Student strike 1976/77

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the winter semester of 1976/1977 there was a surprise strike by students at the Free University (FU) in Berlin , which immediately spread to other universities and technical colleges, to institutes of the second educational pathway and finally to the Technical University (TU) . After simultaneous “warning strikes”, numerous universities and technical colleges in the Federal Republic of Germany subsequently joined the “active strike”.

Banners at the University of the Arts (HdK) in Berlin

In the strike, also known as the “professional ban strike”, this politically sounding name concretized a general resentment, especially among the new student cohorts after the 68s, not only about a state measure, but also about the new higher education framework law (HRG), which was perceived as a deterioration in study conditions . In addition, there was the rejection of the 'authoritarian politics' of the mutually hostile student organizations: the Maoist K groups and the GDR-oriented 'Action of Democrats and Socialists - ADSs' in Berlin as well as corresponding groups in West Germany, which until then had carried out activities on campus and The student representatives on the committees also dominated. This nationwide strike movement, which did not stop at the usual political protest actions, but was characterized by a variety of also practical activities, marks the end of the dominance of the 68 generation and the transition to alternative project work and the new social movements of the 1970s / 1980s .

short version

In the nationwide university strikes in 1976/77, the generation of students formed 'after the 68 ' regardless of their political and organizational requirements and the values ​​of their predecessors. Although the society-changing impulse of all activities was retained, the idea of ​​a revolutionary overthrow or the 'undermining' of the existing order by means of a “ march through the institutions ” was replaced by the goal of a parallel society (also called “two cultures” for short) Creation of alternatives in all areas. A prerequisite - and tested for the first time on a large scale in the strikes - was self-organization in groups and collectives (if their members were equal) and their combination in grassroots democratic structures.

Reason and self-image
The strike in the 1976/77 winter semester was the first major student movement at the FU after 1968. The K groups had dominated the scene longer than the anti-authoritarian revolt had lasted. They were at the end, but tellingly they set the occasion for a strike through professors, as two German language professors called for the election of the
KPD in the Tagesspiegel . Two other Profs from the FU publicly called for the election of the West Berlin branch of the SED, the Socialist Unity Party West Berlin [SEW]. These four, like others before, should be banned from their profession on foot. The Asta had been banned since the 1968 revolt ended. […] General assemblies of student faculties, against which the objection of illegality was raised by professors because of the lack of legal existence of student bodies, decided to go on strike from mid-November 1976.

At these general assemblies and with the subsequent strike, the academic part of the alternative movement was constituted with the Spontis, in contrast to the technocratic Protestantism of the self-proclaimed proletarian avant-garde parties. With the paradigms of self-administration and self-determination, the reflection of one's own needs within the framework of the most immediate criticism of power relations, the anti-authoritarian revolt appears again at the university. [...] In the last week of November, not only all faculties of the Free University went on strike, but all Berlin universities.

Consequences of the strikes
The university
strikes were accompanied by numerous large-scale events and demonstrations, led to university-institutional successes and created permanent work and action contexts. In the 1977/78 semester, the limitation of perspectives only in the university context was recognized and the majority of activities outside the universities continued - together with the meeting in Tunix in January 1978, which also represented and assembled, developed and strengthened the youth movement outside the universities From these processes emerge the environmental movement , the anti-nuclear movement , the district activities, the peace movement and the women's movement .

A special feature of the time was that the women who were still not very active in the '68 movement, from the mid-1970s onwards, also exerted a rapidly increasing influence from self-organization - and the disputes with men.

Without diminishing the merit of the '68s in 'breaking through' in the post-war period in the 1960s, which increasingly solidified the conservative social structure, it was reserved for the 'alternative movement' under the 'umbrella' of the social-liberal coalition organized forces to pave the way for today's liberalized, “ open society ”.

Start of the strike in Berlin

General assembly in the auditorium of the FU on November 24, 1976

After the students of the Faculty of German Studies at the FU already opposed the suspension of their professor Gerhard Bauer and the assistant professor Dr. Friedrich Rothe had struck unsuccessfully because of an election call for the Maoist KPD, they organized a general student assembly (VV) on November 24, 1976 in the Auditorium maximum (Audimax) of the Free University. The event was so crowded with 4,000 visitors that nearby large lecture halls were connected via loudspeakers.

After brief reports from the Department of German Studies , the assembly unanimously decided to move to an 'active strike' throughout the university, discussed some procedures and disbanded so that the participants could go to their institutes to prepare the strike there immediately. The focus was on organizing strike votes to determine the level of support and the initial formation of working groups. This strike decision had no legal force in the political and legal structure of the university, but it was the basis of the substructures that were now being formed.

Implementation of the strike decision

General assemblies were called in the departments and institutes, which initially voted with a simple majority as to whether strike ballots should be carried out and how. It was not based on the number of enrolled students, as there were many only formally registered at that time, but the number of seminar participants. The results were published in the 'university-wide strike courier', which was edited and produced in the Institute for Journalism (IfP) of the FU. The "zero number", which appeared on December 1, 1976, tried above all to record and coordinate communication between the already striking universities and their departments.

In the courier's office

Politicians, the university administration and the public were also surprised by the rapidly spreading strike. Eberhard Lämmert , President of the Free University (FU) Berlin, declared: “The uprising of a new generation of students in the whole of Germany and in Berlin is not unexpected. He just comes earlier than expected. "The press coverage of the first few days was commented on in the strike courier:" Almost the entire Berlin daily press is characterized by insufficient representation of the extent and reasons of the strike. It is assumed that the initiators and carriers of the strike were K groups. The fact that tens of thousands of students throughout Germany are now supporting the strike is concealed. [...] A substantive discussion of the grievances denounced by the students does not take place. "

The surprise was also expressed in the fact that the institutes were initially actually left to the strikers. It was only on November 29th that those responsible had shown the flag: “Senator of Science Löffler, together with the new FU President Lämmert and FU Vice President Professor Jäckel, visited the Rostlaube of the FU, which was particularly affected by the boycott of the courses, and […] declared that the FU does not belong to the strike council and is therefore not a legal vacuum. "

By then, votes had also been decided outside of Freie Universität: “Of over 3,000 TFH students ( Technische Fachhochschule Berlin ), 2096 took part in the written vote, of which 1876 would have voted for a one-week strike. […] At the University of Applied Sciences for Business , 865 took part in a written vote of 1295 students, of which 836 voted for a one-week strike. At the University of Education (PH) in Lankwitz yesterday [26. November 1976] a student assembly with 776 votes, 75 against and 44 abstentions to go into a protest strike against 'professional bans' by Wednesday. "

Participation in the strike and results of the strike votes

Universities and technical colleges

According to Strikkurier No. 0 of December 1, 1976, p. 4.5. there are the following activities:

Free University (FU)

  • "FB 13 - Historians: Active strike since Mon., 29.11. with 2000 students
  • Psychological Institute: 768 for and 9 against strike out of 1020 students
  • Anglicists: 212 pro and 61 contrast voices

Faculty Council unanimously for strike support.

  • John F. Kennedy Institute (JFK): 112 of 139 major students: yes, 12 against.
  • Basic votes are in progress: librarians, theater scholars, physicists, Americanists, geographers, biologists. "

The strike courier reports as already on strike :

  • "FU: Germanists, ethnologists, sociologists, religious scholars, economics (Wiso), Islamic scholars, publicists, political scientists (OSI), Latin America Institute, East Asian Seminar, Eastern Europe Institute, educational sciences.
  • Technical University TU : landscape planner, trade teacher, city and regional planner. "

There were strike actions and strike votes at Berlin universities of applied sciences:

On December 2nd, strike courier no. 1 reported above all the "strike decision of the medical professionals with 800 to 200 votes. The lawyers are still voting, also classical and music studies. Mathematicians and geographers decide to hold a ballot at their meetings. The Latin America Institute decided a week's strike by 137 to 16 votes.

  • The University of Education (PH) has decided on a three-day solidarity strike with the FU. After that there will be another general assembly. "

The strike courier . No. 3 reports of 6 December 1976:

  • “The general assembly of the PH extends the strike until December 9th.
  • The ballot among the human doctors at the FU runs until December 6th. "

Strikkurier No. 4 of December 7th, p. 4:

"In the case of veterinarians (FU), the vote just missed the set quorum of 300 approvals."

A list currently lists the striking institutes:

"FB's 1,2,3 (medicine), 9 (law), FB 11 (philosophers, publicists, possibly theologians, religious scholars, psychologists, sociologists, theater scholars, ethnologists, East Asian seminar), FB 12 (business teachers, educationalists, historians) , FB 14 (geographers), FB 15 OSI, FB 16 (Germanists), FB 17 (Englishists, Romanists), FB 20 (physicists), FB 21 (chemists), FB22 (pharmacists), FB 23 (biologists), ZI 1 (Eastern European Institute), ZI 2 (Rosenberg former Kennedyinst.), ZI 3 (Latin American Institute), Evang. University of Applied Sciences, University of Education, University of Applied Sciences for Business, Technical University of Applied Sciences, State University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences for Social Work, etc. Social Pedagogy, TU FB Planer + FB Education u. Social Sciences. "

The decisive question of whether the largest of the Berlin universities, the Technical University (TU), as a whole will join the strike was answered by Strikkurier No. 5 of December 8, 1976, p. 1:

Strike courier with a report about the VV at the TU.

“As (almost) the last link in the chain of universities and technical colleges in Berlin, Di d. 7.12. with an overwhelming majority (of the 2500 students) a recommendation to the FB (pronounced) to take up the fight against the reactionary university policy of the Senate and the federal government. "

After that, the ballots took place at the TU - as an interim result, the Tagesspiegel v. December 10th that "according to the TU press office, students from six departments voted in favor of a boycott of teaching."

  • TU: Faculty of Social and Planning Sciences, Faculty of Construction Planning and Production and Landscaping (TSP 10.12.)

On December 16, 1976, the Tagesspiegel reported :

"TU President Wittkowsky declared that the boycott of the courses in protest against professional bans and deteriorated study conditions, which has now spread to 15 departments of the TU, supports the essential demands of the students and considers the student protests to be permissible."

Second-chance education

“The students of the second educational path (ZBW) decided at their general assembly on December 2nd to hold strike votes on a strike at the individual schools. The adult education centers (VHS) Schöneberg and Charlottenburg, the Berlin-Kolleg, the School for Adult Education (Berlin) (SFE) and later the Peter A. Silbermann School followed this recommendation and went on strike. [...] The strikers meet at the usual class dates in various working groups and discuss topics such as PLO, nuclear power plants, public relations, political discipline and, last but not least, professional bans. Another important content of the strike is the reform of the upper level, the School Constitution Act and the special difficulties of the learning situation of adults in the ZBW. "

- Strikkurier No. 6, December 9, 1976, p. 2.
Fighting in front of the school senator's building

Here, too, the administration came under pressure as a result of the surprisingly large participation:

"School Senator Rasch has now asked the students who have joined the boycott of courses at universities and technical colleges against professional bans and deteriorated learning conditions to take part again immediately. The continuation of the boycott forced him to check the recognition of the current semester, explained the school senator. "

First "warning strikes" in the Federal Republic of Germany

“The nationwide 'warning strike' [end of November 1976] by students at the technical colleges had led to the fact that teaching was paralyzed in the vast majority of universities in the Federal Republic. According to the Association of German Student Associations (VDS) , around 95 of the around 100 student representatives at universities of applied sciences took part actively in the protest actions against the provision in the university framework law, according to which university students will be drastically restricted in future to transfer to universities. "

Estimates of the extent of participation in the strike

While participation in the strike was equated with the number of students enrolled by various political organizations, the initiatives of the unorganized ["grassroots"] showed in various publications a clear interest in determining the number of students who actually became active. At the - small - Institute for Journalism of the FU (IfP), the continuous participants were estimated at around 120 people, at the institute meetings up to 200 students took part. In total, the number of 40,000 actively striking students was assumed for Berlin. This correlated with a number of 22,000 demonstration participants on December 13, 1976. The VDS (Association of the United German Student Unions), which represented around 800,000 students, assumed that 450,000 students at the approximately 100 universities and technical colleges in West Germany involved in strike actions were affected.

The organizational forms of the strike in Berlin

Communication and decision-making structures

Admission permit issued by the Regional Strike Council

The coordination and decision-making structure already proposed at the plenary meeting on November 24, 1976 was generally carried out everywhere: working groups and the newly organized and self-organized seminars sent one or two representatives to the institute councils, depending on their size, and these representatives again to the departmental councils. Representatives were then elected to the central strike council of the respective university. A regional strike council was formed in Berlin from all participating universities and technical colleges. This council structure should not primarily develop decision-making bodies, but primarily manage communication [information exchange] and the coordination of activities. She had to standardize applications from the student body and to bring results and suggestions back down.

Working methods and activities

In principle, the existing seminars were not continued - this should also apply if they - as in the humanities - often had 'progressive' topics and / or lecturers. This should prevent 'the progressive' from being able to make their certificates and those "who are stupidly enrolled in non-progressive institutes from being disadvantaged as well." New seminars should be set up on strike topics or on questions that arise from the university Operation does not provide. The working groups and seminars published their results in events or on partition walls.

Strike café in the Institute for Journalism (FU).

Numerous 'practical working groups' were formed - especially where equipment was waiting to be used. In addition to the production of the strike courier and its logistics, groups dealt with the creation of materials for public relations work, a Super 8 film group was created among the publicists, which mainly documented strike activities, while the video groups recorded current events and disseminated them further. There were photo groups and a tape group, musicians and theater groups - in addition, groups were formed that were responsible for supplies, cafes were set up, telephone exchanges were manned almost around the clock.

public relation

On December 7th, the regional strike council of all universities in Berlin was formed, which was able to quickly standardize information and discussions. The increasing networking now also showed the appointment calendar of the strike courier.

Partition wall for street use in Berlin

Public relations were of great importance, because the criticism of the catchphrase 'agitprop' of the political organizations and theoretically supported by the work of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge: Publicity and experience , with which the universities often worked, a high level among the unorganized Attention for conveying their concerns. Attempts were made to develop " counter-public " internally and externally .

Although the "large demonstrations" were always the focus of activities, information stands were set up in the city, at which theater and music groups were often present. The AV media were still more in the background - videos of current events were primarily shown at the institutes and the Super 8 film, which did not deal with chronology but rather the "forms of strike", 'toured' through the departments in the following summer semester.

In November and December 1977 seven [registered] "central information stands" were already established in Berlin, where groups and "lone fighters" can collect material for their own, decentralized campaigns.

The demands of the students

In Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany:

  • against professional bans and political disciplining
  • against a tightening of the study conditions by the HRG
  • against the introduction of a standard period of study [e.g. B. of 8 semesters including exam times]
  • no criminalization of the strike at universities
  • Withdrawal of all procedures according to the regulatory law
  • for an appropriate increase in BAföG amounts
Professor Gerhard Bauer during his speech at the TU on January 10, 1977

At Freie Universität, the demand for the reinstatement of the lecturers Prof. Gerhard Bauer and Dr. Friedrich Rothe at FB 6 German Studies, whose discharge sparked the strike, on every leaflet. There were similar cases at other universities, faculties or even at schools with a second education. Central was also the demand for the release of the students Christoph Dreher and Peter Wietheger, who were arrested on December 2, 1976, and for the legal proceedings to be discontinued. Before the winter break, the termination of all disciplinary and criminal proceedings opened in connection with the strike was required as a criterion for the termination or resumption of the strike in January 1977. This relenting on the part of the Berlin Senate was not to be expected and so all those involved prepared themselves for the continuation of the strikes after the Christmas vacation.

The strikes in West Germany

“Reform University” Bremen

“At the University of Bremen in the mid-1970s, in the course of the passing of the Bremen University Act (BHG, Concretion of the HRG for the State of Bremen) [...] the special status of the 'Bremen Model' [was] liquidated, which is still positive as the currently feasible optimum from the university landscape of the FRG had highlighted: [...] practical relevance, project studies, abolition of lectures, third parity, etc. "In Bremen, the nationwide" AStA warning strike "took place at the beginning of December against the HRG" with the aim of to influence the Senator for Science and the Bremen Senate through the 'public'. […] The Senate passed the BHG on the scheduled date. ”As a result, the MZH (multi-purpose high-rise) of the university was occupied for one day by unorganized students:“ To show that there are students who are ready to offer resistance. (Flyer of the occupiers of December 6, 1976). [...] In accordance with this political objective, the MZH squatters divided themselves up into course-specific base groups, who formulated their university policy strategy under the label 'self-organization'. "

From this discussion, a solid group of 28 students emerged who ran for the university's student council: "With their success (27.6%), which was mainly at the expense of the KBW (from 30.6 to 12.2%), less at the expense of the AStA supporting groups KSB, SHB and Jusos (from 66 to 52.9%), the WUT list has documented the shift in the political balance of power at the University of Bremen.

University of Munster

The groups Juso, MSB, SHB, LHV, which represent the AStA at the University of Münster , planned a nationwide demonstration for January 19, 1977. “The strike call received a completely unexpected response: - at the well-attended VV, almost all decided not a two-day warning strike, but a two-day strike, on the continuation of which a new VV should decide. As a prelude, the castle (university administration) was occupied on the first day and set up as a strike center. ”Here they immediately resorted to the experiences of other universities. Strike councils and working groups were organized, lectures and events were blown up, "which led to conflicts in various departments (law, business economics, medicine)".

On the evening of the first day of the strike, the next VV was held - with a cabaret election event and with strike councils from Hamburg, Berlin, Bochum and Göttingen. On the second day of the strike, the actions concentrated on the departments. “... after that you would have expected a silting up. However, the new week begins with a bang. 77 fellow students had gone to the castle on behalf of the Uni-VV to ask the rector there about the impending impeachment of the two departments of Romance Studies and Chemistry and about criminal charges against historians. "

The rector evaded the questioning and then the castle was surrounded by a police presence - the students had to leave the building one by one and were treated with identification services. “This gave the strike a big boost. […] The next day there was a spontaneous demo for the 77 with them at the top (2500 participants). Another demonstration was held three days later with over 4,000 students. [...] Afterwards, despite the presence of the police, we celebrated a party in the castle until late at night. [...] after the party ended at 3.15 am [the lock] was properly locked after the building had been cleaned. […] The next morning a leaflet from the rector turned up (with a print run of at least 4,000 copies) accusing the demonstrators of devastating the rectorate. [...] There are numerous witnesses that at this point everything was in order and that no doors were damaged. "

University of Heidelberg

“As a result of the student movement and the reform euphoria, the liberal (SPD) theologian R. Rendtorff became rector in 1969 . The (conservative) Bund Freiheit der Wissenschaft (BuFW) [...] was able to force Rendtorff to resign in SS 72. “In the first half of the 1970s, a restorative policy prevailed, which only began in the summer of 1975 as a result of the Red Dot Action - protests against the fare increases led to new student activities - a 'left list' of un- and formerly organized students together with grassroots groups won 25% of the votes and seats in the student parliament . This proportion increased to 30% in December 1976, plus an 'independent list' with 10%. The dissolution of the self-managed college dormitory Collegium Academicum meant a setback. As a result, there was no strike movement at Heidelberg University , but there were massive conflicts over the student dormitory, which was occupied and evacuated by force in March 1978.

University of Göttingen

January 1977 - Elections to the student council (student parliament) of the University of Göttingen : “The clear winners are the 'Socialist Alliance List' (34.5 percent) and the 'Undogmatic Spring Movement' (14.3 percent), both of which are up for election for the first time and are now expected to form the new General Student Committee (AStA). [...] The Ring of Christian Democratic Students (RCDS) and the Social Liberal University Association achieve 36.8 percent. "

University of Tübingen

There was a history at the University of Tübingen :

“The substitute money boycott ended with a partial success and ended on October 28th. with a nationwide demonstration with 12–15,000 participants. [...] From 11 to 22 November We first voted for the strike against the reintroduction of tuition fees and increasing political repression. […] For the first time since 1973 - at that time it was against the LHG amendment - the quorum was reached. Of over 6,400 people who voted (out of 18,600 students), over 4,200 spoke out in favor of a warning strike in the period from November 25th. until 1.12. out. [...] The warning strike itself was only half a success. "

- The long march . Report from Tübingen. April 1977.

In various departments - economics, lawyers, theologians - there were tougher confrontations and it became clear that it had not been possible to "broaden the basis at the university in the fight against the increasing formation in the field of education". The planned resumption of the strike in January failed to materialize - the boycott of lectures on January 27th, which took its place. until February 4th [1977] hardly received any attention.

Although a lot had actually happened this semester - so the report - it was not possible to 'avoid the friendly solicitation of cooperative behavior by the university management' and 'the willingness to fight noticeably decreased'. "Perhaps it was because we have been in almost uninterrupted mobilization since the start of the feedback boycott in June 1976 ...". The need for more continuous groundwork and the processing of experiences would now be in the foreground. The report closes with the expectation of an active summer semester, since here the adjustment of the LHG to the HRG is pending and also: "The University of Tübingen will be 500 years old in 1977."

  • Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences for Social Work (FHS) - December 7th, 1976: “After the end of the MSB / SHB 'warning strike' […] it was decided to actively continue the strike. Successful until December 14th, although the political groups were also against it. ”(HID6).
  • FHS Giessen-Friedberg - “4th January 1977: VV 1100 students: Further suspension of the strike (no termination), as the demands have not yet been met. "(HID6)
  • University of Frankfurt / Main - “5. January 1977: FFM - Student Parliament resists attempting to dissolve the 'Sponti-AStA' (new elections are ordered). "(HID6)
  • University of Trier , February 8, 1977: Conclusion of a "two-day warning strike ... with the largest demonstration to date in the episcopal city". (HD12)
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg : "STUPA elections in Freiburg: February 1977: Spontaneous group 'Faust' with immediately 4 seats, Left from 7 to 5, GEW / ÖTV from 9 to 7, RCDS and Liberals stay at 14." (HD12)
  • "Frankfurt: February 9th - Women's VV at the university." (HD12)

(no completeness)

New self-image of the students

Turning away from the ruling political groups

The K groups as well as organizations close to the GDR, which, analogous to the global political dualism between China and the Soviet Union at the time, fought each other as 'main enemies', dominated not only that in the first half of the 1970s, despite the relatively small number of their members Happened in universities, but also in companies and in the (street) public in cities.

The USTA was founded in the course of the plenary session to create drastic scenes that showed the mostly younger, "unorganized" students' displeasure with the behavior of communist groups from all directions and their cadres:

“When the particularly militant KHG [Communist University Group of the Kommunistische Bund Westdeutschland (KBW) occupied the microphone twice, although the meeting had decided to change the order of the speakers or the speaking time of the KHG speaker had expired, unorganized students pushed the KHG group away Microphone. There was a fight. Chants like 'KHG in die Spree' and 'Stalinists out' became loud. "

- Uwe Schlicht : Der Tagesspiegel: December 14, 1976

In the further course of the strike, the Maoist organizations in particular lost their influence, as they were hardly present in the councils due to the low popularity. Representatives of more moderate groups like the Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin (SEW) - oriented ADSen [Action by Democrats and Socialists] or the Trotskyist GIM ( group of international Marxists ) were accepted as long as they did not try to dominate a majority.

On December 7th, the "Press Committee of the Central Strike Council" held a press conference. a. Representatives from SFB , RIAS (radio in the American sector), the Morgenpost and the dpa, German press agency , had appeared. In this press conference of the Central Strike Council - according to Der Tagesspiegel of December 8, 1976, "which consists of elected representatives from departments and institutes, it became clear that three-quarters of this council consists of unorganized students."

Reaction from politics and the public

The misunderstanding of the actual situation - the change in political activity - initially continued in the politics of the Berlin Senate : In an interview, Senator for Science Gerd Löffler stated :

"Those who are now leaders of the militant action, the so-called Red Guards, the Marxist-Leninists and the KPD, will have to realize that the rule of law cannot be blackmailed"

- SFB: Berlin Voice of December 4, 1976.

The well-known contradictions were also proclaimed with regard to the university leadership: On December 8th, a question and answer session on the subject of strikes took place in the Schöneberg House of Representatives, in which Senator Heinrich Lummer (CDU) declared, “FU President Lämmert was elected by communists and felt himself committed to its constituents. Therefore, he could not be tough. […] A representative of the SPD […] noted social problems in the higher education sector, but stated that it was a mistake by politicians to schedule this Question Time and thus to attach public importance to the strike. [...] The FDP representative stood behind Lämmert. "

Gradually, however, the change was also recognized in the public, the media and politics - although this differentiation seemed too complicated to the tabloids, who for a long time still suspected “communist masterminds” in the background, - but the readership of liberal newspapers such as Der Tagesspiegel , Der Abend and ultimately also the Berliner Morgenpost expected more qualified analyzes. If the Tagesspiegel soon recognized "that the communist groups that dominated earlier discussions [...] no longer set the tone.", The word of the "new student movement" soon made the rounds.

The changes are also evident in the university elections in Berlin, as in other cities:

“The departmental elections that take place every two years at the Technical University [there] was a marked shift to the left. While the middle and right-wing groups such as the Liberal Independent Students (LUST) and the RCDS ( Ring of Christian-Democratic Students ) suffered considerable losses in votes, it was mainly the Young Socialists ( Jusos ) and the left-wing initiatives of the unorganized students win a large number of seats. According to the assessment of the TU Presidential Office, about two thirds of all student faculty members belong to the Left. "

- Der Tagesspiegel , December 15, 1976.

Here, as almost everywhere, the K groups are losing their seats.

"New Student Movement"?

Students in the Audimax of the Technical University

The media, politics and university management finally tried to clarify the causes of the unrest and the drive behind the suddenly active 'silent majority' of students who had not yet been recognized as part of a 'new generation of young people'.

Uwe Schlicht identifies “gloomy future prospects […] existential fear […] but also the moral indignation about the form of checking compliance with the constitution…” as motifs in the Tagesspiegel, but “completely new faces […] nervousness in public speeches […] spontaneous departure of meetings against any planning by event leaders [...] - all of this shows the breadth of this movement and the difficulty of communist groups in exploiting the unrest in their favor. [...] If the politicians miss the chance to give the searching students answers and if they stay away from the universities as they did in the 1960s, then they will lose this generation of students again ... "

To the socialist left, too, "it appears as if we are dealing with a new student movement and as if, in connection with this, the constitutional process of a new socialist opposition is taking place in the universities."

Police officers and pickets at the FU.

On December 16, in the Frankfurter Rundschau , Otto Jörg Weis also referred to social and bureaucratic pressure with a view to Berlin, to the outrage over political review measures - which currently affect their lecturers rather than the students themselves - to the unconventional nature of the strike organization and also on the willingness of the strikers to talk. This would be countered with considerations such as the "arrest of all strike councils by the police [...], the outsourcing of most courses to police-secured school buildings [...], the university president's house rights and this to the science senator for the purpose of better police" operations " In the end, the author quotes President Lämmert: "I am sure that unrest will continue if non-binding phrases or the discussion of regulatory measures remain."

Apart from material hardships and social problems, it is only gradually recognized that the “new students” do not only suffer from the supposed and actual distress - “a deep feeling of powerlessness, isolation, insecurity and fear [...] intensify the paralyzing passivity ... “But bring in a different attitude towards life and more impartial behavior from their socialization and that they are no longer just concerned with political agitation and the demand for social change, but that they are also ready to try out and practice other“ ways of living and working ”.

Song group during the event at the TU on January 10, 1977.

A clear sign of this new attitude “was not only the theater and music groups, the parties and cultural events. It is also a clear commitment to change oneself with and through social change. ”A large part of this was played by the women who became increasingly active compared to earlier times and who began to get involved at all levels and also had their own groups on their particular situation formed and held its own general assembly at the end of January 1977.

Reorganization of the student union in Berlin: the USTA

Soon after the unexpectedly large participation in the strike began to emerge and the rejection of the existing political groups became obvious, the question of a general student body instead of the AStA, which was abolished in Berlin in 1969, arose again. As a result of the enthusiasm for grassroots democratic ideas that had become practical in the strike organization, an attempt was made to establish this egalitarian principle in a long-lasting form of organization. After the plan to found an Independent Student Committee (USTA) had been discussed in small circles for a long time, a situation had now developed that made it appear possible to implement this plan.

After a first attempt at the foundation at the plenary assembly at the FU on December 6th, 1976 had to be postponed due to a "move" of the assembly to the presidential office [see chronicle of the strike], the foundation took place a week later, on December 13th, 1976, again in the Audimax:

"This was decided by a meeting of around 2300 participants [...] The USTA is to build on base groups at the department level, each institute or department elects two delegates to a so-called USTA council, which in turn forms a committee to which the individual USTA units are assigned belong. A general assembly of the entire university is to become the highest decision-making body for the USTA. [...] In the long term, the USTA wants to work towards the establishment of a general student committee with a political mandate and constitutional and financial sovereignty. ”The article also states that the USTA“ as the primary representative of the unorganized among left groups is not undisputed. . "

The fact that ordinaries and political representatives pointed out the illegality of such a project was noted, but did not influence the procedure.

Chronicle of the strike in Berlin in 1976

  • Beginning of November 1976: The Faculty of German Studies at the FU became aware of the impending suspension of Professor Bauer and Assistant Professor Rothe.
  • November 10: In a strike ballot, 1,255 of 3,300 German studies students enrolled decided to strike (80 against).
  • November 17: The general assembly of German students with 700 participants decided to continue the strike and to convene a general assembly of students at Freie Universität.
  • November 24th: General Assembly of the Student Union of Freie Universität (FU) decided on the general strike. The VV then turned into a solidarity event for the songwriter Wolf Biermann, who had been expatriated from the GDR . The number of participants grew to 5,000.
  • November 25th to about December 6th: Meetings and ballots in the institutes of the Free University.
  • November 29, Monday: General start of strike activities, other universities joined.

Demonstration against professional bans and political discipline on December 1, 1976

The demonstration on December 1, 1976

The move, organized by the Central Strike Council of the FU, which had previously performed the task of a Regional Strike Council (RSR), grew into one of the largest demonstrations since the 1968 movement - with a surprisingly high participation of students and young people. According to the Tagesspiegel , 16,000 people were involved, the organizers said 22,000 participants.

"A demonstration in the city of Berlin went without incident, with which, according to the police, around 15,000 students and mostly young people demonstrated against the dismantling of democratic and social rights and against professional bans."

  • December 2: After the decision the day before to boycott lectures at the three human medicine departments of the FU, a police operation in front of the anatomical institute, requested by the presidential office, takes place in order to give access to those willing to listen.

Arrest of Christoph and Peter

The occupied St. Johannes Church in Berlin-Moabit

On Thursday, December 2nd, two students from the FU were arrested at the Thielplatz underground station on the occasion of a fight with leaflet distributors of the CARP, an organization of the so-called Moon sect . According to her statements and the information from her lawyer Hans-Christian Ströbele to the tape group of IfP students, both were overwhelmed by plainclothes police officers. The students were charged with "suspicion of breach of the peace, assault, release of prisoners and resistance ..." against law enforcement officers and held for two or three weeks in custody. The incident had been watched by numerous fellow students and its consequences sparked a wave of indignation among the students. A solidarity event took place in the afternoon and 400 people demonstrated in front of the location of the detention test date. In the evening about 1000 came to an event at the TU. On Friday, December 3rd, 700 supporters gathered in front of the underground detention center in Moabit.

Transparent of the solidarity committee.

After an examination date on December 15, which had ordered the continuation of imprisonment, students occupied the Johanniskirche (Berlin) in Moabit on December 16 , thus gaining nationwide attention for the process. "The philosopher Professor Ernst Bloch , who lives in Tübingen [...] had already commented on the detention test ...", who explained:

“The two students would be held in custody despite proof of permanent residence and enrollment at the FU, while members of a right-wing military sports group, who had caused a brawl with students at the university with several injured, were released from custody within a few hours be. "

- Der Tagesspiegel , December 15, 1976.

Peter Wietheger was released a little later, Christoph Dreher was released on December 23, against a bail of 10,000 DM. On March 8, 1977, P. Wietheger was tried for coercion, resistance to state violence and bodily harm for 800 DM and C. Dreher for resistance Freed prisoners sentenced to 600 DM fine. The Solidarity Committee was of the opinion that “the indictment collapsed in the general meeting […] the effort (but) did not fail to have an effect […]. Nonetheless, the judgment would have been more severe, had it not been for comprehensive solidarity. ”The“ point of this matter was… ”- so the assessment -“… the direct intimidation and criminalization of the striking students. ”

  • December 4th: Police operation at the Faculty of Human Medicine at the FU.
  • December 6: Call by the President of the Free University (FU), Eberhard Lämmert, "... to all students, ... to end the strike immediately."

General assembly on December 6, 1976 and debate with FU President Lämmert

The police unit in front of the physiology building (FU) is surrounded.

According to the information provided by Strike Courier No. 3 on December 7, 1976, the meeting, which was frequented by 4,000 participants and which, in addition to the strike, included the establishment of the USTA, did not get beyond its initial stage. When the meeting management announces that “a police detachment has just beaten defenseless medical students away from the entrance of the physiology department [not far away]”, the meeting is interrupted and the majority of the participants move to the institute and surround the officers, who, in view of the overwhelming power, withdraw negotiate. Upon a suggestion, the students move on to the presidential office, which is also nearby, in order to request the FU President Lammert, who is presumed to be correct, for a statement. When the president failed to respond and police units occupied the surrounding intersections, a group broke into the building while the operation began. There was extensive baton use, but the students managed to avoid panic among their ranks. While the 2,000 to 3,000 students returned to their meeting place, the Audimax, President Lämmert promised to attend the event. There was a hectic discussion alternating between confrontation and willingness to communicate. While both sides remained irreconcilable on the question of violence - in between there was a positive vote on whether Lammert should continue talking - the FU President promised to work against the criminalization of student activities. Excerpts from the debate are documented in Strikkurier No. 4 of December 7, 1976, p. 3 and - in the original sound [recorded by the tape group] - in the documentation of the strike film group at the Institute for Journalism at the FU.

Police presence at an institute.

After the president left the event, the assembly passed a resolution:

“The students condemn that the president has been using police at the FU for two weeks and had a brutal operation carried out in front of the presidential office. The students do not allow themselves to be split into radical leaders and stupid masses. The action is a result of the strike movement that we are unanimously leading. For this reason, we identify with it and analyze it from there. We support the campaign as a whole without breaking it down into individual parts. "

- Strikkurier No. 6, p. 7.

The originally intended establishment of the Independent Student Committee (USTA) was no longer possible at this event.

  • December 13: General Assembly in the Audimax of the Free University (FU) with the establishment of the Independent Student Committee (USTA)
  • December 14: General assembly in the Audimax of the Technical University (TU) with a resolution to suspend the strike and recommend a resumption if the demands are not met.

Winter break and regulations to continue the strike

The VV at the FU responded to the 'problem of Christmas holidays' on December 7, 1976 with the recommendation to 'suspend' the strike from December 13, 1976 to January 13, 1977.

“A meeting at the University of Education (PH) decided on December 9th with 845 votes against 225 for a suspension of the boycott of the courses combined with demands for a withdrawal of all disciplinary investigations and the dismissal for political reasons. After the decision of the general assembly at the PH, the boycott is to be resumed if the demands are not met by January. "

- Der Tagesspiegel , December 10, 1976.
The cabaret Die 3 Tornados with a satire about the student "strike vacation".

A FU general assembly on December 13, 1976 confirmed this regulation. The plenary meeting of the Technical University (TU) on December 14th was decisive in this matter. ".. up to 2,000 students [...] decided [...] to combine the suspension of the 'strike' with a request to the Senate to withdraw all political disciplinary proceedings, as at the FU and PH, and if not accepted in January, another Resolve to boycott lessons. "

The strike front thus stood in the interests of the strikers. You could go into the Christmas vacation in peace and take stock of the reaction of the opposing side at the new meetings scheduled for January 10, 1977 and discuss a continuation of the strike.

The strike resumed in January 1977

In the run-up to the beginning of the semester, the Science Committee of the Berlin House of Representatives heard university representatives, i. h., the presidents and rectors of the universities of applied sciences and the presidents of the Free University and the Technical University as well as their department chairpersons. There was agreement about a deterioration in social and material living and working conditions as well as the future prospects for students and academic staff, who thus offered hardly any resistance to the strikers in the sense required by the state, which, with its growing influence, tends to exacerbate the problems [Lammert ]. [...] Before the Science Committee, Senator for Science Löffler stated that "the 'ultimatum' of the so-called strike councils [...] could not be fulfilled."

Just in time for the beginning of the semester, a large number of students showed up at their schools and resumed strike activities. While the students also self-critically discussed the effectiveness of their activities, the President of Freie Universität also addressed the FU's Academic Senate “with the causes of student protests. […] The previous education policy had led to a rapid expansion of the university sector, but the financial leeway […] had not grown to a sufficient extent […] The one-sided emphasis on teaching “leads to precarious situations and neglect of research. The students are not sufficiently financially secure. "The practice of checking political allegiance [...] has the consequence that understandable political involvement during studies can lead to serious disadvantages when choosing a career." The state is "increasingly interpreting its competencies extensively, which translates legal supervision into specialist supervision." The Academic Senate took note of the declaration, and on January 6, 1977, the State Conference of Rectors and Presidents of the Berlin Universities followed it in principle.

While many departments and institutes had held their meetings as planned on Monday, January 10, 1977 and were already following the recommendations of the Central Strike Councils of the FU and TU to resume strike activities, Senator for Science Löffler gave a press conference on the same day in which he said: Catalog of measures ”, which in particular provided for the outsourcing of many seminars in schools, as well as police-protected“ entry controls ”. Students' demands such as the suspension of all regulatory procedures should not be dealt with, as this would be tantamount to "capitulating the rule of law".

Kick-off event in the Audimax of the Technical University (TU)

The podium in the Audimax of the Technical University (TU)

On Tuesday, January 11, 1977, a major event with 3,500 visitors took place in the TU Audimax, which did not deal with practical strike issues, but with the general situation of students in society. The main speakers were Professor Gerhard Bauer, whose reinstatement in the university service was part of the strike demands, and lawyer Hans-Christian Ströbele. While Professor Bauer viewed his case as part of a development towards political oppression in the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin, which was on the way to approximation to the situation in the GDR, two speakers then discussed contrary the possibilities of combating professional bans by means of the Basic Law.

Attorney Ströbele at the meeting.

Attorney Ströbele spoke about political measures in the field of justice and discussed the professional perspective of lawyers. Christoph Dreher, one of the two students arrested at the beginning of December, described his procedure, welcomed the continuation of the strike and thanked him for the extensive solidarity. After the break, speeches on various university topics followed. The event was considered to have a positive 'mobilization effect'.

Strikkurier No. 9 appeared on January 12, 1977 with the first published circulation of 5,000 copies. Since the understanding of the importance of better informing the population about their own reasons and motives had grown in the student body, the establishment of a central public working group was announced.

General assembly at the Free University (FU) with the participation of Senator for Science Gerd Löffler

On January 12, 1977, the FU's general assembly with 3,000 participants took place in the Audimax. Almost all of the participants agreed to the recommendation to departments and institutes to resume the strike immediately.

“To the surprise of the assembled, Senator for Science Löffler came into the overcrowded auditorium to make it clear through his presence and his letter campaigns that he was ready to discuss the students' problems. [...] The strike council expressly called for the senator to finish speaking and not to touch or throw at him. […] [On the case] Professor Bauers he declared […] that an independent court should decide on the consequences. [...] With regard to the case of the assistant professor Rothe, Löffler stated that he would adhere to the soon-to-be-released decision of the labor court on the question of an extension or dismissal. "

- Der Tagesspiegel , January 13, 1977.

Regarding the question of the arrest of strike councils, he emphasized that only in the case of calls for violent actions they should be justified in the courts. The Tagesspiegel closes the report with the remark that "the Senator (could) leave the auditorium unmolested". Because of this visit - as in the case of the procession to the presidential office and the following discussion with FU President Lämmert - the meeting could not work through its agenda, another general meeting was called on January 14, 1977.

At this meeting with around 1,000 participants, reports from departments and institutes were brought in, legal measures such as the threatened withdrawal of BAföG for activists were discussed - there are "decisions by the highest court according to which the BAföG could not be withdrawn without further ado" - and discussed, "To which demands the strike should be pointed."

There were strike at the FU due to the resolutions of general assemblies: Psychological Institute, OSI, theater scholars, ethnologists, religious scholars, political scientists, publicists, WISO, LAI, OAS and educational sciences, after basic votes: the Germanists, lawyers, theater scholars (383: 76 votes), Athletes (60% of 340), the Rosenberg Institute and the economists (922: 548 votes), at the TU of FB 2, IBG - the PH (VV) decided with 868 against 173 votes in favor of continuing the strike, also the VHS Schöneberg and the FHSS. At the EFHSS (Evangelical University of Applied Sciences for Social Work and Social Pedagogy) there is a hunger strike by 56 students "against the intensified repression to which the students have been exposed for years, especially since the strike before Christmas." It was remarkable that the students of the Hochschule der Künste, HdK, which were largely passive in December, now with their faculties 1, 4, 6, 7 (instrumentalists, conductors, composers, sound engineers and church musicians), 8 (music educators) and 9 (actors, opera, stage) and costume design) went on strike. The strike was rejected by the medical community with 934 for and 1059 against, by Englishists, Romanists and historians. [The information, especially for the TU, is incomplete.]

Successes of the strikes

The outsourcing of courses to schools brings only a few willing listeners to visit - in addition, students show solidarity with the strikers and pickets. The CDU parliamentary group chairman Lummer accused the Senator for Science Löffler of “irresponsible negligence and weak decision-making. By outsourcing the study activities to schools, the Senator has created further freedom for extremists and is responsible for ensuring that minors are now involved in the use of violence and become criminal. "

On January 21st, strike courier No. 11 can headline: "Bauer and Rothe stay in.":

Announcement of the 'good news'.

"The assistant professor Dr. According to a decision by the Berlin Labor Court, Rothe [...] must continue to be employed as a research assistant at the Free University until June 30, 1978. [...] With the decision of the labor court as well as the decision of the FU Personnel Commission not to initiate formal disciplinary proceedings against Professor Bauer, two main reasons for resuming the boycott are no longer applicable. "

- Der Tagesspiegel , January 21, 1977.

The Federal Cabinet decided on February 1, 1977 with effect from April 1, 1977 to raise the BAföG rate by an average of DM 100.

"1. women uni vv in berlin "

On January 25, 1977, the first university women's general assembly took place in the auditorium of the FU.

"Why an autonomous organization of women at the university" is necessary, explained several speakers in a joint contribution: "First of all, autonomy means the exclusion of men in order to experience themselves as women together and to be able to express thoughts about their own situation and the change in this situation without being immediately subject to sanctions. [...] Wanting self-determination also means making yourself aware of what has hindered it so far. It is undisputed that even men in this society cannot fully realize themselves. Nevertheless it can be stated that men, because of their social position, have completely different prerequisites for becoming aware of their situation than women have up to now. [...] Women are only mentioned as a broad movement if they have behaved either together with men or at least in the interests of men; […] Women should continue to be restricted to the private sphere, and they should be made incapable of behaving in their own interest , neither in the private nor in the public sphere . [...] Women should be prevented from questioning the male norms that support this society. We should also become women who identify with the male interpretation of the world. [Our] identity depends on male recognition. Only collectively as women can we become aware of this oppression and fight against it. [...] Autonomous organization therefore does not primarily mean against men, but for us , in order to be able to perceive and change our lives more consciously . "

Practical: "From the women's departmental groups, many study collectives emerged who try to overcome the separation between academic work and personal concern." The strike report Germanists said: "We also have no desire to convert women's events into information events for men or in painstaking detail work on an individual basis To bring level men up to date with the latest movement. "

The strike subsided at the end of January 1977

In all university areas, the course of which was strictly regulated by mandatory events, the meetings decided to end the strike after the contract extensions of the two lecturers Gerhard Bauer and Friedrich Rothe, which were considered a success: "Teaching is running again in most of the 20 departments at Freie Universität" . In the assessment of the 'strike active' students, who on the one hand accepted the resumption of study and on the other hand continued the group activities that had already started, the replacement of practical activities from the “university operations” was already apparent. There was no “hot summer semester” in 1977, as political groups prematurely announced, but the experiences made were reappraised, u. a., through exhibitions, film screenings and theater appearances of the strike initiatives in numerous events.

The demonstration against professional bans.
  • January 28, 1977: 5000 demonstrators took part [...] in a lift called for by the USTA on the occasion of the five-year existence of the extremist resolution.
  • February 3, 1977: The unorganized win 11 of the 40 student seats in the Free University council elections.

“At the Free University of Berlin (FU) the boycott of lectures recommended at a general assembly at the beginning of January has largely been ended.” A general assembly with only 400 participants had “made no decision, but also showed no interest in continuing the boycott”.

Summer semester 1977 and strike winter semester 1977/78

Two of the three tornadoes in action.

Further development (overview)

In the summer semester of 1977, the faculty initiatives and strike activists started discussions with the aim of founding an independent student committee, Usta . The alternative movement was born in January 1978 with the Tunix Congress . The Usta was created in 1978/79 and is soon supported by the departmental initiatives that are now called basic groups. To contain and integrate the alternatives that were developing at the university, the social democratic Senator for Science Glotz established an Asta in the early 1980s. Most of the Usta students who organized themselves in the basic groups and who previously demanded the transfer of the student union into the hands of the student body, went into the city as squatters .

semester 1977 There were no strike activities in the summer semester 1977 - the seminars and working groups formed during the strike continued to work alongside the 'normal' course of study. To what extent and in what way there is cooperation, i. that is, a network was established cannot currently be determined.

Lively festivals and events developed at the institutes.

A report is available from the Strikfilm-AG at the Institute for Journalism at the FU: After the film about the strike in Berlin “was cut and dubbed in March 1977, it was from April 16 to June 24 in action. Overall, we showed it 24 times at VV's, parties and discussion events (twice in the FRG, in Hanover and Saarbrücken) and in the cinema […] The film was seen by 1,700 to 1,800 people. Were collected while just over 580 DM [...] to the audience reactions could be read often how different the strike at the individual universities and colleges run was [...] Overall, has the project, a film about the strike forms and Filming the experiences made in the process proved to be very useful, as the activities were qualitatively new and in their breadth. [...] We will probably not make any more films, but will split up among other media groups as part of the alternative media seminar. "

The AGF Working Group Film Berlin emerged from the Strikfilm-AG in 1978.

Resumption of the strike in the 1977/78 winter semester

The question that was now asked was how to start over - or how to repeat? - the strike would look like and how it would unfold. In contrast to the previous year, politicians, university administrations and the media observed and commented on every activity and meeting with eagle eyes. Reports on what was going on at the universities and colleges appeared in the newspapers almost daily.

Meanwhile the German autumn had passed -

“When the students returned to the lecture halls in November from the semester break, they were shaped by events such as the assassination of Attorney General Buback, [...] the kidnapping and murder of Schleyer, the hijacking of the Lufthansa plane and the release of hostages, the contact ban law and the Major manhunt. Many reacted with anger to the search for so-called sympathizers and trivializations of terrorism staged by conservative newspapers and the CDU / CSU, whether their names are Willy Brandt, Böll, Grass or Professor Gollwitzer . The CDU wanted to dry up the sympathetic swamp of terrorism at the universities - the prerequisites for a semester of riot seemed to be in place. Nevertheless, it was [...] a semester of the fairest discussions in years. "

- Uwe Schlicht in: Der Tagesspiegel , December 23, 1977.

The idea of ​​maintaining the continuity of the activities started in the previous winter semester, as represented in particular by the USTA groups, led to general assemblies, strike votes and new strike plans, but they were kept within a limited framework. On November 29th, Der Tagesspiegel was able to headline “Calm start of the strike” and report “normal training in many places” - also in West Germany. Important departments such as medicine at the FU or most of the departments of the TU were missing. Even activists became less convinced that repetition could make a big difference. University administration, politics and police were prepared - so wrote the new Berlin Senator for Science Peter Glotz, who also stated that "in the last few weeks he had had about twenty discussions [with student assemblies] ..." a letter to the medical students. Political groups such as the Jusos or the SEW-related action groups pleaded for an end: “An extension would not bring any new quality. It is nonsensical and illusionary to take a course of confrontation with the police and the Senate. ”The“ New Student Movement ”threatened to face a situation of perplexity.

Nevertheless, there were numerous actions - mostly in the nationwide strike initiated by the VDS on November 28, 1977. A number of universities in West Germany, which had remained relatively quiet in the previous year, now took action - for example at the University of Hamburg , where 52.5% of the “not on leave” students took part and 14,190 supported a strike and 5,215 decided against. In Berlin, the students of the University of Education and the Technical University of Applied Sciences (TFH) were noticeably active - in the latter there was a participation of 54% in the strike vote with 1207 against 449 votes for an unlimited strike.

The strike courier remained the central means of communication for the student body.

On November 30, 1977, the first strike courier of the second year reported an indefinite strike from 12 of 24 departments of the FU and 8 departments of the TU and a limited strike from 7 [of a total of 21] departments of the TU. In a cautious assessment of the dynamics, however, a demonstration on December 10, 1977 is already being oriented, after which the strike "will be suspended or temporarily ended". In this issue of the strike courier, the first part of a speech by a German studies student at the general assembly of the FU on November 18, which thus becomes generally known, is printed.

General assembly in the Audimax of the Free University on November 18, 1977

After various contributions, which presented positions known to the audience, a speaker from the unorganized, a German studies student, appeared on the podium and he managed to win the undivided attention of his audience: However, he immediately made it clear: “I'm not speaking for them Germanists, but for me. I'll start with a quote from Brecht: 'Doesn't everything indicate that night is falling and nothing that a new time is beginning? So shouldn't one adopt an attitude that is appropriate for people who are walking towards the night? ' [...] when we talk about a strike, we already think of the possibilities of escape afterwards and hope during the strike that we will not be caught by the regulatory proceedings. [...] I don't know whether you have already seen how often people talk about emigrating here. Many of us know the city primarily as Dahlem and a tangle of left-wing pubs and shared apartments. This city and the university don't belong to us, not even to us. [...] I don't want to be at home in a few books, even if I like to read. I don't want to overlook the ten thousand concrete blocks between Dahlem and Kreuzberg anymore. […] I want to know where and how and for whom and with whom I can apply what I am learning. I want to deal with these people. […] We argued about the line at university, did something else, but we didn't change anything. […] For us, being on the left means going to university. So we hardly see any success. We will strike unsuccessfully, discuss a little, but on the whole will not get anywhere. [...] We no longer have to see the context of our life in Dahlem, but in Berlin. When we are no longer only concerned with HRG, but also the question of our rent and that of our neighbors and thus also the question of who we should be trained for. Then we can change ... "

Dissolution of the strike movement

The public image is much praise and recognition of the social democratic and liberal leaders - the new science Senator Peter Glotz (SPD) , the FDP parliamentary deputies Professor Dittberner, the University President Eberhard Lammert (FU) and the new TU-president Rolf Berger , also the Federal Minister of Education and Science, Helmut Rohde (SPD) , who certify the students' willingness to discuss, a "real dialogue", seriousness and expertise even at major events and emphasize that the "boycott of lectures is more violent and controlled" than a year ago . Disruptive actions are attributed to some “profile neurotics of the communist groups who are currently wandering around as traveling preachers between FU, PH and TU”. But the German studies student also criticized the university and society in his speech:

“Glotz's involvement of the university in society doesn't mean that this overall situation should improve. We're just supposed to get caught up in it even better. We are supposed to be less court fools than just fools. We should not be more involved in a society that offers us opportunities to develop further at work and in connection with other people, but in a society that offers us even less connection and even more strangers. "

- Strikkurier , No. 2, December 2, 1977.

The strike courier , No. 3/77, which also contains Info 5 of the Regional Strike Council and comprised 24 pages, dealt with the question of how public relations can be improved and how the demonstration on December 10th is prepared in such a way that the population can mediate becomes “what the demo is really about” (p. 4).

Demonstration against the Higher Education Framework Act (HRG) on December 10, 1977

The final demonstration of the Berlin strike phase in 1967/1977.

The event of the regional strike council and the schools of the second educational path received broad support. The GEW-Berlin and other trade union organizations signed the call. The train led from Fehrbelliner Platz to Wittenbergplatz. The organizers estimated attendance at 15,000 people. The demonstration turned out to be the final event of the strike phase, because on December 9, 1977 the central plenary assembly at the FU had decided to suspend the strike from December 14; a resolution that was followed by numerous departments. At the same time, the PH ended the strike, teaching at the TU was "normal" again, also at the TFH; at other universities of applied sciences it should be finished by December 17th at the latest.

Conclusion of the strike

As early as December 10, 1977, Der Tagesspiegel reported with a view to West Germany: "The two-week boycott of studies at numerous German universities came to an end yesterday in most university towns."

The student's intention was to take meetings in January 1978 to decide whether to resume the strike, but these meetings either spoke out against it or were so poorly attended that the participants could not make up their minds. TU President Berger said that “last year the potential of the universities for forming opinions was exhausted and could not be expanded by a new boycott.” The consequences were “that the university members advocate strengthening self-administration vis-à-vis the state” and The DGB also wanted to “get more involved in the universities ... [to] contribute to a stronger employee orientation of the studies ...” The President also announced “that so far no regulatory or criminal proceedings by the TU in connection with the boycott last year. ”On January 24th, the Tagesspiegel reported that courts had overturned numerous university administrative notices and headlined in the specific case:“ Court criticizes procedural defects and doubts proportionality ”.

Impact history

The immediate consequences of the strike were various measures that were adapted to student demands, such as an increase in the BAföG rate by DM 100 and the weakening of the rigid regulations of the new HRG as well as the suspension of sanctions. Finally, it seemed curious that "the science ministers and senators of the SPD and FDP [determined] that an amendment to the university framework law will currently fail in the Bundesrat because of the majority of the CDU / CSU-governed countries." It cannot be determined whether in state and university hierarchies it was recognized that the rebelling students were not 'calmed down' - so the Institute of German Economy stated in January 1978 that “a new edition of the student movement of 1967/68 [...] is unlikely”. -, but that the part of the generation after the 68er movement that carried the strike movement withdrew from engagement at universities in order to get involved in environmental protection, energy policy ( anti-nuclear power movement in Germany ) or in social projects or the concept of a implemented new ways of life and work in their own shops, workshops and companies or founded production groups in the country.

Cover of the Tunix program booklet

The history of the impact can initially only be a history of observations. It can be observed that from 1978 onwards numerous projects were founded in the Berlin districts, especially in Kreuzberg. At the end of January 1978, the Tunix Congress took place in the foyer and lecture hall of the Technical University (TU) , which was primarily organized by university initiatives and was later described as the "birth of the alternative movement". The ideas represented there and the university strike were not only spatially related. At that time, “creating alternatives” meant no longer relying on the social, especially state institutions, or individually “infiltrating” them - as the 1968 movement had propagated - but instead building up an alternative concept at all levels. In contrast to the commands of the RAF or the noisy K-groups, this strategy was considered to be 'gentle' and thus also 'inconspicuous'. As a result, it was hardly noticed in the 'large public' or in history. In addition, two years later - 1979/1980 - the first repair occupations and the squatters' movement took place, which attracted everyone's attention. This could - again in Berlin – Kreuzberg - rely on a developed infrastructure and various media of alternatives. The “New Student Movement” was not constituted at the universities, but had “moved” to the city districts.

Reception history

Presentation of the annual numbers of student strikes in Berlin in the AStA magazine 2009

The strikes at the universities from 1976/1977 to 1978 are not mentioned in journalism, in specialist literature, in compendia or on the websites of universities, despite their scope and high participation as well as their significance for the history of the New Social Movements. Apart from current traces, they are also not remembered in (AStA) publications. Most of the time, the chronology of student activities goes smoothly from 1968 to 1988. The only - still contemporary - comprehensive consideration appeared in April 1977 in Der Lange Marsch - newspaper for a new left , No. 26, special issue on the new student movement, West Berlin April 1977.

More than 30 years later, in 2008, on the occasion of the anniversary “60 years of Freie Universität Berlin”, a brief article appeared in the Asta newspaper “two days before the editorial deadline ” under fu60: Counter statements with the title: The forgotten great departure .

And it was only when more intensive research was conducted on the occasion of the “200 Years of Berlin Universities” celebrations that a student preparatory group discovered a film about the strike in 1976/77. The strike then found its way into the part of the 2011 exhibition for which the students were responsible.


  1. The “occupational bans” - placed in quotation marks by most publications, since it was officially a “test of compliance with the constitution” - an examination that applies to all applicants changing into civil servant status, for example in the school service or in state administrations, but also postmen and Engine driver concerned. The benchmark for this test was the voluntary commitment to the Basic Law, the free democratic basic order . With the radical decree, the state tried to create an instrument to keep applicants with an “anti-constitutional attitude” out of the civil service status. This was aimed primarily at members of appropriately classified organizations - the communist or Maoist "K parties" and the GDR-related DKP [in West Berlin: SEW]. The measures were expanded to include people already in the state service who suspected lack of constitutional loyalty - such as the lecturers Dr. Friedrich Rothe and Professor Gerhard Bauer at the FU, who had spoken out in favor of the 'new' KPD, which saw itself as a continuation of the Communist Party of Germany , which was banned in 1956 , by signing an election call for the party published in the press as an advertisement. Most of the applicants for civil servant status or those in the service were already in the '68 or an even older generation, most of whom had embarked on the proclaimed “march through the institutions”. The 'unorganized students' of the 1976/77–1978 strikes, on the other hand, were not directly affected - but despite all the differences of opinion they showed their solidarity with their teachers, lecturers and professors. A tendency was observed to widen the criteria for “insufficient loyalty to the constitution” - situations to be assessed as “suspicious factors” [parking near a certain event location, possession of leaflets, etc.] are also supposed to have been registered. Since there was not only resistance in opposition politics and among the youth, but also the liberal public, trade unions and intellectuals increasingly opposed these measures, no further proceedings were opened towards the end of the 1970s. In addition, the radical left parties tended to break up on their own as a result of their increasing isolation and marginalization. The danger posed by these measures for the state and society itself was marked by FU President Eberhard Lämmert when he explained to the Academic Senate of the FU that "understandable political involvement during studies can lead to serious disadvantages when choosing a career." Der Tagesspiegel , January 7, 1977.) Not only did students who think politically opposition feel threatened, but the vast majority became aware of the diffuse danger of this methodology. Since the criticism did not 'only' come from the students, but also grew in the unions, since the management levels had a means to exclude unpleasant colleagues " union expulsions ", the movement against these measures became so dynamic that the political majorities renounced this remedy and opened no further proceedings. However, the “radical decree” was not abolished. “The radical decree that Brandt will later consider to be one of his cardinal mistakes, because it costs him credibility among the younger generation, is also intended to protect the flank against attacks by the right-wing popular front [!] . It is already fatal when he, who wants to integrate the larger part of the rebellious youth into the democratic process, which is not ready for violence, signs the decree that threatens dissenters with professional repression. ”( Peter Merseburger : Willy Brandt . Deutsche Verlagsanstalt DVA, Stuttgart Munich 2002, p. 634. ISBN 3-421-05328-6 .)
  2. By specifying the constitution as or through spontaneous acts, the fact that the strike was carried out by students who described themselves as “unorganized” or generally rejected categorizations is ignored; there were a great many 'early' students and freshmen among the active, while the Wikipedia article Sponti describes a self-image that appears principled and purposeful. In West Berlin, it was mainly the K groups who referred to their new opponents as 'Spontis', who they actually wanted to make the rank and file of their organizations.
  3. Eberhard Lämmert was only appointed FU President on November 18, 1976 in place of the outgoing President Kreibich: Der Tagesspiegel , November 19, 1976.
  4. This listing verifies the extent of the strike after a few days. A further detailed list for Berlin is not given below
  5. The extent to which this structure was functional can hardly be assessed, as the strike has not yet been reflected upon despite its enormous extent and even hardly appears in the historiography of the institutions concerned. With one exception - an occupation of the highest organs by the Communist Student Union (KSV) at the beginning of January 1977 - no serious criticism of the decision-making structures is known in the sources . See note 7.
  6. The “Unification Church” or “Mun Sect” was one of five “youth religions” that gained a foothold in Germany in the 1970s. "Sun Myung Moon ..." according to Der Spiegel , 33/1976, p. 62 ff. - "enjoys the full support of the park regime in South Korea, where he built a 30 million empire (ginseng tea, titanium, Wire, handguns). [...] The value of his US latifundia is estimated at over 30 million marks. ”Through a vision he recognized himself as the successor to the Christian Messiah:“ Messiah must be the richest ... ”, according to one of his messages that various sub-organizations spread - "... the University Association for Research into Principles (CARP) [advertises] on university premises". Der Spiegel reports on the activities of parents 'initiatives to "... get their sons and daughters out of the clutches of the Korean savior." (P. 64) The Frankfurter Rundschau attributes it to an initiative group, "... that the CSU clearly disagrees with the' Mun – Sekt 'and other organizations, although they gave the party massive electoral aid. ” Frankfurter Rundschau : Warnings are given against soul trappers. , October 18, 1976.
  7. It was about the military sports group Hoffmann from Bavaria, of which eleven men were temporarily arrested. Of the seven people, some of whom were seriously injured, six belonged to a group of students in Tübingen who demonstrated against an event organized by the right-wing Tübingen university group HTS. From: Frankfurter Rundschau , December 6, 1976.
  8. In the run-up to the event, a conflict arose when the student body discovered [communicated in leaflets of several initiatives] that the K groups "suddenly" had a majority in the highest decision-making body, the Regional Strike Council [RSR], and the planned major event of the Technical University almost completely with speakers from their side [and long speaking times]. After violent self-criticism for their own inattentiveness, the grassroots groups withdrew legitimacy from the RSR and ensured the event was balanced.
  9. The general assemblies at the start of the strike at FU, TU and the University of Education voted with a majority for the 14-day strike recommended by the VDS, but they were only half as well attended as in the previous year. [ Tagesspiegel , November 19, 1977.]

Individual evidence

  1. Artur Kritzler: The Forgotten Great Awakening: Strike at the FU 1976/77 , in: FU70 : Counter statements , Asta-Magazin, published by the General Student Committee of the FU Berlin, October 2018, p. 62 f.
  2. Der Tagesspiegel , Berlin, December 12, 1976.
  3. strike courier , Free University of Berlin, no. 0, December 1, 1976, p. 2
  4. Der Tagesspiegel , Berlin, November 30, 1976.
  5. Der Tagesspiegel , Berlin, November 27, 1976.
  6. strike Courier , no. 6, December 9, 1976.
  7. a b Tagesspiegel , December 16, 1976.
  8. Frankfurter Rundschau , December 3, 1976.
  9. ^ Leaflet of the strike council at the Institute for Journalism, early January 1977.
  10. ^ Quote from: Publicists' strike film about the forms of strike. In the backlight Super8 film distribution program .
  11. strike Courier , no. 7, 10 December 1976.
  12. Strikkurier , No. 2, December 2, 1977, p. 11.
  13. The Long March , No. 26, report: Bremen, April 1977, p. 12 f.
  14. The Long March , No. 26, Report: Münster, p. 14.
  15. The Long March , No. 26, Report: Heidelberg, p. 15.
  16. a b c Frankfurter Rundschau , February 3, 1977.
  17. The long march . Report: Tübingen. April 1977, p. 16.
  18. ^ Asten University Information Service of January 6, 1977, c / o Frankfurter Informationsdienst (HID) .
  19. ^ Hochschuldienst 12 , February 10, 1977, c / o Frankfurter Informationsdienst (HID).
  20. SFB-Mittagsmagazin on December 8th , quoted in Strikkurier , No. 6 of December 9th, 1976., pp. 1f.
  21. a b Tagesspiegel , December 10, 1976.
  22. The Long March , No. 26, editorial , April 1977, p. 2.
  23. ^ Frankfurter Rundschau , December 16, 1976.
  24. Der Lange Marsch , No. 26, 1977, p. 3 .: With this assessment, the “old left” projected their own frustration and their situation onto the “new ones”.
  25. The Long March , No. 26, April 1977, p. 7.
  26. Uwe Schlicht: Tagesspiegel , December 14, 1976
  27. a b Frankfurter Rundschau , December 3, 1976.
  28. Information on the events: Strikkurier , No. 3, December 6, 1976, p. 3.
  29. Südkurier , Konstanz, Photo message: Demonstration in God's house , December 18, 1976th
  30. strike Courier , no. 9, 12 January 1977.
  31. ^ Bulletin of the committee after the conviction, p. 2.
  32. Tagesspiegel , December 15, 1976.
  33. Tagesspiegel , January 7, 1977
  34. strike release no. 6 of the German studies from 5 January 1977.
  35. Tagesspiegel , January 7, 1977.
  36. strike Courier Nos. 9, 12 January 1977.
  37. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung , January 11, 1977.
  38. Summary based on an article in Strikkurier , No. 10, January 18, 1977, p. 8.
  39. strike Courier , no. 9, January 12, 1977, p 7 u. 8th.
  40. strike Courier , no. 10, January 18, 1977.
  41. strike Courier , No. 9, January 12, 1977. No. 10, January 18, 1977; No. 11, January 21, 1977 and Tagesspiegel , January 13, 1977 and January 20, 1977.
  42. Tagesspiegel , January 20, 1977.
  43. ^ Long March , April 1977, p. 9 f.
  44. Tagesspiegel , January 26, 1977.
  45. Tagesspiegel , January 29, 1977.
  46. Tagesspiegel , February 4, 1977.
  47. Artur Kritzler: The Forgotten Great Awakening: Strike at the FU 1976/77 , in: FU70 : Counter-statements , Asta-Magazin, published by the General Student Committee of the FU Berlin, October 2018, p. 64.
  48. Tagesspiegel , December 3, 1977.
  49. Tagesspiegel , December 9, 1977.
  50. Tagesspiegel , November 25, 1977.
  51. Tagesspiegel , November 24, 1977.
  52. The speech was published in Strikkurier No. 1, November 30, 1977; No. 2, December 1, 1977 and No. 3, December 8, 1977 under the title "Does a path lead out of the left, isolated university corner?" Original recording of the tape group at the IfP, Institute for Journalism at the FU. The speech was also printed in large parts in: Der Tagesspiegel , Uwe Schlicht: Back to the discussion , December 23, 1977.
  53. Tagesspiegel , December 7, 1977.
  54. Tagesspiegel , December 13, 1977.
  55. Tagesspiegel , January 11, 1978.
  56. a b Tagesspiegel , January 24, 1978.
  57. Arthur Kritzler in: asta fu: fu60: counter-presentations, The forgotten great departure , Berlin 2008, October 1, 2008.
  58. Out Of Dahlem : No. 8. AStA FU Public Relations Office, Berlin, January 2009, p. 50.
  59. Arthur Kritzler: The forgotten great departure . in: astafu-info, Oct 2008, pp. 32–34.
  60. ^ Historical commission of the student parliament of the Humboldt University of Berlin (HU).
  61. Super8 film Unistreik 1976/77, strike film group at the IfP, Institute for Journalism of the FU, 49 min., In the 1980s in the program of the Gegenlicht Super8 film distribution.