelm. This eliminates the need for timpani glasses , which are used for sharp lengths.

At the beginning of the training, the young student receives lessons in the cutting school, a phase of the training in which he is made theoretically and practically familiar with the basic movement sequences of the most important strokes in mensurfing. For this purpose, a so-called phantom is used, usually a wooden block the size of a human head wrapped in leather, which is intended to represent the hit surfaces on the head of the later counter-timpani and is attached to a fixed pole at the fencing student's head. This makes it easy to check whether all blows hit the intended places.

For further training it is time to counter-timepiece. For this purpose, two fencers with timepieces, helmet, arm warmers and blunt weapons face each other and simulate the processes of a sharp scale. Not only is fencing practiced under the most realistic conditions possible, but also the rules and regulations that convey the comment .

If a fencer meets the technical and personal requirements for a sharp measure, the fencer will look for a suitable counterpart for him in cooperation with the fencer of the other connections of the same weapon ring for one of the following beating days.

Importance in connection types

Compulsory connections require their members to beat (fencing) lengths. Most of their statutes stipulate a minimum number of compulsory graduations. Today there are over 400 obligatory student associations, which are organized in the following associations, cartels and arms rings:

Optionally striking connections oblige their members to learn the scale fencing ( timpani ), however, they leave the fencing of scale lengths free. The German Burschenschaft , the General German Burschenschaft , the New German Burschenschaft , the Wernigeroder Jagdkorporationen Senioren-Convent and the German Singers' Union are optional. That is, their member associations can exempt mensur fencing.

Free Beating connections allow their members of fencing duels and cramming on request one, but this is not mandatory. Some student associations also fence lengths , but mostly not with sharp weapons ( pennal fencing ).

Non-striking connections generally reject scales based on religious conviction or tradition and offer their members no opportunity to learn and complete them. Up until the Second World War , however, it was common practice for many non-striking frets to learn to read the scale without performing a scale. This was supposed to show that you could fencing lengths if you wanted to.

Legal position

Germany and Austria

In Göttingen Mensurenprozess (1951-1953) in confirmed Berlin resident 5th Criminal Division of the Federal Court that by Mensur dangerous bodily injury within the meaning of the Criminal Code may arise (Criminal Code); However, these are not criminal offenses because they come about with the consent of the injured party. They would therefore have to remain unpunished as long as they do not take place in the context of acts of honor and all necessary safety precautions are taken for those involved when they are carried out. In particular, impunity presupposes the renunciation of lethal weapons.

This judgment has led to the general safety precautions outlined above. The scale length is therefore legally z. B. equated with boxing . With a judgment of the Federal Administrative Court of 1975 it was also made clear that scale fencing is usually not a service offense or a military offense.

In 2014, the Scientific Service of the German Bundestag dealt with the scales of student associations in terms of constitutional, gun and criminal law. He came to the following conclusions: "Hitting the scale is unproblematic from a constitutional point of view as well as from a weapons law point of view." the physical intervention associated with the scale is justified on the basis of the consent and a violation of morality in the case of the protection of the fighters against life-threatening injuries is to be denied. "

The legal situation in Austria is comparable: Section 90 of the Austrian Criminal Code corresponds to the German consent regulation under Section 228 of the German Criminal Code.


There the penal code of 1937 made the duel a criminal offense against life and limb. Since the definition of the duel used there does not include scalings, scalings usually remained unpunished. According to the statutes of the Swiss weapon ring, the pistol duel (drawn muzzle-loaders) as well as the saber mensorship were theoretically possible until the 1980s. As a rule, however, corresponding claims were converted into racket gauges in a court of honor proceedings. Nose plates were frowned upon in Switzerland and were not used. On June 23, 1989, the penal provisions on duels were repealed.

Catholic Church

Pope Leo XIII condemned in his encyclical " Pastoralis officii " of 1891 the duel, so goods by former canon law of the Catholic Church ( CIC 1917) scales, even if they are not aimed at killing, immoral and were with church punishment to the excommunication has since prepared them physically and mentally for real duels. The simply reserved excommunication reserved for the Pope was on the duel; The penalty affected the duelists themselves, then those who demand the duel, accept the same and, as always, favor it, furthermore the spectators and all those who allow the duel or who do not prevent it, whatever rank they always hold (CIC 2350– 2359; § 101).

After the duel was abandoned, this argument was dropped. According to the latest version of the CIC from 1983, the censorship is no longer under the explicit threat of ecclesiastical punishment, provided that it is no longer to be regarded as preparation for the duel and does not involve any risk of serious injuries. A possible violation of the general prohibition of bodily harm in Canon 1397 only provides for atonement, but not excommunication. The scale is still viewed as morally reprehensible and Catholic associations, as well as associations of other Christian denominations, continue to strictly reject the scale.


16th and 17th centuries

In the Middle Ages, fencing was possible for anyone who could afford the very expensive metal weapons - mostly sword and dussack - including craftsmen , as the guild coat of arms with crossed swords still shows today.

Early evidence of a fencing weapon worn in everyday life: Elegant young couple taking a walk, engraving by Albrecht Dürer 1496/98

While students in the Middle Ages were mostly equipped and equipped like clergymen and often came from less well-off families, in the early modern period studying increasingly became a matter for the administrative elite of the new territorial states (see also Student # Early Modern Period ). The image of the university towns was determined by elegant young men who expressed their social position through appropriate clothing and often presumptuous behavior. In addition, a smaller form of the fencing weapon developed from the medieval sword in Spain from the middle of the 15th century (see also: Espada Ropera as the forerunner of the rapier ), which could now also be carried around by civilians in everyday life and has become the standard across Europe. Naturalized outfit of a noble gentleman. After 1500 the first images of students with fencing weapons appear. After a dispute between citizens and students in 1514, Emperor Maximilian I von Habsburg explicitly allowed the students to carry these weapons as a sign of their high social position.

The students at that time developed a sense of class with their own student language , their own behavioral norms ( Comment ) and special clothing (forerunners of the Couleur ). They felt they were lifted out of the bourgeois environment through their student freedom, zest for life and defenselessness, and felt that they had to defend this class. It was important to them not to put up with anything and to give others a lesson. Fighting out duels among them was soon seen as an indispensable part of university life. They sometimes dueled in the Rencontre ( French for “meeting, skirmish” meaning “wild duel”), which means immediately on the spot. In these unregulated "brawls", the risk of injury was incalculable, even without serious intent to kill. Often victims were simply left lying around without medical care. In particularly dangerous times, the students therefore wore tightly padded and padded clothing. Nevertheless, there were repeated deaths.

Frequent university bans on fighting and dueling remained largely unsuccessful. Therefore, the universities tried to steer student fencing in a regular way. Learning the art of fencing with permanent fencing masters (e.g. Jena 1550, Rostock 1560) was supposed to reduce the number of injuries and gradually became one of the "exercises" (Latin for "exercises") alongside dancing and riding, the forerunners of today's university sport . Fencing clubs soon emerged that developed joint fencing techniques, including in Germany the brotherhood of our dear Virgin Mary and the Prince of Heaven St. Marxen (also called St. Markus Brothers or Marx Brothers) as well as the free fencers from the spring to the Greifenfels (feather fencers).

General brutality has increased sharply since the Thirty Years' War . To further civilize the duel, “dispensers” and “assistants” were introduced for the first time around 1684 (duel mandate from Jena) . Conflicts were no longer resolved immediately, but mediated, organized and supported by agents, and the duel took place at an agreed place at a fixed time according to fixed rules. Correct execution, discipline and strength of character became more important than the outcome of the battle.

18th century

Johann Georg Puschner: The fencing student (copper engraving from 1725; fencing floor of the University of Altdorf )

Despite strict prohibitions, it was often socially accepted that a student would not only defend life and limb, but also his “honor” with a weapon.

This is evidenced, among other things, by the sequence of images Natural Depiction of Academic Life in Present Fourteen Beautiful Figures, brought to light by D. , which the Nuremberg engraver Johann Georg Puschner created under the pseudonym Dendrono around 1725 after several visits to the University of Altdorf . The first seven copperplate engravings show in chronological order the typical academic career of a hard-working and devout student up to the climax, the doctorate . In this episode, The Fechtende Student is an example of positive activity alongside other physical exercises such as dancing and riding.

"A muse's son cannot always live peacefully
. He is often given the opportunity to flee the disputes,
whether he is otherwise, and to pull
his sword from its scabbard.
Whoever is not looking for trouble and only uses to defend himself
to shield his body, to save his honor, he
does what is honest, he defends himself what he can,
and touches himself, but not anyone. "

The second half of the sheets, however, shows the opposite, the picture of a scuffling, boozing and lazy student whose student career ends in guilt and despair. The scuffing student stands for an ominous activity of the young academics.

“The female sex, the feasting and great drinking,
often makes the muse sons quarrel and the like. to ruffle,
A mere word causes such great misery,
which otherwise cannot be satisfied but with blood.
But how easy it is for the bared blades to kill
one counterpart, life and limb? If the perpetrator
escapes the worldly judgment, abandon it, it does not hurt conscience. "

The student's fencing weapon was the usual rapier , which they carried with them in everyday life like gentlemen and state dignitaries. Its short blade with a small vessel meant little weight to carry, but also little protection of the body. These disadvantages soon led to the development of special dueling and scaling weapons.

Around 1750, the light Parisian (shock sword) appeared in France , which remained in use in some regions until around 1850. It protected the fencing hand better from opposing stings, but its large guard could not be worn every day and often led to life-threatening punctures of the lungs ( lung foxes ), which made breathing difficult or impossible. The number of deaths from fighting with it increased enormously.

After a Göttingen student duel with a fatal outcome in 1766, student bathe fencing emerged with an early form of today's basketball. In the eastern parts of Germany the bell striker was invented, which was based on the early swords.

In the 1790s, students were only allowed to carry arms in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation on actual overland trips, but were forbidden in the city and on walks and rides. As a result, swords were no longer available for spontaneous brawls, so that the regulated duel became the standard. It also remained banned and was prosecuted by university authorities.

19th century

Slash and thrust mensorship

Grave of Adolph Erdmannsdörffer , on July 25th 1845 the last victim of the shock meter in Jena

Around 1800, slash fencing and shock fencing were widespread in different regions at German universities. Impact gauges remained common for a long time in Jena, Erlangen, Landshut (later Munich) and Würzburg. They are said to have been particularly popular with theology students because of the less visible gaps and despite the greater danger to life and limb. The last deaths from lung foxes occurred in Jena and Munich in the 1840s, the last shock mensur is said to have been fought in Würzburg in 1860. The rules were - as they are today - slightly different in every university town. The battles were based on time, measured in minutes. If there was a hit, the game was stopped. It was already valid when the blade touched a fencer's clothing. The battle was ended after the deadline or a "shit". A wound at least an inch long, from which at least a drop of blood oozed upon examination , counted as such in the case of slash fencing, and in the case of impact mensura a stab wound with an outline that revealed the triangular cross-section of the blade.

The fencer competed in street clothes without a jacket but with a shirt. Served as protective equipment

  • cylinder-like or wide-brimmed hats, later a large, padded hat in the same color as the fencer's regular student hat ,
  • a ruff (silk bandages or wet towels) to protect the carotid artery,
  • a leather glove with a long cuff and
  • an abdominal bandage in connecting colors, later a leather, padded kimono, which reached from the navel down to the lower legs and was closed tightly with bandages at the back. The legs were wrapped individually so that a step position was possible. After the introduction of the kimono, the abdominal band was worn by the seconds for a few years.

Wilhelm Hauff , who studied in Tübingen from 1820, probably described such a length from his own experience:

“We laid out the old fencing style, the blades were tied, the seconds screamed 'go', and our clubs whizzed in the air and fell with a rattle on the baskets. I mostly acted as a parrying against the really beautiful attacks of the enemy, executed with great art, because my fame was greater if I only defended myself from the beginning and only gave him a defeat in fourth or fifth gear.
General admiration followed every walk; one had never before seen attacking so boldly and quickly, never before seen defending oneself with so much calm and cold-bloodedness. My fencing art was raised from the oldest houses to the sky and people were now excited and eager until I would attack myself; but no one dared to encourage me to do it.
Four corridors were over without a blow anywhere having been bloody. Before I marched for the fifth, I showed my comrades the place on the right cheek where I wanted to meet my theologian. He might have seen that I was going to attack myself, he laid out himself as covered as possible and was careful not to attack himself. I started with a lovely feint that was a general Ah! followed, then hit a few regular blows, and click! my bat was sitting in his cheek. "

Determination gauge

Timeline of the various forms of student fencing in Germany
Timeline of student fencing weapons in Germany

Until about 1850, students fought duels exclusively to clear up honorary trades. Despite strict prohibitions, this was part of the student culture at the time, regardless of which associations one belonged to. Through inconspicuous behavior, students could complete their studies without fencing duels, without being despised for it. Nonetheless, contemporary reports indicate that successful fencers were held in high regard not only among students but also elsewhere. The Göttingen pastor Franz Oehme wrote about the Corps Curonia looking back on the years 1824 to 1826:

“The Kurlanders are at the top. Only small in number, but distinguished by their noble demeanor. No Kurlander has committed excesses by which a rebuke could fall on the connection. When it came to student honor with the bat in hand, the Kurlander did not back down against anyone. "

Gradually the conviction arose that fencing with sharp weapons had a special character-strengthening effect and that the behavior allowed conclusions to be drawn about personal qualities. Especially the corps, which upheld noble terms in their constitutions at the beginning of the century and made high demands on friendship, personality and character, now saw it as urgently necessary or at least desirable that a student should prove himself at fencing with sharp weapons.

Students who were not involved in quarrels that often found themselves trapped in a dilemma. Just to have a quarrel fought was considered dishonorable. As a result, a kind of “pro forma” insult developed, which was no longer an insulting character, but was regarded as an unmistakable invitation to fencing. The insult "stupid boy" was classified in many comments in Germany as the least form of defamation and became the standard formulation. In the further course there were even “contracting bars”, evening drinking events of several connections, in the course of which standardized “insults” were often exchanged loudly and across the tables until all those involved had found their opponents.

That was quickly found to be unsatisfactory. Therefore, around 1850, the first "identification sheets" appeared, on the basis of which the conseniores (fencing officers) of the individual connections identified ("determined") the counterparts. At the Kösener Congress in 1859, the principle of determination of the censorship was adopted at the request of the Marburg Corps and thus implemented throughout Germany.

Around this time, there was also a counter-movement to the general censorship, because the first emphatically Christian student associations were formed before the March Revolution . Many students missed the Christian-religious element and wanted to make it part of their traditional community life. They were also the first to reject student fencing as a means of honorary trades. In 1836 the newly founded Uttenruthia (Erlangen) renounced duels and mensur from the start. However, many of the non-striking connections still had a bang up until the 1930s . H. they learned student fencing without using it. They wanted to underline their conscious negation of duel and mensur by showing that they could if they only wanted.

After the emergence of the determination censorship, student fencing changed again significantly over the next few years. Massively intensified forms of armed conflict were developed for the student duel, and new weapons were introduced ( sabers , pistols ). The determination gauge, however, became more and more harmless. All innovations in racket fencing were aimed at preventing serious or even fatal injuries. Up until the 1870s, racket fencing had developed - down to the details - to the level of today.

Scale length in Dorpat with the typical leather helmet (1820s)

The very old corporations of the Baltic University of Dorpat were an exception . The numerous honorary trades - quite unlike in Germany for the greater part within the company's own corporation - were usually carried out at circle markers. Since the corporations, as equal members, also included anti-duelists at all times, who rejected the scale for religious reasons, for example, membership in the corps was never tied to a mandatory scale. In the much more original circle censorship , which was maintained until 1939 , the opponents moved freely within a circle. The target area was the chest area clad in a light shirt, while the head was protected by a leather helmet with an umbrella open to the front. With the umbrella blows of the opposing blow could be intercepted. The neck was protected by a leather ruff reinforced with wooden sticks.

Saber fencing

Fencing with the basket bat or the bell bat had now developed into a means of education that was supposed to build character and personality. It could therefore no longer be used to clear up honorary trades.

Therefore, the students were looking for a substitute to carry out duels. Since they were constantly rivaling the officers in the cities that had a garrison in addition to the university, it made sense to borrow the dueling weapon saber from the military . The academic saber basically consisted of a saber blade with a basket hilt as hand protection like a basketball bat. It was therefore very similar to the Austrian cavalry saber. In saber fencing, the movable method of fencing was retained. The fencers stood in a step position, the back foot was fixed and could not be set back. The front foot - in the case of right-handers, the right one - could be moved forward ("advanced") or backward ("retracted"). The protective weapons were drastically restricted, their combination could be specially determined, depending on the severity of the reason for the duel. Saber fencing was and is still a duel with deadly weapons and has always been prohibited by law. It was never a scale length in today's sense.

Innovations in the German Empire

Scale and duel were no longer part of the general student culture in the German Empire , but developed into an institution specifically for student associations. A student's fencing attitude was determined by the principles of the governing body to which his association belonged. The traditional associations maintained the determination of the censorship and, in honor disputes, represented the principle of unconditional satisfaction with the weapon . That said, they were ready to take part in a duel at the honor bar. But there were also very many associations that rejected the determination of the censorship, but still conducted duels. Certain types of Christian affiliations categorically refused to use the weapon.

Although still forbidden from a formal legal point of view, the Mensur was seen as an important socio-political means of educating the next generation of the academic elite of the German Empire. For example, during a visit to his former place of study in Bonn , Emperor Wilhelm II said in front of the corps there in 1891:

I hope that as long as there are German corps students, the spirit, as it is cultivated in the corps and is hardened by strength and courage, will be preserved, and that you will joyfully wield the bat at all times. Our scales are often not understood by the audience. But that shouldn't drive us crazy. We who have been students of the corps, like me, know better. Just as in the Middle Ages the courage and strength of men were hardened by the tournaments, so too the spirit and the life in the corps acquire the degree of stability which is later necessary in great life and which will last as long as there are German universities gives.

The identification process has been made easier and less dangerous. The Saturday of the semester was the usual school day . It often began in a local pub near town ( Pauklokal ) from six in the morning; agreed scales took place until the evening pub . A healthy member of a beating compound fought about four to six times in each of the first three to four semesters, i.e. nine to 24 times. Then you became inactive until you passed your exam . Fritz Bacmeister is said to have fought around 100 lengths between 1860 and 1866 in Göttingen, Jena and Würzburg.

Georg Mühlberg: Mr. Paukant : Representation of a fencer with a racket in a "hanging display"

The risk of injury at the destination gauge was reduced by the following measures:

  • Paukbrille until hoisted the chest Paukschurz, heart leather and a whole arm of covering, well cushioned face plate prevented injuries of important body parts and enabled new types of defense (cover with the face plate).
  • The increasingly rigid position of the drum edges prevented an addition of the speeds of movement of the weapon and body. This ruled out that the fencer jumped into the blade of his counterpart.
  • The restriction of the hit area to the head prevented the severing of muscles, tendons and important vessels. However, the headgear had to be removed.
  • The reduction in the distance between the lengths of the scale turned fencing in front of the body with arms outstretched to fencing over the head with arms stretched up and the blade “swinging down”. This enabled a position in which the fencer is completely covered even without reacting movement and can no longer be hit with regular blows ("imposed display").
  • The fight was no longer up to one hit, but a fixed number of blows (four to six - rarely - up to eight) per "course" with a fixed number of "courses" (approx. 30 to 45 - rarely 60) per game . This enabled valid scalings without a single hit.

This led to the development of a form of fencing with complex and sometimes unnatural movements. You should make sure that the fencer only uses the shoulder joint, elbow joint and wrist and that he is able to ward off all possible strokes of the opponent during his stroke.

These changes resulted in further rules. In order to enable fluent and meaningful fencing with equal opportunities, continuous movements were prescribed, "lying down" or "lurking" was increasingly ruled out. In some cases, the "first strike" was specified, that is, it was regulated which Paukant was allowed to carry out the first strike, so that a changing pace (offset sequence of strike and cover) came about. Certain blows were ruled out as too defensive. This conception of slash fencing still exists today with striking connections at German universities.

In Austria, for example, the corps in Graz still have remnants of a more flexible fencing style. In Vienna it is possible to “lurk”, that is, to wait and take advantage of the bare edge of the counterpart by delaying and stopping your own sequence of cuts.

In Mensurconvent decided from now on the other connecting members, whether a game of "pulled", that is, whether they met the requirements of the connection and was valid according to the rules. Various aspects counted, such as the quality and complexity of the cutting technique, but also the “morality” shown and the “status” of the paucity. It became completely unacceptable to stop continuously hitting (“lying down”) or even pulling your head away as a fear reaction (“kneeling”, “grumbling”). Then the Mensurconvent was able to end the current game and " remove " the timpani . To this day, most fencers fear morale rebuff more than physical injury. The fencer then loses any offices, is in the "cleaning" process and has to rehabilitate himself through further lengths. In the event of multiple “missed fencing”, he can be excluded from a striking connection.

Scale request

With the scale request, the local senior citizens 'convention was able to overrule a corps boys' convention in the assessment of a scale. That led to decades of controversy everywhere. Encouraged by Eduard Graf (Guestphalia Halle, Borussia Greifswald), 33 members of the Prussian House of Representatives campaigned for the abolition of the scale request. The corresponding motion was rejected by the oKC in 1889 with 14 SC votes against. When "the one-armed representative of Borussia Bonn" reported the Emperor's request, the vote was taken again. The motion was accepted with 7 votes against.

Appointment censorship

A controversial special form of determination censorship is the appointment censorship or contrahage , which arose in the 19th century . The fencing officers do not choose two equally valued timpani, but the games are “arranged” directly, whereby the regulations are usually stricter than for regularly determined games.

There are two forms: If two individuals of different (not friendly) connections want to compete with each other, they can arrange a "personal contract" (PC). If two connections each put a list of fencers ("Paukantenliste") against each other, one speaks of a PP suite or "Hatz". The PP between the Seniors' Convents in Halle and Leipzig, which was fought on March 12, 1803 in the Posthorn in Reideburg , was famous .

The appointment censorship is not supported by all mandatory associations, no umbrella organization prescribes it or requires it from its member associations or individual members. However, it is common for a certain number of mandatory connections. With the striking connections, the strictness of the “scale view” (the “scale standpoint”) determines the fencing reputation of the connection to this day.

Weapon change

In the 19th century, at Contrahagen and PP-Suites between members of two universities with different student fencing weapons - thrusting swords, basket beater, bell beater - in individual cases the weapons could be changed after a certain number of turns during the measure. This should enable every fencer to use the familiar weapon of his home. Such “mixed” scales, which are particularly fair, existed in particular between Leipzig and Jenens students.

Weimar Republic

Scale length in Heidelberg in Hirschgasse around 1925

Despite the massive upheavals in politics and society, student fencing has practically not changed after the First World War. The student associations, geared towards the aristocracy and bourgeoisie, were based on the customs of the empire and continued their activities in mensur and duel as they did before the war. Since the number of students, and thus the number of members of student associations, increased significantly, significantly more scales were fought.

A certain rapprochement took place in the Weimar Republic between the striking and the non-striking (mostly Christian) connections. Since the non-hitting connections did not want to give satisfaction with the weapon, solutions were sought to settle honor disputes between members of all associations in an honorable manner according to jointly established principles for all sides. The negotiations dragged on for several years, with various interim solutions. The Weimar Republic tried to exert political influence: A draft revision of the penal code presented in 1926 provided for a ban on duels; With this draft, the Mensur, which according to all previous court decisions had never been regarded as a duel, should also be criminalized. The Erlangen Association and Honorary Agreement was finally concluded in 1928. As a result of this development, the conception of the student system as a special “class” that had to be defended with the weapon was abandoned. The student duel was practically obsolete.

time of the nationalsocialism

The changes in the time of National Socialism that affected the student associations initially made fencing easier. The NSDStB stood up for the impunity of the student censorship. The Reichsgericht saw in constant jurisprudence in the Mensur a punishable "duel with deadly weapons". The Mensur was exempted from punishment on May 26, 1933 through the amendment of Section 210a of the Criminal Code. The commitment to Nazi training and military sports demanded by the National Socialists left hardly any time for further private activities, but they did not move away from student fencing.

The forced dissolution of the connections between 1934 and 1936 as part of the policy of harmonization of the Nazi regime interrupted the tradition. The National Socialist comradeships sometimes practiced saber fencing as a type of military sport, but officially they did not fight sharp lengths. The 1937 order of honor of the German student body of the NSDStB from 1937 provided for unconditional satisfaction on a light saber, but from 1938 every duel had to be approved by the Reichsstudentenführer .

When the Nazi authorities observed the universities a little less from around 1941 because of the war, some connections tried to re-establish themselves secretly within the official Nazi comradeships and, at the constant risk of criminal prosecution, also fought sharp courses. The beating Corps Misnia IV was re-established in Leipzig. The last months of the war also ended these activities.

Federal Republic of Germany

post war period

After the end of the Nazi regime, the universities received new visitors, including many returnees and disabled people. When around 1949 an opportunity arose to revive the traditional student associations, the question arose whether this could also apply to the Mensur. The so-called Heidelberg Resolutions publicly questioned both the principle of satisfaction and the determination level and thus resumed the social disputes during the time of the Weimar Republic. On November 12, 1951, Federal Interior Minister Robert Lehr , a member of the corps, discussed this topic in the Düsseldorf Industry Club with the rectors of the Universities of Heidelberg, Marburg, Bonn, Würzburg and the Technical University of Munich as well as representatives of the KSCV, CC, CV, KV, Wingolf and the DB. The representative of the CC declared for the first time the renunciation of the unconditional satisfaction for the gauged associations, but at the same time emphasized the adherence to the designated gauges. On April 8, 1953, delegates from the trade associations KSCV, WSC, DB and CC confirmed this waiver of honorary trades with guns to Federal President Theodor Heuss . The first chairman of the Association of Old Corps Students (VAC) , Counselor Werner Ranz, explained to him on behalf of all weapon student associations:

“The corporation associations do not have unconditional satisfaction with the weapon in their statutes. Rather, they see the unconditional satisfaction in the fact that every member of the corporation who is held responsible for his or her actions and omissions must submit to an arbitration tribunal and face punishment and exclusion for dishonorable behavior. "

With that, student duels in Germany were finally a thing of the past.

Clarification of the legal situation

After the National Socialist era, eligibility was initially fought in secret because of the unclear legal situation. The police pursued them, confiscated fencing equipment and in 1951 arrested participants from Göttingen on a drum day held away from home. In order to coordinate the efforts to legally safeguard the designated gauge, the Andernach working group of the gauged associations was formed on April 1, 1951 and had several legal opinions drawn up for the criminal assessment of the gauge.

In the subsequent Göttingen scale trial , the Göttingen Large Criminal Court acquitted the victims on December 19, 1951, as a scale trial was not a duel with lethal weapons. Bodily harm with the consent of both Mensur counterparties is neither punishable (§ 226 a StGB old version, now § 228 StGB) nor immoral. After the public prosecutor's office revised the case, the Federal Court of Justice confirmed the judgment on January 29, 1953, but held that there was only impunity on account of consent if the scale did not carry out any honors and if the combat rules to be observed and the protective weapons used would definitely rule out fatal injuries. Otherwise, the prior consent to possible injuries in the scale would be immoral and thus ineffective. This case law corresponds to that of sports such as boxing .

The University of Göttingen punished the corps student Wilfried von Studnitz and seven members of a student country team on January 29, 1952 for beating the scale with a semester not being taken into account. The Hanover Administrative Court overturned the decision on March 25, 1954.

Because the Weinheim corps student Udo Janssen confessed to beating the scale, the Free University of Berlin wanted to refuse him enrollment. The Federal Administrative Court overturned this decision on October 24, 1958.

After the founding of the Bundeswehr Universities in Munich and Hamburg, a dispute over the mensur rights of the prospective officers escalated during their studies. With reference to the soldier's duty to maintain health in accordance with Section 17 (4) of the Soldiers Act, the university management issued a ban on the length of the scale for soldiers at the Bundeswehr universities.

The Corps Irminsul , which several prospective officers joined shortly after the founding of today's Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Bundeswehr Hamburg , saw this prohibition as a contradiction to the principle of proportionality of a constitutional state. In the ensuing legal dispute before the First Military Service Senate of the Federal Administrative Court (Az. I WB 59/74), for which the Irminsul was able to win the military lawyer Erich Schwinge as legal representative, the Corps Irminsul succeeded in prohibiting students at the two Bundeswehr universities to bring down.

Defusing the scale length

But the determination gauge also changed. After the Second World War, there were far fewer lengths per person. Today there is the establishment of the "compulsory games", ie a definition of the number of lengths that the individual has to beat at least during his active time. Today, the bandwidth for “mandatory” connections ranges from one to five or six mandatory games. That is only a fraction of what a member of a powerful alliance had to achieve before World War II.

Some associations opted for the solution of exempting their member associations from fencing sharp games. These “facultative” connections maintain a “cramming operation”, which means that all active members regularly take part in the training sessions. Sharp games are only fought by members who expressly request it. Associations that act optionally, however, have obligatory individual connections among their members. The "free striking" connections, which do not maintain their own fencing operation, are similarly structured, also count as non-striking connections, but allow each member to dredge himself in and, if necessary, to go on the scale.

Improved protective weapons

Further innovations related to protective weapons. After the Second World War, the “nose plate” was introduced, a curved metal rail on the goggles that prevents injuries to the nose. Only in Graz, Vienna and Switzerland are still gauges without a nose plate. In the post-war period, the upper body was protected by the "plastron", a thickly padded vest closed at the back, which completely protected the upper body and made the heart leather superfluous. The kimono was firmly attached to the plastron. The last innovation in protective weapons came about in the mid-1980s, when some young corps students, in collaboration with textile engineers , took up the ancient idea of ​​the chain mail again and developed upper body protection that allowed the fencing arm more freedom of movement. This significantly improved the coverage options.

In some university towns there was a change in the regulations regarding the hit area. This is how the "high comment" came about, in which it is forbidden to hit below the eyes. This way, disfiguring marks on the face should be avoided. This led to the introduction of the cheek leather, which protects the lower half of the face, in some university towns - especially at technical universities in northern Germany.

Student movement

The last major crisis surrounding student fencing with sharp weapons arose in the course of the 1968 movement . The effects were not immediately apparent; but when high school graduates came to the universities in the following years, who were shaped by the ideas of renewal, the traditional student associations had a difficult time attracting young people.

Some of the compulsory associations tried to implement reforms against fencing in their associations in order to adapt to the "modern times". This is how tensions arose in the obligatory associations, which erupted mainly in 1971:

  • This year, the Deutsche Burschenschaft (DB), the largest association of fraternities, abolished the compulsory censorship as an association principle with the historical compromise , that is, the member associations were no longer obliged to demand the scale from their individual members. Today there are compulsory and optional fraternities in the DB.
  • In connection with the abandonment of compulsory censorship by the Corps Palatia Bonn and its exclusion from the compulsory Kösener Senioren-Convents-Verband (KSCV), the largest association of student corps, the first controversy over the designated censorship had arisen as early as 1958. In 1971 four other corps resigned from the association after lengthy negotiations because they wanted to completely abolish fencing. However, a larger group of sympathetic corps did not follow this step.
  • Nineteen associations left the Coburg Convent (CC) in 1971 with the aim of giving up fencing for themselves. As part of this measure, on November 6, 1971, 13 of these associations founded the optional Marburg Convention , also based on the VC , the umbrella organization of the color-bearing gymnastics associations that was merged into the CC , which today consists of six gymnastics associations. The counter-movement of the connections of the CC, which explicitly declared themselves to the compulsory censorship, was called Würzburger Kreis .
  • After disputes about the number of compulsory graduation marks, the Corps Bavaria Karlsruhe , one of the founding corps , had announced its departure from the Weinheim Senior Citizens' Convent (WSC) in 1965 . It had insisted on its number of only two compulsory games and had been sentenced in the third instance by the WSC court of arbitration to two semesters.

While in the 1970s times were bad for hitting connections, that changed in the early 1980s and the number of mandatory connections rose again.


When new student associations were founded in the GDR at the beginning of the 1980s, for some it was not enough to care for the student songs, the traditions of partying and drinking, and wearing couleur . They also wanted to learn fencing as a student. So in the spring of 1989 the connections “Kröllwitzer Seniorenconvent Halle” and “Saxonia Leipzig” contacted a fencing master from Cologne and asked for help.

Fencing master Henner Huhle went to Halle in July 1989, where he was received by a group of students in Couleur whom he was supposed to instruct in student fencing. To do this, he had smuggled blades across the border in the car and sent baskets, bobble helmets and gauntlets in the mail ahead. On site, however, there was already “ timpani ” that had been assembled using GDR resources based on old pictures. Blades were made from flat-ground reinforcement bars, gauntlets made from motorcycle gloves, masks made from safety helmets with coarse wire mesh, and so on.

A group of active people from the two connections in Halle and Leipzig wanted to introduce fencing and steer the drum business into regular channels. Fencing master Huhle suggested they found a fencing community based on the model of gymnastics father Jahn, who was accepted as a historical legacy in the GDR. Continuing the two non-striking “mother connections”, they founded the “Academic Fechtgemeinschaft Halle / Leipzig” (AFG) on July 23, 1989 as an independent fencing group with a special circle in the form of a stylized bell-club. After the fall of the "Berlin Wall", their activists crammed in with the Landsmannschaft Preußen Berlin (Coburg Convent of Landsmannschaften and Turnerschaften) and also made contact with the Kösener Corps Lusatia Leipzig (then in Berlin). Representatives of these two connections and the Weinheimer Corps Borussia Clausthal visited the "Central German Weapons Students Day" in Nordhausen on 12/13. May 1990. Here the AFG constituted itself as a mandatory full corporation. The fencing training, to which the Lausitzers from Berlin had brought their timpani, also took part in active members of the Silvania Forest Academic Association, which was founded in Tharandt before the fall of the Wall, and the newly established fraternity Plessavia Leipzig.

On September 22, 1990, the first and last day of the GDR's drum session took place in the “Burgblick” inn in Saaleck near Bad Kösen. The AFG, meanwhile renamed “Akademische Landsmannschaft Sachsen zu Leipzig”, fought five lengths under the gun protection of the Landsmannschaft Preußen Berlin. The Landsmannschaft Brandenburg and Thuringia Berlin each provided two, the GDR connection “D. St. V. Markomannia zu Greifswald ”a counter-timpani. The first scale fencer in the GDR, Olaf-Martin Oels, described further details.

Influence on modern everyday language

In the 19th century, some technical terms used in student fencing penetrated everyday German language as pictorial expressions, including:

  • Understand or be able to understand something “straight away”: In mensurfing fencing, the “first strike” is the first stroke of a course after the second command “go”.
  • "Reject" someone: In mensurfing, the person who has suffered such a serious injury that the drum doctor has the game ended is "led away" by the representatives of his association. The scale is declared ended on one side. The counterpart then "gave" the deportee a discharge.
  • "Collect a Anschiss": From 1800 to 1850 a "Anschiss" was a wound that was at least an inch long, gaped and from which at least a drop of blood flowed. Anyone who had “collected an affair” was taken away.
  • "Timpani" ("learn intensively"): "Timpani" refers to the practice of student fencing in preparation for the measure, usually as part of the "timpani lesson". It used to be used to denote fencing with sharp weapons after the introduction of slash fencing and the abolition of shock fencing. The term was later narrowed down to practicing and then expanded to general learning.
  • "Making a third" ("causing trouble"): The third is one of the standard blows, which is seen in many comments as a safe and dangerous blow and is accordingly limited (for example, no more than two consecutive). Exceeding these limits or, in some places, simply striking thirds, often met with unease.


With Heinrich Mann

Heinrich Mann describes in his novel The Subject in Satirical Exaggeration the role of a striking connection for the male socialization to the authoritarian character in the Empire:

“Everything was commanded aloud, and if you followed it correctly, you lived in peace with yourself and the world. [...] He had perished in the corporation that thought and wanted for him. And he was a man who was allowed to respect himself and was honored because he belonged! Tear him out, harm him, nobody could! "

Diederich Heßling, the main character, becomes a full member through court fencing:

"He had to. But the first experiences calmed him down. He was so carefully wrapped, helmeted, and bespectacled that it was impossible for much to happen to him. [...] The first time he pulled it through, he felt weak: he felt it run down his cheek. When it was sewn, he wanted to dance with happiness. He reproached himself for having trusted these good-natured people with dangerous intentions. "

As a result, he is brought up as a servant of a lad to trade in honor and soon grows himself into the role of the authoritarian educator, who severely punishes formal violations and draws his whole self-esteem from the fighting collective:

“Diederich had already learned self-control, observation of forms, corps spirit, zeal for the higher. [...] Now order and duty were brought into his life. [...] Diederich was not guided by pride or self-love: only his high conception of the corporation's honor. He himself was only human, so nothing; every right, all his prestige, came from her. [...] He still had to make room for a lieutenant [...]; but at least he could communicate with a tram conductor without fear, without the risk of being snapped at by him. His manhood stood out on his face with throws that split his chin, cracked his cheeks and chopped into his short-shaven skull, threateningly written on his face - and what a satisfaction to be able to prove it to everyone every day and at will! "

This and the following connection episodes from the novel appeared in advance in 1912; they were rejected as caricatures by connections at the time . Viktor Mann , himself a member of the corps, remarked in retrospect in 1949:

"Distortion is part of the caricature, but it was the blatant illustration of existing, non-invented weaknesses."

With Kurt Tucholsky

Kurt Tucholsky saw student fencing as a continuation of the duel, which should channel violence socially and "make young foxes useful boys and thus members of the ruling caste". He commented on statements about the scale in the brochure "Letters to a Fox Major, from an Old Man" as follows:

“How the motive for decent behavior is transferred to the group; how the individual disappears, is no longer there at all; how a flag is held up there - how insecure must such a single organism be! Those are exactly the ideas of "knight honor" that the old, forever young Schopenhauer made fun of. This honor still rests with others today. [...] "

He saw in the rules of particularly striking connections “that it grabs Germans by their worst qualities, not by their good ones; that she tramples decent, humane Germany ... ”. They served to “evacuate a profoundly cowardly brutality through the group valve. The toilet as a role model for the nation. "

In 1929, Tucholsky repeated his criticism in the poem German Judges from 1940 , which predicts general violence in the manner of a student pub drink:

German judge from 1940

We are in the club here

in this leather louse; we look
like the severed pigs
We fight the cross and the cross
with blow and blow and thrust;
we fight for the honor -!
On the scale!
Come on!

The German spirit? Here he is.
How our Tiefquart sits!
We make Hackepeter
that the red soup splashes.
We are the prime of the Aryans
and coolly and grandly despise
the brutalized proletarians -
on the scale!
Bound! Come on!

We'll be sitting in twenty years

with hacked face
in dignity and robes
over you to judgment.
Then we will show you
in office hours and offices ...
you have to duck, be silent
on the scale!
Bound! Finished! Come on!

How long, men and women,
do you watch this?
If they beat themselves up today:
they'll attack you tomorrow!
You are the people and the masses
from the Adige to the Rhine
should that be the ruling class
should that be our leaders -?
Finished! Come on! Come on!

Remnants of outdated legal systems and rituals

Mensures have historically emerged from the duel, which was practiced many times independently of the state's monopoly of force. Today's lengths no longer fulfill the function of a duel to atone for alleged or real insults, but still resemble it externally. That is why many critics see this form of struggle as a relapse into forms of conflict resolution that belonged to earlier historical epochs ( atavism ). Striking corporations, on the other hand, emphasize that the scale does not serve to resolve or resolve conflicts and, since the satisfaction with the weapon ceased, it can no longer be interpreted as preparation for a duel.

The mensur is also criticized as a component of other rituals , external characteristics and the associated concepts of honor, freedom and virtue. Some critics see a structural proximity to militarism in this .

Practicing violent behavior

Another accusation of the Mensur is that it practices ways of thinking and behavior that are ascribed to authoritarian character structures by educating them to harshness, moral indifference and disregard for the individual. This criticism is also made by some non-striking connections.

Men's association

In their publication Männerbündische Burschenherrlichkeit , the political scientists Diana Auth and Alexandra Kurth describe the scale at the beginning of the 20th century, when women were first admitted to study at German universities, as a measure of isolation against allegedly threatening female influences. To date, there have been no serious discussions in striking connections about the questions of whether women should be admitted or whether women should actively participate in the Mensur.

See also



  • Anton Friedrich Kahn : Initial reasons for the art of fencing: In addition to a preface about the benefits of the art of fencing and the advantages of this instruction , printed by Johann Christoph Rudolph Schultzen, Göttingen 1739
  • Friedrich August Wilhelm Ludwig Roux: German Paukbuch. (Mauke, Jena 1857, 1867, 1938) New edition Becker, Würzburg 1976
  • Josef Schmied-Kowarzik , Hans Kufahl: Fechtbüchlein. Reclam 3301–3303 (Leipzig 1884, 1926) Reprint: Meyer, Bockhorn (Bredehorn) 1980
  • Albin Angerer : Instructions for fencing with a racket. Association of Old Corps Students VAC, Würzburg 1961, Marl 1979
  • F. and C. Seemann-Kahne: Academic fencing school. (Weber, Leipzig 1926) Reprint: Becker in Komm., Würzburg 1993, ISBN 3-925615-17-2
  • Gert-A. Geilke: The little student fencing primer . Retrieved March 18, 2018.

Historical works

  • Hans Kufahl and Josef Schmied-Kowarzik : The duel at the universities. History of the duel together with an appendix containing dueling laws and Paukcomment. (Reprint of the 2nd part of the Duellbuch , Leipzig 1896) Hilden 2006, ISBN 3-933892-17-1
  • Wilhelm Fabricius : The German Corps. A historical representation with special consideration of the scaling. Berlin 1898 (2nd edition 1926)
  • Adolf Meyer: New school of academic racket fencing with commentary (1905) , Hilden (WJK-Verlag) 2005, ISBN 3-933892-13-9
  • Konrad Purrucker: The Surgery of the Mensur Bottom - Instructions for the Timpani Doctor (1926), Hilden (WJK-Verlag) 2004, ISBN 3-933892-31-7
  • Michael Gierens: Honor, duel and scale, presentation and justification of Christian ethical views on honor and protection of honor, duel and scale based on a synthesis of historical, biblical, legal, canonical and philosophical knowledge. Academic Boniface Unification, Association for the Care of Religious Life in the Catholic Student Union, Paderborn 1928
  • Konrad Lengenfelder (ed.): Dendrono-Puschner's natural portrayal of academic life in beautiful figures brought to light , (1st edition Nuremberg 1962) 2nd edition Altdorf 1993


  • Martin Biastoch : Duel and scale in the Empire ( using the example of the Tübingen Corps Franconia, Rhenania, Suevia and Borussia between 1871 and 1895). SH-Verlag, Vierow 1995, ISBN 3-89498-020-6
  • Martin Biastoch , Determination Mensuren , PP and duels in Tübingen SC between 1880 and 1890, in: Einst und Jetzt, Vol. 35, 1990, pp. 8–33.
  • Egon Eis: duel, history and stories of the duel. K. Desch, Munich 1971, ISBN 342004609X
  • W. Hammon: Student Fencing. Oderthal printing works, Duisburg 1957, Hammon, Essen approx. 1965 (Ms. printing)
  • Jürgen Kloosterhuis : Poodles and games. Student fencing and the state ban on scaling in the course of corporate history, examined using the example of the Halle Neoborussia from 1849 to 1936. In: Contributions to the history of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg 1502–2002. Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle 2002, pp. 340–376, ISBN 3-89812-144-5
  • Harald Lönnecker : "... to the limit of self-destruction". The scale of academic singers between cultural trademarks, social criteria and national symbols (1918–1926) , in: Einst und Jetzt. Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research 50 (2005), pp. 281–340
  • Friedrich Schulze: The art of fencing with the Haurapier (1885), WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2005, ISBN 3-933892-14-7
  • Peter Hauser (ed.): Schmisse, Lappen, Bonechspitter - Paukärztliche writings of the 19th century. 2nd edition, Hilden (WJK-Verlag) 2005, ISBN 3-933892-91-0
  • Peter Hauser (Hrsg.): From Paukanten to Patients - Other paucatic writings of the 19th century. Hilden (WJK-Verlag) 2006, ISBN 3-933892-18-X
  • Peter Hauser (Ed.): It was a mess ... Dissertations on scaling injuries. Hilden (WJK-Verlag) 2007, ISBN 3-933892-09-0
  • Hermann Rink : From student fencing to the scale. in: Handbook of the Kösener Corps student. Association of Old Corps Students V., Volume I, 6th edition, Würzburg 1985, pp. 151-171
  • Hermann Rink: The scale length, an essential feature of the association. In: Rolf-Joachim Baum (Ed.): "We want men, we want action!" German corps students from 1848 to today. Siedler, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-88680-653-7 , pp. 383-402
  • Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker: Dueling Students. Conflict, Masculinity, and Politics in German Universities, 1890–1914. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press 2011. ISBN 978-0-472-11757-4
  • Sir Lees Knowles, Baronet: A day with Corps students in Germany. Translated from English at the request of the author by G [ustav] G [otthold] Winkel, Geh. Government Council. Second increased edition. Koenigsberg i. Pr. 1914 [re. Heidelberg]. ( Digitized version )
  • Stefan Brüdermann: Göttingen students and academic jurisdiction in the 18th century . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1997, ISBN 978-3-525-35846-7 .
  • Norbert Nail, Gereon Berschin, On the history of fencing at the University of Marburg (2004)

Legal Aspects

  • Claus Martin: The legal assessment of the student bat duel. Dissertation Erlangen 1887. in: Peter Hauser (Ed.): Dissertations on the scale length, Volume V. Hilden (WJK-Verlag) 2004, ISBN 3-933892-05-8
  • Herbert Boll: The criminal treatment of the determination censorship. Wroclaw 1922
  • Fritz Hartung : Thugs and criminal law. in: New legal weekly. 7/1954, CH Beck, Munich ISSN  0341-1915
  • Fritz Hartung: Is the determination of the censorship punishable? Legal opinion. Heymann, Berlin-Cologne 1955
  • Andreas Hochwimmer: " Be a student when the blows fall ..." - Mensur und Strafrecht , Essen, akadpress 2009, ISBN 978-3-939413-04-2
  • Henning Tegtmeyer : Jurisprudence on Mensuren , Bundes-Zeitung der Grünen Hannoveraner zu Göttingen, Volume 100 (New Series), October 2010, No. 2, pp. 19–28
  • Andreas Laun OSFS: The moral theological and canonical evaluation of the scale. in: Theological-practical quarterly. Pustet, Regensburg 135/1987, pp. 52-58 ISSN  0040-5663
  • Friedrich Panne: The criminal assessment of the student thug grading. Dissertation Bonn 1929. in: Peter Hauser (Ed.): Dissertations on the scale, Volume I. Hilden (WJK-Verlag) 2004, ISBN 3-933892-01-5
  • Fritz Blüthgen: The student racket grades in civil and criminal law lighting . Weber, Berlin 1905.

Medical aspects

  • Adolf Bingel : Studies on the influence of beer drinking and fencing on the hearts of young people . Munich Medical Weekly 2/54, 1907
  • Konrad Purrucker: Surgery of the mensur floor: [mensur injuries and their treatment] . New printer of the edition (Berlin) 1926 edition. WJK-Verl., Hilden 2005, ISBN 3-933892-92-9 .
  • Otto Vockinger: Surgical vademecum for the tympanic floor . Seitz & Schauer, Munich 1893.


  • Dietrich Heither , Michael Gehler , Alexandra Kurth: Blood and Paukboden. Fischer (Tb.), Frankfurt 2001, ISBN 3596133785
  • Norbert Elias : Civilization and Informalization. The satisfactory society. In: Michael Schröter (Ed.), Norbert Elias: Studies on the Germans. Power struggles and habitus development in the 19th and 20th centuries. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3518579983
  • Theodor Lorentzen, Konrad Helmcke: On the scale! a free word against the scale nonsense and for the noble art of fencing . Hirschhausen, Hamburg 1920.


  • Carl A. Thimm: A Complete Bibliography of Fencing & Duelling: As Practiced by All European Nations from the Middle Ages to the Present Day . Pelican 1999, ISBN 1565544455

Web links

Commons : Mensur  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Mensur  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Robert Paschke : Corps student dictionary. In: Handbook of the Kösener Corps student. Association of Old Corps Students V. Volume I. Würzburg 1985 (6th edition)
  2. a b c d e f Hermann Rink : The scale length, an essential feature of the association. In: Rolf-Joachim Baum (Ed.): "We want men, we want action!" German corps students from 1848 to today. Siedler, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-88680-653-7 , p. 383 f.
  3. ^ "Up please - go!", Website of the corps associations on the subject of the scale length
  4. Martin Biastoch: Duel and Mensur im Kaiserreich ( using the example of the Tübingen Corps Franconia, Rhenania, Suevia and Borussia between 1871 and 1895). SH-Verlag, Vierow 1995, ISBN 3-89498-020-6 , p. 20 f.
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Werner Lackner: Die Mensur. The ritual duel between German students. (PDF; 667 kB) Vienna 1997, p. 32
  6. ^ Henning Tegtmeyer : History of the fraternity Hannovera 1928-1945 . Hilden 2009, p. 87
  7. ^ Judgment of the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court of September 12, 2003 AZ2 / 25 O 185/92
  8. a b Judgment of the BGH of January 29, 1953, AZ 5 StR 408/52, BGHSt 4, 24, NJW 1953, 473
  9. Bundestag, scientific service, compatibility of the scale in the case of striking student associations with the constitution and the gun law
  10. Bundestag, scientific service, Is the scale length of student associations compatible with criminal law?
  11. ^ Friedrich Hielscher : The canonical judgment of the Catholic Church on the scale in the 19th century . Einst und Jetzt 7 (1962), pp. 91-117.
  12. File: Baeckerinnung.jpg
  13. Example: Norbert Nail, Gereon Berschin: On the history of fencing at the University of Marburg . o. J., o. O., p. 1 ff. ( Memento from June 10, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 2.4 MB)
  14. G. Geilke (January 18, 2006): The small student fencing primer. ( Memento of December 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (pdf, p. 15; 13.0 MB)
  15. a b Quoted from Konrad Lengenfelder (Ed.): Dendrono-Puschner's natural portrayal of academic life in beautiful figures brought to light . (1st edition Nuremberg 1962) 2nd edition, Altdorf 1993, 4th The fencing student
  16. ^ Herbert Kater: The statutes of the University of Rinteln / Weser 1621–1809. Latin-German synopsis with supplementary documents as a special edition Einst und Jetzt 1992, p. 162.
  17. ^ Otto Deneke : A Göttingen student duel from 1766. Göttingen undated (1934).
  18. ^ Wilhelm Henze : The fencing and dueling at the University of Göttingen: 1734-1940. Phil. Diss. Göttingen 1942; Arnd Krüger : Valentin funnel's heirs. The theory-practice problem in the physical exercises at the Georg-August University (1734–1987). In: H.-G. Schlotter (Hrsg.): The history of the constitution and the departments of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1994, ISBN 3-525-35847-4 , pp. 284-294.
  19. ^ Wilhelm Hauff: Messages from the memoirs of Satan in the Gutenberg-DE project
  20. ^ Franz Oehme: Göttinger Memories , Gotha 1873; Quoted from Harald Seewann : "The friend, friend!" A Göttingen Stammbuchblatt from 1825 , in: Einst und Jetzt, 39th volume, yearbook 1994 of the Association for Corporate Student History Research
  21. ^ Franz Stadtmüller : History of the Corps Hannovera zu Göttingen 1809-1959. P. 408 (footnote 248).
  22. Kaiser Wilhelm II at the inaugural summer of the Bonner SC in May 1891, quoted from Adolf Meyer: New school of academic racket fencing with commentary. Leipzig 1906 (reprinted by Peter Hauser, WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2006), ISBN 3-933892-13-9 .
  23. ^ Frank Huss: Fritz Bacmeister - Corps student and adventurer. In: then and now. 2008 yearbook of the Association for Corps Student History Research . Volume 53, Neustadt an der Aisch 2008, p. 366 f.
  24. An important contemporary publication for this "new" type of string fencing was the work Deutsche Hiebfechtschule für Korb- und Bellrapier published by the Association of Fechtmeister (VdF) in 1887 , which was reprinted twice in 1901 and 1925/26.
  25. Eduard Graf († 1895) was walking. Medical council in Elberfeld. Kösener corps lists 1910, 90 , 90; 98 , 322
  26. ^ Siegfried Schindelmeiser, Geschichte der Baltia, Vol. 1, p. 316.
  27. Academic fencing. In: Homepage of the German Burschenschaft (corporation association of student associations in Germany and Austria). Retrieved June 18, 2015 .
  28. ^ Robert Paschke: Corps student dictionary. In: Handbook of the Kösener Corps student. Association of Old Corps Students V. Volume I. Würzburg 1985 (6th edition), p. 329 (keywords PC and PP )
  29. Erich Bauer : History of the Corps Lusatia in Leipzig 1807-1932 . Zeulenroda 1932, pp. 19-22.
  30. The Weinheim Seniors Convent has introduced the appointment scale under the concept of the scale in the Weinheim Seniors Convent Comment (as of July 2015). See § 510 concept of the scale length
  31. ^ Egbert Weiß : Scale lengths with changing weapons in Leipzig and Jena . Einst und Jetzt , Vol. 54 (2009), pp. 71-83.
  32. Stefan Hug: "Neither duel nor physical harm." 50 years ago the Federal Court of Justice legalized the much controversial scale. In: Frankfurter Rundschau of January 30, 2003.
  33. Hanns Güthling: The Erlanger Association and Honorary Agreement. In: Deutsche Sängerschaft 34 (1929), pp. 35–36.
  34. st. Rspr. Of the Reichsgericht since the judgment of the United Criminal Senate of March 6, 1883, RGSt 8, 87 ff .; confirmed by the resolution of the United Criminal Senate of May 15, 1926, RGSt 60, 257 ff.
  35. wording of the Criminal Code §210a
  36. Lothar Gruchmann : Justice in the Third Reich 1933–1940: Adaptation and submission in the Gürtner era. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2001, ISBN 3486538330 , p. 837.
  37. ^ Michael Grüttner : Students in the Third Reich. Schöningh, Paderborn 1995, p. 303 ff.
  38. Erich Bauer: From the comradeship to corps - The founding history of Misnia IV in Leipzig. In: Einst und Jetzt Volume 18, 1973, pp. 114-131.
  39. Published a. a. in: Die Welt from November 8, 1949
  40. Brief minutes of the meeting between the rectors and representatives of the associations on November 12, 1951 in the Industrie-Club Düsseldorf, Institute for Higher Education , Kösener Archive, N 6 No. 1 (estate Lehr)
  41. Martin Biastoch: Duel and Mensur im Kaiserreich ( using the example of the Tübingen Corps Franconia, Rhenania, Suevia and Borussia between 1871 and 1895). SH-Verlag, Vierow 1995, ISBN 3-89498-020-6 , p. 8.
  42. ^ Rainer Maaß: The student body of the Technical University of Braunschweig in the post-war period. Matthiesen Verlag, Braunschweig 1998, ISBN 3786814538 , p. 194 ff.
  43. ^ Archive portal of the Kösener and Weinheimer Corps with digital copies of the reports by Werner Barthold , Herbert Krüger (1953) and Fritz Hartung
  44. ^ Judgment of March 25, 1954 in: DVBl 54/680; NJW 54/1384
  45. BVerwGE 7/287, with reference to the decision of the Federal Court of Justice of January 29, 1953
  46. Like cohabitation . In: Der Spiegel . No. 4 , 1976 ( online - Jan. 19, 1976 ).
  47. Peter Hauser: On the emergence of the determination gauge. In: Einst und Jetzt , Volume 52, 2007, p. 6 ff.
  48. Rolf Heinrichs: Up please - go! Experience report from the Mensur on the website of the Kösener Seniors Convent Association : Archived copy ( Memento from July 9, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  49. Helmut Blazek: Men's Associations. A story of fascination and power. Ch. Links Verlag, 1999, ISBN 3861531771 , p. 152.
  50. Sonja Kuhn: The German Burschenschaft - a grouping in the field of tension between traditional formalism and traditional foundations - an analysis for the period 1950 to 1999. Diploma thesis in the degree program in education, philosophy, psychology at the University of Bamberg. Edited by the old gentlemen's association of the fraternity Hilaritas Stuttgart. Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-00-009710-4 , p. 127.
  51. Der Spiegel: Der SPIEGEL reported ... In: Der Spiegel . No. 7 , 1958, pp. 50 ( Online - Feb. 12, 1958 ).
  52. ^ Statutes of the Marburg Convention of Student Associations ( Memento of October 6, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  53. Henner Huhle: At that time - hard to believe. In: Einst und Jetzt, yearbook of the Association for Corps Student History Research . Volume 36, 1991, pp. 229-234 (report on the start of the drama business in the GDR in 1989).
  54. cf. Immo Garrn: The first and last canteen day in the GDR. In: Deutsche Corps-Zeitung, Nov. 1990, p. 26.
  55. Olaf-Martin Oels: Memories of the beginning. Personal experiences from the active time in the former GDR . Einst und Jetzt 43 (1998), pp. 25–40 (with scale photos and further references).
  56. Galileo: Clever eggs - give a rebuff. In: from September 8, 2013
  57. all subsequent quotes from Heinrich Mann: The Subject . Novel. 11th edition 2003, Fischer Taschenbuchverlag, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-596-13640-7 , pp. 30-39
  58. Viktor Mann: We were five. Portrait of the Mann family. (1st edition 1949) 2nd, revised edition, Konstanz 1964, p. 340.
  59. Ignaz Wrobel: Letters to a Fox Major. In: Die Weltbühne , January 31, 1928, p. 164 f .; quoted from Kurt Tucholsky: Gesammelte Werke Volume 6, special edition, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-499-29012-X , p. 37.
  60. ^ Kurt Tucholsky: Deutschland, Deutschland über alles. Berlin 1929, p. 19; quoted from Kurt Tucholsky: Gesammelte Werke Volume 6, special edition, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-499-29012-X , p. 295.
  61. Dietrich Heither: Traditional collections of student male associations. Student Associations: Diversity and Unity. In: Peer Pasternak (ed.): Academic rituals. Symbolic practice at universities. Leipzig 1999, ISBN 3-9806319-3-1 , p. 113 f.
  62. Friedrich Hielscher (ed.): Guidelines for the Kösener Studium Generale / Law and Ethics of the Mensur (= Fifth Festschrift of the HKSCV. Published for the Kösener Congress 1958). Würzburg 1958.
  63. Heribert Schiedel , Martin Tröger: On German national corporations in Austria (PDF; 164 kB) .
  64. Jump up ↑ Diana Auth, Alexandra Kurth: Men-alliance Burschenherrlichkeit. Research situation and historical review. In: Christoph Butterwegge, Gudrun Hentges (ed.): Old and new rights at the universities. Agenda-Verlag, Münster 1999, pp. 114–129, p. 121.