Swiss Zofinger Association

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Swiss Zofingerverein (Zofingia)

coat of arms Circle
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Basic data
University location: Zurich , Bern , Lucerne , Lausanne , Basel , Geneva , Neuchâtel , St. Gallen , Friborg , Aarau
Founding: 1819
Place of foundation: Zofingen
Abbreviation: T !, Z!
Color status : colored
Colours: red-white-red
(percussion: gold)
Cap: white flat cap
Type of Confederation: Men's association
Position to the scale : not striking
Motto: Patriae, Amicitiae, Litteris
Total members: 2442 (2014)
Active: 361 (2014)

The Swiss Zofingerverein (Zofingia) is a non-beating Swiss student association founded in 1819 . Its name goes back to the place where it was founded in Zofingen in the canton of Aargau .


The non-striking and colored connection is divided into twelve sections and represented at nine universities and three secondary schools . The Zofingia is managed by the Central Committee (CAus), consisting of the Central President (CP), Central Actuary (CA), Central Quaestor (CQ) and four Centralmorpions (assessors). The Central Committee is elected from the members of a section for one year of office by the festive assembly on the occasion of the annual Central Festival in Zofingen . The section that can "provide" the central committee changes from year to year according to a certain cycle (so-called on-site principle). The Zofingia is a life connection. After completing their studies, a member can join the Swiss Altzofingerverein .

Their mottos are Patriae, Amicitiae, Litteris (for fatherland , for friendship , for science ), of which amicitia is clearly in the foreground in today's club life. The motto “Patriae” indicates that in the first half of the 19th century the Zofingia was part of the movement that successfully campaigned for the establishment of the modern Swiss federal state . In addition to cultivating friendship, Zofingia has set itself the goal of producing personalities who can take on responsibility in politics, business and society. She deals with current problems in politics and economy and deals with questions of university, cultural and social life. It is based on the idea of ​​a federal , democratic constitutional state and advocates the preservation of personal freedom. It abstains from any party politics , but can comment on questions of Swiss public interest.

The bond with the «federal city» of Zofingen is great. The connecting colors (red-white-red) correspond to those of the city arms. Every year in May or June, the active members meet here for the Centralfest, and every three years the Altzo fingers. The city authorities are always benevolent towards the connection. As a thank you for this, the city received gifts on several occasions. B. a fountain in honor of the city hero Niklaus Thut (1894), the two lion fountains at the lower city entrance (1919), a bell for the city ​​church (1929), painted glass panes for the town hall (1969), the tower carillon in the tower room of the Stiftsturm (1985) or the Justitia statue in front of the town hall (1994). On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Swiss Zofinger Association in 2019, it is planned to give the city signpost-like steles and information boards for a pedestrian guidance system through the old town of Zofingen.



There were various academic societies in the Old Confederation (including the “Growing” in Zurich , the “Amused” in Bern and the “Free” in Basel ). These disappeared at the end of the 18th century. In 1761, the Patriotic Helvetic Society was founded in Schinznach-Bad . The co-founders were Salomon and Kaspar Hirzel from the growing society, Vincenz Bernhard Tscharner from the pleasure society and Isaak Iselin and Jean-Rudolphe Frey from the free society. Since these gentlemen were already older, attempts were successfully made to include the youth. The main goal was to bridge the denominational differences that prevail in Switzerland.

After the collapse of the Old Confederation in 1798, there was a split between the progressive Unitarians and the conservative federalists . This split persisted even after Napoleon lost, and the Swiss Confederation was recognized as sovereign by the victorious powers.

Bern students from the circle of Professor Johann Rudolf Wyss , Albert Bitzius , his cousins ​​Karl Bitzius and Gottlieb Studer , organized a celebration in June 1818 in memory of the Battle of Laupen . The same initiators were among the first Bernese students to go to Zofingen a year later. Zurich students invited their fellow students in Bern to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the day on October 23, 1818 on which Ulrich Zwingli first preached the Gospel . They made a pilgrimage to Zwingli's place of death, in the Sihlwald . The Bernese later invited their fellow students from Zurich to Bern. The idea arose of founding a student association in the small town of Zofingen in Aargau - roughly halfway between the two cities. From July 21 to 24, 1819, 26 people from Zurich and 34 from Bern met in Zofingen and founded the “Swiss Student Association”, which a little later was called the Zofingerverein or “Zofingia”. Students abroad brought the customs of the German fraternities home with them to Switzerland.

As early as 1820 the Zofingerverein had 120 students from the cantons of Bern , Zurich , Lucerne and Vaud . The Zofingia gradually adapted German academic customs. From around 1830, the Zofingers wore the couleur as an external distinguishing feature , consisting of a white hat and a red-white-red ribbon . In 1822 it was decided to set up a section abroad, and another Zofinger section was founded in Freiburg im Breisgau . After the Zofingia in Freiburg had various problems with the fraternities there, it was decided to close this section again and not to donate any further offshoots abroad for the time being.

Spin-offs and start-ups

The Zofingers often formed the core of student free companies and often supported non-federal powers (e.g. in 1838 and 1856, when the Zofingers from Neuchâtel supported the Prussian prince). It then also happened that Zofingers fought each other (e.g. Lausanne and Neuchâtel), which u. a. led to a section leaving the Swiss Zofinger Association.

The foundation stone for Helvetia was laid in 1832 when the Lucerne residents and a minority of the Zurich Zofingers reunited and founded Helvetia for the first time . This was the first time that the Zofingia ideal of unity was broken. The Helvetia was able to save in Lucerne and Zurich only in Bern and partly in St. Gallen to consolidate. In 1837 Helvetia only existed in Bern. After a minor quarrel in the Bern section between the conservative and liberal camps in 1847, the liberals split off and the new Zofinger club was founded . At the end of 1847 the radical New Zofingia had seven sections with about a hundred members, the old Zofingia consisted of six sections with over 120 members. The New Zofingia in the fall of 1849, after Sonderbundskrieg and thus resulting dispute between the two Zofingias in Helvetia renamed. The new club that was created in 1855 from the merger of Zurich Zofingern and Helvetia was again called the Neu-Zofingerverein . Its members wore red, white and red ribbons and blue hats with gold rims. The hats with the unpopular color were soon replaced by white, and in 1857 a group of those who had left Zofingen re-founded Helvetia . In 1865 the Zofingia was split again when the Zurich Penal Code made dueling a criminal offense. In 1867 Helvetia was renamed back to Zofingia .

From the beginning, the majority of the Zofingerverein was against the Mensur . Nevertheless, there was often fighting because one could not avoid the demands of other student associations. The mensur question only aroused people's minds in the second half of the 19th century. In 1863, at the Centralfest meeting, it was decided to forbid the use of the bat . The ban could not be enforced, especially in Zurich and Bern. That is why the Zurich Section was given an exceptional position in 1883. This was not canceled until 1903 by a strike vote , which meant the constitution of the Neuzofingia (white hats, red-white-blue ribbons). When the Mensur question split the Zurich section in 1903 and the whole association then revoked the exceptional position of Zurich, a loyal minority split off, the previous section was closed and the remaining sections were recognized as the legitimate Zofinger section. Members who can be proven to have participated in a student fencing match have since been excluded from the Zofingia.

The state of 1848

In the first half of the 19th century the whole of Switzerland contributed associations significantly to the creation of a Swiss national consciousness at. In addition to associations such as the Helvetian Society founded in the 18th century and the Swiss Rifle Club, which has existed since 1824, the Zofingia and Helvetia , which was split off from it, were among the societies that prepared the ground for the modern Swiss federal state founded in 1848 . In the young state, the student associations remained important, especially because of their function as cadre schools . Between 1848 and 1857, the number of members of the Zofingia in the federal parliament increased to 25 percent. In the first Swiss Federal Council , Jonas Furrer and Ulrich Ochsenbein, two of seven magistrates, were members of the Zofingia, and Jonas Furrer was also the first Federal President of Switzerland . Johann Konrad Kern, a Zofinger, also played a key role in drafting the first Swiss Federal Constitution of 1848 as the main editor. Kern was also elected the first President of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in 1848 and was a co-founder of the Swiss Federal Polytechnic, today's ETH Zurich .

Political wing emerges

In the context of the social question , the socialist - pacifist reform movement of the Idealzofingers (IZ) emerged at the beginning of the 20th century . It forms the left political wing of the Zofingia, which is in contrast to the liberal - conservative Ubetonenflügel (UBT). Both directions shape club life to this day. Depending on the section, the IZ and UBT still sit separately at official meetings. The affiliation to the two wings can also be partly recognized by the headgear. Thus, the UBT the section of Basel adds the Altzofingervereins example, the majority of beer tonnes of red, IZ those with white middle.


1898 founded Vaud section of Zofinger association with the Prix Rambert 's oldest literary award of Romandie , which since 1903 in memory of Eugène Rambert every three years is awarded by a jury of French-speaking Swiss authors (1830-1886).


See also: Category: Corporated in the Swiss Zofinger Association


Zofingia (1868)




  • Ulrich Beringer: The Zofingerverein during the restoration period, 1819–1830 (= history of the Zofingerverein. Volume 1). Buchdruckerei Kreis, Basel 1895.
  • Ulrich Beringer: The Zofingerverein during the regeneration period, 1830–1847 (= history of the Zofingerverein. Volume 2). Helbing & Lichtenhahn, Basel 1907.
  • Paul Ehinger: Swiss Zofingerverein. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  • Paul Ehinger: The old bowl is just far away. History of the philistine of the Swiss Zofingerverein / Zofingia. Zofinger Tagblatt , Zofingen 1994.
  • Charles Gilliard: Zofingia. In: Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz , Volume 7, Tinguely - Zyro. Neuchâtel 1934, pp. 673-674.
  • Manuel Kehrli ea: 200 years of Zofingia Bern , Bern 2019.
  • Manuel Kehrli: Rudolf von Erlach's equestrian monument in the reception of the Zofingerverein , In: Festschrift on the occasion of the 90th birthday of Dr. med. Robert Develey, Basel, Munich 2019, pp. 263–268.
  • Schweizerischer Zofingerverein, Schweizerischer Altzofingerverein (Ed.): The Swiss Zofingerverein, 1819–1969. A depiction. Commission publisher KJ Wyss Erben, Bern 1969.
  • Schweizerischer Zofingerverein, Schweizerischer Altzofingerverein (Ed.): Zofingia. The idea, the fire, the circle of friends. Swiss Zofingerverein, Zofingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-033-04645-0 .

Web links

Commons : Zofingia  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Schweizerischer Zofingerverein, Schweizerischer Altzofingerverein (Ed.): Zofingia. The idea, the fire, the circle of friends. Swiss Zofingerverein, Zofingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-033-04645-0 , p. 122.
  2. Swiss Zofingerverein (ed.): Central Statutes. Lausanne 2001, pp. 14-15.
  3. Swiss Zofingerverein (ed.): Central Statutes. Lausanne 2001, p. 7.
  4. Georges Andrey : In Search of the New State, 1798–1848. In: History of Switzerland and the Swiss. Helbing & Lichtenhahn, Basel 1986, ISBN 3-7190-0943-2 , p. 605.
  5. ^ Helmut Meyer: The history of Switzerland. Cornelsen Verlag , Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-464-64210-0 , p. 46.
  6. Pierre Felder: From the Ancien Régime to the beginnings of modern Switzerland. In: Pierre Felder, Helmut Meyer, Claudius Sieber-Lehmann , Heinrich Staehelin, Walter Steinböck, Jean-Claude Wacker (eds.): Switzerland and its history. 2nd Edition. Lehrmittelverlag des Kantons Zürich , Zürich 2007, ISBN 978-3-906719-96-2 , p. 266.
  7. Swiss Zofingerverein (ed.): Central Statutes. Lausanne 2001, p. 3.
  8. Hans Graber: Next stop: Zofingen. In: Neue Luzerner Zeitung , December 11, 2004, p. 56.
  9. Markus Ehinger: Inscriptions at the lion monument surfaced . In: Zofinger Tagblatt , September 9, 2002, p. 1.
  10. ^ Beat Kirchhofer: Wegweiser sponsored by Zofingia . In: Zofinger Tagblatt , February 28, 2017, p. 26.
  11. Gottlieb Studer's estate (1801–1889): Correspondence with college friends and speeches in the Zofingerverein . Online archive catalog of the Burgerbibliothek Bern .
  12. Guy P. Marchal : Swiss history of use. Images of history, myth-making and national identity. Schwabe Verlag , Basel 2007, ISBN 978-3-7965-2242-0 , p. 89.
  13. ^ State Archives of the Canton of Bern , V Zofingia 1 .
  14. Joseph Hardegger, Markus Bolliger, Franz Ehrler, Heinz Kläy, Peter Stettler: From the Ancien Régime to the First World War, 1798–1914 (= The development of modern Switzerland. Volume 1). Lehrmittelverlag des Kantons Basel-Stadt, Basel 1986, p. 59.
  15. ^ Charles Gilliard: Zofingia. In: Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz, Volume 7, Tinguely - Zyro. Neuchâtel 1934, pp. 673-674.
  16. Thomas Maissen : History of Switzerland. Hier + Jetzt , Baden 2010, ISBN 978-3-03919-174-1 , p. 185.
  17. ^ Charles Gilliard: Zofingia. In: Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz, Volume 7, Tinguely - Zyro. Neuchâtel 1934, p. 673.
  18. Ronald Roggen: Striking connections. On the scale! In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , April 5, 2014, p. 15.
  19. Christophe Gross, Christian Heuer, Thomas Notz, Birgit Stalder: Swiss history book 2. From absolutism to the end of the First World War. Cornelsen Verlag , Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-06-064519-0 , p. 137.
  20. Joseph Jung : Life and Work. (= Alfred Escher, 1819–1882. The dawn of modern Switzerland. Volume 1). Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung , Zurich 2006, ISBN 978-3-03823-236-0 , pp. 102-103.
  21. Verena Rothenbühler: Kern, Johann Konrad. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  22. ^ Albert Schoop: Johann Konrad Kern, Vol. 1, lawyer, politician, statesman . Huber, Frauenfeld 1968, p. 35.
  23. ^ Paul Ehinger: Swiss Zofingerverein. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .