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Satisfaction (from the Latin satisfactio , “satisfaction”, “satisfaction”, “satisfaction”, “ fulfillment ”, from satis “enough” and facere “do, do, operate”) is - formerly in the noble and upper class, today only in certain Connections of life as a weapon student - the reparation of an honor offense with suitable means or the obligation to demand such satisfaction in the event of an insult.


The use of this term is based on the old idea, revived in Central Europe in the 19th century, that within a class of free, armed men, honor disputes must be resolved by internal means (without overarching authority). That means, whoever belongs to a weapon-bearing, satisfactory class and wants to belong to it, for example in the aristocracy, in the officer corps, with students and academics, is entitled according to the group-specific code of honor to demand and also to provide satisfaction. The question of the ability to be satisfied is therefore also a question of group membership. A person challenged can now consider a suspected defamation on the part of another member of this class as an attempted exclusion from this class and with a duel or with words (withdrawal of the insult, formal apology) eliminate the honor trade. If he is available to the offended person for a duel (“Satisfaction gives”), the class affiliation of the offended person is considered to be confirmed. Conversely, rejecting a claim for lack of the same class is an extreme form of non-recognition of the same.


Student saber duel (painting by Georg Mühlberg , around 1900)

The privilege of aristocratic students to carry arms was granted to all students in the 16th century by imperial decree.

Since around the second half of the 19th century, a duel , the course of which was strictly regulated by the so-called Comment , had to be carried out with lethal weapons. Were common first as a student fencing weapon the sword and officers the gun . In student circles this practice became necessary because the regular scale had lost its honor-cleansing function. It had been further developed as a means of education for the determination of the censorship, which every member of a beating association had to undergo. New funds had to be used to settle honor disputes. The students wanted to be guided by the custom of the officers (who came from the same families and were often of the same age).

For both students and officers, the establishment of the court of honor was developed to channel the duel system , which was allowed to examine every defamation, seek all means of amicable compensation and only give its consent in the most serious cases to the use of weapons. The weight of the weapons (in the case of sabers also the protective devices, in the case of pistols, the number of shots, shooting distance, etc.) required the approval of the court of honor. Duels could not be carried out without the approval of a court of honor. All those involved had to submit to the verdict of the court of honor unconditionally.

Negotiations and duels took place without the consent or knowledge of the authorities (with officers of the military courts , with students of the university authorities). Duels were punishable under the Penal Code as a duel with deadly weapons (15 section, §§ 201-210) and were able to imprisonment are punished. This ban was in fact not implemented, except when there were serious injuries or even deaths, which did happen. The continuation of this judicial practice for the determination of the scale was shown in the 1950s by the Göttingen scale trial .

This practice became more complicated at the universities when, beginning with the Uttenruthia (founded in 1836; Schwarzburgbund ), the first non-striking associations were founded that rejected fencing (i.e. duels and mensur). The elitist view that the students formed a special “class” in the population entitled to carry weapons was shaken. There were also soon connections that rejected the determination of the censorship, but conducted duels - that is, gave so-called “satisfaction with the weapon”. A distinction was made between the unconditional and the conditional satisfaction with the weapon. In the case of a connection that offered “conditional satisfaction with the weapon”, the new members had to declare bindingly whether and, if so, with which weapons they wanted to give satisfaction. Old connections, especially the corps , insisted on "absolute satisfaction with the weapon".

The increasingly unsatisfactory situation was only clarified in the 1920s by the Erlangen Association and Honorary Agreement . It made it possible to settle honor disputes between members of all student associations without a weapon. As a result of this development, the conception of studentism as a “class” that had to be defended with a weapon was taken ad absurdum. The student duel had become obsolete. After the Second World War, the hitting connections formally renounced unconditional satisfaction with the weapon. On April 8, 1953, their delegates confirmed this waiver of honorary trades with the weapon against 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.

Nevertheless, the unconditional satisfaction remains an obligation for every corps student, namely in such a way that he has to unconditionally submit to the verdict of a court of honor in honor disputes ( Kösener rules of arbitration, rules of honor of the Weinheim Senior Citizens' Convent WSCEO). The court of honor can oblige an offender to " revocation " (withdrawal), to " depreciate " (apology) or in addition to an "expression of regret" - depending on the severity of the insult - for the purpose of satisfaction . Today nobody can evade this obligation by willingness to argue.


A challenge called junk , for no reason, was considered a bad habit among weapons students. The outright opponent was provoked to make statements that could be taken as an insult and thus as a reason for an honorary trade ; in some cases, however, there was silent agreement. The junk came before a court of honor and was decided there. The word ramschen - to ram someone - means something like looking for Handel . The Ramscher is a disrespectful term. After the First World War , the courts of honor judged junk mostly with revocation and deprecation . This resulted in a punishment from the student association concerned.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ulrich Becker old student postcards - Aura academica , p. 29, card 44, Verlag Georg DW Callwey Munich, 1990, ISBN 3-7667-0969-0
  2. Werner Ranz (
  3. 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.
  4. Robert Paschke : Ramsch, the. In: Friedhelm Golücke : Student History Lexicon . SH-Verlag, 1999, ISBN 3-89498-072-9 , p. 217 f.


Web links

Wiktionary: Satisfaction  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations