Swiss student associations

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Mixed student union ( GV Zähringia ) in Freiburg im Üechtland
Swiss Charged at a pageant
Country Father in Basel (2020)

There are currently 530 Swiss student associations . This includes not only academic corporations at colleges and universities, but also student associations , professional associations, gymnastics and sports clubs, linguistic, regional and religious associations, teetotalers and not a few girl associations. The oldest student association in Switzerland is the Société d'Étudiants de Belles-Lettres, founded in Lausanne in 1806 . The current president of the Swiss Association for Student History is Bendicht Rindlisbacher, member of the Berna in Bern .


Student “societies” have been documented in Switzerland since the 18th century. The only traditional full university was the University of Basel , founded in 1460 ; otherwise there were only smaller educational institutions in German-speaking Switzerland in the rank of academies and colleges without the right to award doctorates. Therefore, the student culture was less pronounced there. Many Swiss went to study in Germany, where in the early 19th century they founded many national corps called Helvetia , for example in Freiburg im Breisgau (1815–1822, 1830–1834), Göttingen (1824–1829), Heidelberg (1811–1817) , 1859–1862), Munich (1830–1831), Tübingen (1811–1816) and Würzburg (around 1805, 1820–1824).

When the Protestant, cantonal full universities of Zurich and Bern were founded in the early 1830s, the Swiss came back to their country and brought the student customs with them from Germany. In these years the first Swiss connections began to wear color and to fencing lengths. With the exception of Heidelberg from 1859 to 1862, there was no longer a Corps Helvetia at a German university.


Artusia Aarau (1910–1912)

The Swiss corporation system is similar to that in Germany and Austria, but with one difference: the three large umbrella organizations, the Swiss Zofingerverein (Zofingia), the Helvetia student association and the Swiss student association (StV), which is closely related to the German CV, were founded as an umbrella association from the start and did not come into existence from amalgamations of individual connections. In addition, from the beginning they belonged to university and student associations. The latter are far more common in Switzerland than in Germany. In some cases it was forbidden for the middle school associations to be in an association with university associations until around 1957.

In addition, all three associations were also political associations from the start. The StV was initially close to the Catholic Conservative Party , the Zofingia before its split and separation from Helvetia to the radical and liberal movements (today FDP ) and Protestant ideas of the reformer Zwingli . It played an essential role in the founding of today's state in 1848.

A special feature of the Swiss corporation is that there are also connections based on the German-speaking model at universities and technical colleges in the French-speaking part of the country, whose colloquial language is French. In addition to the multilingual umbrella organizations Zofingia (D, F), the Swiss Student Union Helvetia (D, F), the Swiss Student Association (D, F, I, Rumantsch) and the Falkensteinerbund (D, F), there are also purely French-speaking umbrella organizations, the Stella Helvetica and the Société d'Étudiants de Belles-Lettres .

Many circles are downright "difficult".

Umbrella organizations

Long live the foxes and the virgins!

Connections throughout Switzerland

Postcard of the Swiss student union Belles-Lettres, Lausanne section from 1906 on the occasion of the centenary.

What is special about Switzerland is that many connections do not only exist at a specific place of study, but also exist as nationwide cross-border connections that are divided into individual so-called "sections" at the respective places of study. The following connections throughout Switzerland exist and have existed:

Local connections

Gymnastics associations

The gymnastics associations in Basel, Bern and Zurich all developed towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century from the respective university gymnastics clubs. As such, in 1832 they also helped found the Swiss Gymnastics Association (now the Swiss Gymnastics Association ). They are united in the Swiss Academic Gymnastics Association (SAT) , all of which are mandatory and belong to the Swiss Armed Forces Ring . The significantly younger gymnastics associations in Lausanne and Geneva also belonged to the SAT, but are now suspended. The common motto of the Swiss Gymnastics Association is " mens sana in corpore sano ".


The Academic Gymnastics Association Alemannia Basel was founded in 1819 as the Basel Gymnastics Club. Since 1905 it has existed under its current name as the Academic Gymnastics Association Alemannia Basel.


The Academic Gymnastics Association Rhenania Bern was founded in 1816 as a patriotic gymnastics community, making it the oldest university association and the oldest gymnastics club in Switzerland .


The founding date of the Academic Gymnastics Association Utonia Zurich is February 21, 1873. It was founded by former members of the student and polytechnic gymnastics club, whose origins date back to 1824.

Suspended gymnastics associations




Alamannia (1869–1878): The pre-connection was a country team founded on May 25, 1865 with unconditional satisfaction . She has been cramming with the Teutonia fraternity in Freiburg im Breisgau since 1867 . The corps was founded on November 20, 1869. The motto was unity makes you strong! Alamannia renounced on May 26, 1870 at the Seniors' Convention in Freiburg im Breisgau. On March 2, 1871, she was sent to the KSCV. At the oKC 1872 she had a SC voice. Suspended on May 23, 1873 , it was reconstituted on February 7, 1877 when members of the Basler Gold-Helvetia (red-white-gold) transferred. Alamannia suspended again on November 2, 1878 and became extinct in the interwar period . The last old man was probably Dr. med. Ernst Rippmann († 1941), Cantonal Councilor and City Councilor in Stein am Rhein . Archives of the Corps were given to the Institute for University Studies by Max Richter in 1955 . Alamannia was friends with Brunsviga Göttingen , Hasso-Borussia , Thuringia Jena , Saxonia Leipzig , Nassovia and Tigurinia. Relationships existed with Rhenania Heidelberg , Palatia Strasbourg and Suevia Munich . Among the 44 members were Emil Burckhardt , Emil Burckhardt-De Bary , Ludwig Gelpke , Heinrich Gelzer , Léopold Greppin , Ernst von Sury and Victor Schultze .


Rhenania Bern

Rhenania I (green-red-gold) was founded in 1842 and officially dissolved at the end of the winter semester 1842/43. It was reconstituted on May 15, 1847 and suspended again in May 1848.

Rhenania II (blue-white-red) emerged on February 5, 1852 from the Neu-Zofingerverein and was soon suspended.

Rhenania III (1870–1880): The three founders came from the Canton of Thurgau , the Canton of St. Gallen and the Canton of Schwyz . All three were Freiburg Swabians , two also Nassau and Tigurine . They donated Rhenania III on July 18, 1870. The motto was Amico pectus, hosti frontem! Of the 49 members, 43 were Swiss, four German, one Irish and one Austrian. The corps was accepted into the Kösener SC Association on May 27, 1871. It suspended for one year before Pentecost 1875. Rhenania was friends with Nassovia, Suevia Munich and Grün-Helvetia. Members were Friedrich Brunner , Eugen Landau , Louis Mürset , Emile Rodé , Paul Salvisberg , Wilhelm Schmid , Martin Stamm . The Corps finally suspended on December 3, 1880.


The only corps in Geneva was Teutonia (1889-1917), moss green-gold-black.


Hansea (1887-1892): black-white-red. The connection has been called Germania since 1887 , only last year Hansea. Germania still exists today.

Alpigenia (1910–1915): black-white-gold


Director Geiser in the timpani (1885)

While the corporations at the cantonal University of Zurich were free based on the German model, the corps and compatriots at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic were suppressed by the university administration.

Tigurinia I (1850-1931)

Black Helvetia (1861–1865)

Green Helvetia (1878–1885)

The so-called Rot-Helvetia was founded in Zurich in 1865 as a section of the Swiss Student Union Helvetia . She wanted to introduce unconditional satisfaction as an association principle. When she failed, she left the Central Association in 1874 and founded Blau-Helvetia on July 24, 1874 . The members tending towards the corps studenthood applied to Tigurinia on January 17, 1878 for renunciation. The others remained “connected”. The corps took on the color white-red-blue with light blue caps. Since Tigurinia appealed against the blue hat, Helvetia decided on light green-gold-red with light green hats. February 15, 1878 was set as the foundation day. On June 1, 1878, Grün-Helvetia was accepted into the KSCV. She became friends with Rhenania Bern (SS 1878), Suevia Strasbourg (WS 1879/80) and Rhenania Freiburg (WS 1881/82). She also had multi-band men with Suevia Tübingen , Thuringia Jena , Suevia Munich , Brunsviga Munich , Isaria and Makaria Munich . After Tigurinias first suspension, Grün-Helvetia received SC rights from the oKC in 1884. Because of an unpleasant mensur, Helvetia and Tigurinia were dissolved by the Zurich governor's office on March 13, 1882. Tigurinia operated as Teutonia for one semester, Helvetia as Hansea until the summer semester of 1883.

According to the Kösener corps lists 1930 (No. 144), Grün-Helvetia had 30 members. In addition to Swiss, there were Germans, a Pole, a Turk, an American, an Argentine and an Englishman. Graduations were fought in Zurich, Bern, Basel, Adliswil, Ermatingen, Baden, Amriswil and Illnau. Since the spring of 1884, cramming was no longer in Zurich, but "in the Reich", in Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Tübingen, Munich and Würzburg. Of 155 documented lengths, 74 went against Tigurinia and 16 against Zähringia Bern. Expensive fraternity groups, quarrels and poor offspring afflicted the corps. In February 1884 placed under the curatorship of the old men and inactive, the Corpsburschenconvent decided on February 15, 1885 the suspension, which was confirmed on May 2, 1885. No attempt at reconstitution was ever made. Grün-Helveter were Albert Dubler , Halil Edhem-Bey , Carl Mayer von Mayerfels , Heinrich Morf and Alfred von Planta . The corps' archival material (log books, timepiece book, etc.) are located in the State Archives of the Canton of Bern (SVSt archive). The coat of arms of the Green Helvetia hangs on the pub of the Swiss Helvetia Zurich. Samuel Mühlberg gives an insight into the fencing life of Grün-Helvetia.

Tigurinia II (2007)

Jewish connections and associations

The Jewish associations in Switzerland belong to the completely extinct union and student associations. They arose in the course of the Jewish emancipation after the 1st Basel Zionist Congress (1897) and in the defense against anti-Semitism (until 1945) on academic soil. In the cartel of the Jewish Corporations of Switzerland (KJK) three color-bearing associations were united: In Basel the Jewish-Academic Association Neharda, founded in 1911, black-white-blue, life association with a Zionist tendency. In Bern, the National Jewish (Zionist) student association Kadimah, founded in 1901, purple-white-red. In 1914 she took on Maccabea, which was postponed in 1912. She suspended in the summer semester of 1920. In Zurich, the Maccabea Jewish National Student Association, founded in 1910, brown-green-purple on white, suspended in November 1912. Both Maccabea and Ivria gave satisfaction only on heavy sabers. Their central festivals took place in rotation in Bern, Basel and Zurich. In Zurich there was also the Jewish-Academic Association Ivria (green-black-gold on gold, suspended spring 1919) and the Haeschaschar Jewish Association (since 1903, tips with the colors blue-white-gold, no duels, admission of Jewish students of both sexes , Suspension date unknown). There were non-colored associations and associations of Jewish students in Basel, Bern, Lausanne and Zurich until 1937.


Swiss connections abroad

  • Belgium: Leuven
  • Bohemia: Prague
  • Germany: Berlin, Dillingen, Eichstätt, Freiburg i. Br., Göttingen, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Leipzig, Mainz, Mittweida, Munich, Münster, Reutlingen, Strelitz, Stuttgart, Tübingen, Würzburg
  • France: Delle, Évians-les-Bains, Paris, Strasbourg, Thonon
  • Italy: Como, Milan, Monza, Rome, Turin
  • Austria: Innsbruck, Vienna

See also


  • Urs Altermatt (ed.): «To dare the huge fight with this time ...» Swiss student association 1841–1991 . Maihof-Verlag, Lucerne, 1993, ISBN 3-9520027-2-0 .
  • Lynn Blattmann, Rudolf Braun: Forms are not an empty delusion - the behavioral culture of the Swiss student associations 1880–1920 . Zurich 1990/91 (Konstanz 1997).
  • Robert Develey : History of the Swiss Corporated Student Body in the 19th Century . 2 volumes, Bern 1995.
  • Paul Ehinger : Student Associations. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  • T. Gantner: Color students in Switzerland . Swiss Museum of Folklore Basel. Catalog for the 1979/80 exhibition.
  • Peter Hauser : The Eastern Swiss Cartel . Studentica Helvetica 7 (1991), pp. 7-26.
  • Peter Hauser: On the Pauk-Comment of the Zurich Corporations from 1861–63 . Einst und Jetzt , Vol. 59 (2014), pp. 383–395.
  • T. Keller, Peter Platzer : Representation of the uncovering corporations in Switzerland . Solothurn 1980.
  • Herbert Lüthy : Weapons students and corps in Switzerland . Handbuch des Kösener Corpsstudenten, 4th edition (1953), pp. 125-131.
  • Peter Platzer: The Aarburger Cartellverband . Studentica Helvetica. Documenta et Commentarii No. 15, Bern 1994.
  • Peter Platzer, Gottfried Wirth: Helveticus - Directory of Swiss Connections . Bern 2000
  • Max Richter: On the scale! History of the beating corporations in Switzerland. Contribution to Swiss academic life and foreign arms students . Zurich 1978.
  • Horst Zimmermann: Being a student in Bern. Corporate life in the Swiss capital . Deutsche Zeitung and Wirtschaftszeitung , No. 260, 9./10. November 1963.
  • Ernst-Günter Glienke: Civis Academicus 2005–2006, manual of the German, Austrian and Swiss corporations and student associations at universities and colleges as well as student associations. Editor: Ernst Thomas. SH, 2004, ISBN 3-89498-149-0 , Ed. Community for German Student History .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Helveticus (2000)
  2. Herbert Kater, Jörg Onnasch: The individual corps in the KSCV. Directory of the extinct corps in the KSCV including their important predecessors. In: Board of the Association of Alter Corps Students e. V. (Hrsg.): Handbook of the Kösener Corps student . Volume II, item 1.C., 6th edition, Würzburg 1985
  3. ^ The Falkensteinerbund (FB) has a friendship relationship with the Wingolfsbund . Each Wingolfit can enter one of the four FB connections and vice versa.
  4. The ACV was incorporated in 1925.
  5. The motto of all Swiss gymnastics associations is: (Orandum est ut sit) mens sana in corpore sano ( Martial )
  6. The Swiss Student Association is an association of Christian middle and university associations in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy and as such the largest association of cultural associations in Switzerland.
  7. Zofingia has many sections at secondary schools and universities.
  8. Aebi Jürg, Akademische Turnerschaft Utonia zu Zürich, p. 14 f.
  9. Peter Martig et al. (Ed.): Bern's modern time. The 19th and 20th centuries rediscovered. Stämpfli, Bern 2011. p. 208.
  10. ^ Ernst Hans Eberhard : Handbook of the student liaison system. Leipzig 1924/25, p. 195.
  11. Aebi Jürg, Akademische Turnerschaft Utonia zu Zürich, p. 9 ff.
  12. a b Dr. iur. Rob. Briner, Turnerschaft "Utonia" Zurich (UTV) - History of the first hundred semesters compiled for the 50th anniversary 1873-1923, p. 24
  13. Deutsche Corpszeitung 1955, p. 83; Helveticus p. 9
  14. ^ Peter Platzer: The Corps Alamannia Basel (1869–1878) . Einst und Jetzt , Vol. 59 (2014), pp. 417–439 ​​(with complete list of members)
  15. a b Helveticus 2000
  16. ^ Theodor Künzli, Leon Kälin († 1872) and Eugen Scherrer
  17. Paul Gerhardt Gladen : Rhenania Bern , in: The Kösener and Weinheimer Corps. Their representation in individual chronicles . WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2007, ISBN 978-3-933892-24-9 , p. 133.
  18. ^ Peter Platzer: List of members of the Corps Rhenania Bern (July 12, 1870 to December 3, 1880). Once and Now, Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research, Vol. 57 (2012), pp. 303–307.
  19. ^ Gustav Gotthilf Winkel : Kösener SC calendar . Leipzig 1920.
  20. ^ Hermann Greiner: Memorabilia of the Corps Rhenania Bern . Einst und Jetzt, Vol. 44 (1999), pp. 117-118.
  21. Paul Gerhardt Gladen : The Kösener and Weinheimer Corps: her performance in single chronicles. P. 77, 1st edition, WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2007
  22. ^ A b Max Richter: The Corps Helvetia in Zurich, February 15, 1878 to May 2, 1885 . Once and Now, Yearbook of the Association for Corps Student History Research, Special Issue 1976, pp. 33–43.
  23. "Hansea" had orange-white-black and black hats
  24. Kösener Corpslisten 1930, 144
  25. ^ Samuel Mühlberg: Alfred Keppler Helvetiae Zurich, Sueviae Munich and his "duel" against Heinrich Nägeli Tiguriniae Zurich, judged according to old Zurich criminal law . Einst und Jetzt, Vol. 62 (2017), pp. 121–142
  26. ^ Peter Platzer: Jewish Student Associations in Switzerland , 3rd edition. Hilden 2009.
  27. Harald Seewann: Jewish connections and associations in Switzerland . Acta studentica, volume 28 (1978), p. 4