A student association (also a corporation ) is an association of students and alumni of a university in the German-speaking area that cultivates customs and established traditions. In Germany, less than one percent of all students are members of a student association.
Internationally today there are over 1,600 student associations with over 190,000 members of German-speaking origin. In Germany there are around 1000 student associations. They are organized in around 30 corporate associations and differ greatly from one another. Common features of the connections in the German-speaking area are the Convent and the Lebensbund . Student associations in non-German-speaking countries sometimes have very different traditions. In Germany fraternities were during the time of National Socialism - sometimes voluntarily, sometimes involuntarily - into line and mostly resolved. In the course of the 1968 movement , student associations suffered a severe loss of reputation.
In student associations, students organize their study time in an organized community to which active and inactive members remain lifelong. In addition, the convention principle , an organizational concept characterized by autonomy and grassroots democratic decision-making, is an important common feature of all student corporations.
Student associations are usually organized in the legal form of a non-registered association . So there are a number of student organizations, which by name, although clubs are, but they are still counted among the fraternities. In addition to the Lebensbund principle and the Convent principle, the existence of comments - traditional sets of rules for different areas of coexistence - is an important feature for differentiating between student associations and clubs.
One of the aims of the Lebensbund is to enable contacts and friendships between the generations that serve to promote networking . For most connections duzen all members regardless of their age and professional status without special agreement from the moment in which a student as " fox " accession of the connection. Student connections represent an extremely influential and widely ramified network, which is intended to enable members to receive support and advance professionally quickly. The life covenant principle, d. H. lifelong membership makes a significant contribution to ensuring that such networks are permanent.
Before attaining the first academic degree, student members are part of Aktivitas. As part of their semester program , this organizes events independently: scientific further training ( Studium generale ), parties and celebrations, but also, depending on the focus, sporting and musical activities in leisure time, or generally taking care of social life, including care of student songs . In many tradition-oriented associations, academic fencing , the mensur , is an integral part of their community life. These beating connections either expect each member to exercise the scale (mandatory) or leave it free (optional beating) . The majority of German connections these days is not significant .
After completing your studies, you are registered as a philistine : From now on you are in the corporate language as “ old gentleman ” or “old or high lady” and belong to your own organizational structure that differs from Aktivitas: the philistine . This supports the association financially from its membership fees; it usually has the legal form of a registered association (e.V.).
The custom of many connections often originated before the 19th century and largely stems from a special student culture and way of life that was common for all students from the Middle Ages until the first half of the 19th century. From around 1850 onwards, the culture of student associations developed, in which old, distinctive traditions that were largely forgotten in large parts of the student body were preserved. In many connections, this includes wearing colors, the so-called color , in the form of student hats or ribbons. Others do not wear them, but only carry their colored student coats of arms and flags with them at meetings ( colored as opposed to colored ). Still others do without it themselves ( black connections ). In the early 20th century, the youth movement led to renewal efforts also in the life of connections. Linguistic peculiarities of the boys' language have partly found their way into the mainstream, some are still limited to internal use. Most connections traditionally only take men. The first women's associations were founded in 1899, but none of them could gain a foothold again after 1945. Around 1970, the first all-male connections until then were transformed into "mixed connections" by accepting women. Only since the 1980s have there been all-female student associations again; their number has increased sharply since 2000.
Student associations were most widespread at the time of the German Empire, when 25% of all students in larger university cities like Berlin and up to 60% of all students in small university cities like Bonn were organized in associations.
Around 10 to 15% of German student associations, especially fraternities , hold political education events in their homes. The focus here is primarily on questions of German unity, German nationality, the German nation and freedom. In the case of Austrian connections (mainly Catholic), the Republic of Austria in the European Union is discussed.
In 1984 about 2 to 3% of all students in the Federal Republic of Germany belonged to a connection. At that time, around 170,000 to 200,000 students or employed people in West Germany and Austria referred to themselves as “liaison students”. The university locations with the most active connections in Germany are Munich (84 connections), Berlin (63), Bonn (51), Göttingen (42) and Aachen (42), in Austria these are Vienna (118), Graz (43) and Innsbruck (42), in Switzerland Zurich (26), Geneva (20) and St. Gallen (18).
|Connection form||Expression||Umbrella organizations||Number of connections
(without free connections)
|Catholic fraternities||ft, ns||CV , RKDB , ÖCV , TCV , StV , KÖL , historically: KDV||276|
|corps||ft, ps||KSCV , WSC||161|
|Fraternities||ft, ps / fs||DB , DBÖ , ADB , Conservative Delegate Convent of the student fraternities in Austria , NeueDB , SK , SB||158|
|Catholic student associations||ff, ns||KV , UV , ÖKV||126|
|Country teams||ft, ps||CC , OILTC||73|
|ft / ff, fs / ns
|VCS , VfM , partly organized in SV , SB and UV||approx. 70
|Christian fraternities||mostly ft, ns||Schwarzburgbund , Wingolfsbund , Wartburg cartel||61|
|Singerships and Academic Music Associations||ft / ff, fs / ns||Weimarer CC and SV||44|
|Academic gymnastics association or acad. Gymnastics clubs||ff, ns||ATB , ATBÖ||41|
|Academic Aviation||ft, fs||Academic pilot ring|
|Associations of German students||ff, ns||VVDSt - KV||40|
|Gymnastics associations||ft, ps / fs||CC and MK||34|
|Holiday connections (in places without their own university)||ft, ps / ns||Freistädter DC , Waidhofen cartel||34|
|Hunting associations||ft, ps / fs||WJSC and KAJC||17th|
|Black connections||ff, schw, fs / ns||Miltenberger Ring (MR), Miltenberg-Wernigeroder Ring (MWR)||9|
- ft = colored; ff = colored (i.e. not colored); black = black (has no colors); ps = mandatory; fs = optional striking; ns = not striking
In addition, there are student forest associations and nautical comradeships as well as connections that can only be classified into the above categories to a limited extent, for example the connections of the German Science Association , the hut in Berlin, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, an academic aviation , sailing and sports connections , a Catholic-Bavarian connection and others.
All of these types of connections differ considerably in their principles, history and specific customs. Despite the diversity, certain forms occur particularly frequently, which are named in the attached table. However, this does not contain all associations and no association-free connections. The list of corporation associations also includes the associations and umbrella associations that have died out and are still active today.
From the 1880s to 1933 (German Reich) and 1938 (Austria) there were also Jewish student associations , which were founded in response to increasing anti-Semitic attempts at exclusion from the existing student associations. Before that, Jews could easily become members of most associations. Principle exceptions applied to the Christian student associations. After the end of the National Socialist era , there were no re-foundations. Today, both Jewish and Muslim students become regular members of practically all student associations, unless they are specifically Christian.
More than 120 corporations, i.e. a good 10% of all connections, have lifted the gender segregation since the late 1960s. There are mixed student associations with a sporting, religious , cultural or musical orientation (for example in the Academic Gymnastics Association (ATB), in the Sondershäuser Association and in the Schwarzburgbund as well as in Miltenberg-Wernigeroder Ring (MWR) ), in which men and women have equal members. In the Catholic Unitas Association only women and men can become members.
Numerous women's associations have been re-established since 1975 because the women's associations from the Imperial Era and the Weimar Republic did not succeed in re-establishing them after the war. There are now over 50 active women's associations in Germany alone. Nationwide umbrella organizations have not yet been formed, but some women's associations have joined the existing umbrella organizations Unitasverband, Sondershäuser Verband and Schwarzburgbund. Only in Austria currently exist pure associations of women’s associations.
The majority of student associations, around 85% in Germany, still only accept men. Usually, however, female guests are present in these connections in everyday life or at events.
Aktivitas and convention principle
A connection is divided into student and professional members. The student members are organized in the Aktivitas. It is usually organized as an unregistered association that has no legal capacity. The Aktivitas consists of the active and the inactive . They make their decisions in convents . The active members elect a board of at least three members from their ranks every semester (often also: Chargia, Chargenconvent, Chargenkabinett). These charged persons hold the positions: Chairman (also: spokesman, senior), the fencing officer (also fencing warden, 2nd speaker or consenior) and the treasurer (also actuary or secretary, or divided between two active officers, quaestor, scriptor; cashier, secretary) . There is also a fox major (FM) who is responsible for the newcomers (foxes) and who can also be an inactive person. All office holders can be voted out at any time.
For historical reasons, the convents also see a kind of duty of supervision for their members ( see comment ), which provides for punishments for violations of mutually and democratically established rules. This includes small fines in the community treasury (additional services, frequencies, additional charges, Poen, penalties), but also protocol penalties (referrals) as well as temporary or permanent exclusion from the connection (dimission). The convention principle is now often described by the younger term basic democracy .
In large umbrella organizations in particular, it is common for individual connections to form friendly relationships with several connections at other study locations - definitely in writing with a contract. This gives the active participants the opportunity to get to know other university cities in other geographical regions and broaden their horizons during mutual visits. Many types of connections allow their members to join other connections (usually of the same umbrella organization, preferably friends) after changing their study location. In the case of colored connections, two color bands are worn at the same time for life (two- color brother, two-band man). Some connections ( life corps ) generally exclude further memberships.
Due to their self-image as self-governing student associations, the convents of student associations see themselves as autonomous. They consider themselves to be independent of state and university authorities, parties and other political or social groups. This has also led to conflicts with the state throughout history. The connections were forbidden in the course of the Karlovy Vary resolutions (1819–1848), as well as during the National Socialist rule from 1935 and in the GDR .
Most of the connections have a corporation house or apartment. The others meet in public or rented meeting rooms (in Germany Konstante , in Austria called Studentenbude ). The acquisition and operation of the real estate is financed by the old men, which enables low rents for student rooms.
Fox time and boy time
People who want to join a connection are often called "Spefüchse" (from Latin spes : hope) until they join . When entering a connection, the student goes through a trial period. Called Fuchs or Fux, he / she can get to know the connection with fewer rights, but also fewer obligations without obligation. He / she is made familiar with the traditions and values of the connection and gets to know friendly connections. This takes one to two semesters and ends with the student . In some umbrella organizations it is called reception, burschification or defuxification. This makes you a full member as a boy or a corps boy . The equality of foxes played a central role in the progress . In many mixed associations, “the fox” (or boy) is viewed as a non-gendered status (if not a neuter ); this is why women are also “teased”.
These full members take on the main responsibility for active life: Charges and offices, hosts at events and leading conventions. During this time, the lengths are fought in "striking" connections. The active fraternity student can be given leave of absence during learning-intensive phases. As an inactive person, he can devote himself to personal inclinations or to graduation.
Suspension / adjournment
As a rule, a connection requires at least three “active” members to maintain active operations. If this figure is not reached and cannot be compensated by reactivating inactive persons, the connection is suspended, suspended or adjourned. Active operation will be discontinued or the remaining active members will continue to operate to a very limited extent. The old rulers continue to exist. The suspension generally reduces the obligations towards the corporation concerned . When there are enough offspring again, the connection can reconstitute (cancel the adjournment) and resume active operations. This is sometimes still possible after decades of suspension. It happens that the university location is also changed in this context.
Old gentlemen and alliance of life
Former students are called “old man”, “old lady” or “high lady” regardless of their age. Together they form the old rule or the " Philistine ". Most of these are registered associations . As a rule, a degree or a secure position in life is a prerequisite for admission, i.e. the person concerned should have found a permanent job.
Old men have less time than the active ones because of their family and work, but they can support the federal government financially: through annual contributions and donations , but above all through the maintenance of the corporation house . Those who are particularly committed can also take on positions in the senior gentlemen's association and in the umbrella association . Old men and active students meet at events organized by their own association, for example at the foundation festival or at meetings of the respective umbrella organization.
The life covenant principle means a lifelong obligation to stand up for all members of your association. Contrary to the original conceptions of the Lebensbund from around 1800, at the latest since the entry into force of the BGB on January 1, 1900, voluntary resignations have also been possible by unilateral declaration by the resigning party or - in the case of serious misconduct - temporary or permanent exclusion from the association on the basis of the constitution .
Most of the student associations are organized in associations, the purpose of which is the common achievement of defined goals. There are different ways of doing this: Some associations are loose associations that give their individual associations far-reaching freedom. Others serve mainly to preserve common, democratically established principles. Still others see themselves as a large association with branches in different university cities. There are also “association-free connections” that do not belong to any association.
Some German associations have in turn united to form umbrella organizations: The Convent of German Corporations Associations (CDK) comprises the active associations of 5 corporation associations and thus around 100 student associations with around 1,300 students. In the Convent of German Academic Associations (CDA) the old rulers of 5 corporation associations are brought together. It represents around 100 old manors with around 7,000 members.
The Christian European Cartel Association (EKV) includes the Catholic corporation associations CV, KV, RKDB, TCV and the UV as well as umbrella associations from Belgium (Flanders, KVHV), Switzerland (StV), Austria (ÖCV, ÖKV, KÖL, RKAB, VCS) from Germany , MKV, VfM). Other connections from Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Italy, France and Austria are grouped together in the curia of the free associations and are also members of the EKV.
As color-supporting students compounds are designated whose members wear a belt and a hat (student cap) in the colors of their connection (Couleur) (at least at official events).
The color combination black, red and gold , often worn by many fraternities, but also by some other types of association, is a historical expression of the desire for the unification of the German states in a democratic state and was first used by the original fraternity in 1815 .
In addition, so-called color - leading associations have existed since 1857 , the members of which have no color. Their colors are often found in the wank and in couleur objects such as the so-called lobes. Some non-colored associations in southern Germany and Austria wear a ribbon, but no student hats. Black fraternities do not wear or use colors.
The circle is a monogram-like intertwining of letters and usually contains the first letters of the connection name and the motto of the connection. Often the letters v, c and f are included, which is composed of the Latin Vivat circulus fratrum ("Long live the circle of brothers") or Vivat, crescat, floreat ("Long live, grow, prosper"). The circles of today's student associations have their origin in cryptographic abbreviations with which the members of the student orders of the 18th century expressed their religious affiliation in written documents.
coat of arms
The student coat of arms is a form of coat of arms that does not strictly follow heraldic rules and came into use around 1800. The shield is often divided into four fields, with fraternities usually by a cross . These fields are filled in with various non-heraldic identity symbols of the connection, for example with the colors of the connection, with the federal symbol , the circle, with references to the university town, but also with regional heraldic elements. There are also other symbols for friendship and eternity, some of which were taken over from Freemasonry and some directly from antiquity.
Color song, color stanza
As a further sign of togetherness, color-leading connections have a federal song and / or a color stanza that plays a role similar to that of the respective national anthem for a state. In a color song, the connecting colors are usually interpreted and togetherness, friendship and the lifelong loyalty of the individual members to the connection (life covenant principle) evoked. The color strophe is mostly an additional stanza to the song "So punctual to the second" at Corps. Catholic connections mostly sing their color verse to the tune of "When we walk through the streets". The color song or the color strophe is generally sung standing up and often a cappella, usually at the end of a pub or a Kommerses.
Associations have always attached great importance to social events and celebrations of all kinds for their members. In the past, students often lived far from their families and were able to organize their free time more independently and fill it with their preferences without parental supervision. Gastronomy has always been an important branch of business in university towns . Everyday consumption of alcoholic beverages was common for most students and has become a popular cliché in literature and (folk) art over the centuries. For this purpose, special student event forms gradually emerged.
Traditional names for it are for example “ Kneipe ” and “ Kommers ”, but even today forgotten terms like “ Hospicium ” or “ Kränzchen ”. Eating, drinking and smoking were equally important in this until the early 19th century.
Over time, more and more innovations came into student customs. They now sometimes corrupted their own rites: This is how the “ beer boy ” was created as a parody of the student duel and the scale . Some of these forms have persisted until today, developed further and are maintained in a contemporary form. Almost every connection has all or more of the following events in their semester program:
- Pub: This is a traditional celebration that is organized in a fixed framework ( beer comment ). Speeches are given and songs are sung, and mostly beer and sometimes wine are drunk. In the so-called unofficial part of a pub, “beer facial expressions” are usually performed by the participants in the pub; these are amusing speeches, dialogues or poems.
- Kommers: This is the festive and representative form of the student pub. Kommerse typically take place at foundation festivals, city or university anniversaries. A “ father of the country ” is stabbed on special occasions . The highlight is the celebratory speech, which is usually given by a prominent commercial participant who does not necessarily have to belong to a connection.
- Foundation Festival: This is the celebration of every anniversary of the establishment of a student union. The social highlight is the foundation ball.
- Congress / association festival / association conference: This is the central event of an umbrella association with working meetings and social components (mostly commers and balls), which usually takes place once a year or every two years.
These traditional forms of events take place in some associations without female guests or in women's associations without male guests, but this varies considerably according to the association and / or association. Traditional events are nowadays in the minority compared to mixed events. Today's connections predominantly fill the course of the semester with modern forms of informal celebrations, which usually take place with partners and other guests in small or large groups. In the meantime, many associations invite all students to a big party at least once a year, which is then often celebrated with several hundred participants. For this purpose, the corporation house, which practically all German connections have today, will be opened to non-incorporated visitors.
Other events are primarily geared towards the respective priorities of the student union. Fraternities and academic student associations organize a number of academic evenings, musical associations, song evenings or concerts, sports-oriented associations (such as academic sailing clubs or rowing associations ), sporting activities, and Christian student associations religious celebrations.
Origin of the early corps
Student associations in today's sense have developed at German-speaking universities since around 1800. Student fencing was also taken over from the 18th century, continued and developed into the Mensur in the course of the 19th century.
The corps , the earliest form of today's connections, combined external elements of the student orders towards the end of the 18th century - strict regulations, binding togetherness, secret identity symbols - with those of the old country teams - Latin country names, uniformly colored clothing (forerunners of the Couleurs). The striving for commitment and democratic structures in the sense of German idealism laid the foundation for the development of the student associations typical of the German-speaking area.
Original fraternity and Carlsbad resolutions
After the wars of liberation, efforts arose within the early corps to abolish the national division of students at the universities and to bring all students (“boys”) together in a unified “fraternity”. In politics, too, small states should be abolished in favor of a unified Germany. The movement spread from Jena over the entire German area from 1815 and was in opposition to the early corps. She performed in public for the first time at the Wartburg Festival on October 18, 1817. However, it soon became apparent that a Germany-wide amalgamation of all students would not succeed.
In 1819 , the German Confederation used a political murder by the Sand fraternity as an opportunity to ban all self-governing student associations. These Karlovy Vary resolutions were not repealed until 1848. However, they effectively prevented neither the corps nor the fraternities from expanding and developing.
Establishment of the Catholic student associations
Catholic students did not emerge in an organized manner in the first three decades of the 19th century. This has its reasons also in the not yet founded Catholic associations. It was not until the exhibition of the holy skirt in Trier in 1844 that Catholic associations were initiated and, as a result, the Catholic Day was founded. The establishment of Catholic student associations, however, was mainly a reaction to the suppression of the Catholic population by the Protestant-dominated governments of the German states. Consequently, until the middle of the 19th century, Catholic students had to become active in one of the existing fraternities , corps or country teams if they wanted to join a corporation . As the Catholic connections became more and more important, the established connections reacted negatively. For example, the Catholic student associations in Germany and Austria have often been accused of so-called ultramontanism by the striking connections in history .
Changes around 1848 and during the German Empire
Even before the revolutions of 1848 , the first markedly Christian student associations were formed . Because at least the Catholic students were forced to organize themselves independently in many places due to repression and exclusion. They were also the first to oppose student fencing. In 1836 the newly founded Uttenruthia zu Erlangen renounced duels and mensur from the start. That was downright revolutionary at the time.
At the same time, in the context of the political emancipation of the bourgeoisie, the so-called “ progress movement ” was formed at the universities, which wanted to abolish student traditions or adapt them to the bourgeois culture of the time. On the one hand, they formed a new type of compatriot team, on the other hand, the progress also promoted the emergence of a non-corporate association system at the universities. Through a "corporatization movement of academic associations" at the end of the 19th century, they became the roots of many non-colored associations. In particular, as a result of the progress in the 1850s and 1860s, more academic gymnastics and choral societies emerged .
In 1848 the Frankfurt National Assembly overturned the Karlsbad resolutions. Forbidden “underground organizations” became associations of the academic elite , which developed into the diversity that exists today. The "former members" now also confessed to their former student union. The possible closer connection was the basis for the later old gentlemen's associations. At the grammar schools and upper secondary schools, student associations increasingly formed during this time, which imitated the student associations in content and form.
From around 1850 onwards, the student duel system developed into the determination of the censorship, fencing with sharp weapons, which no longer served to clear up honorary trades, but to develop character and personality.
At the end of the 19th century, the non-corporated free students began to organize themselves in so-called finches as an “association of the uninhibited” and to demand the establishment of student representatives on the basis of general elections. Anti-Semitism and nationalism also gripped most of the fraternities. After many of them excluded Jewish students, the first Jewish student associations were established.
Around 1900 women were gradually admitted to regular university studies. The women's studies questioned the male-dominated consensus at the universities and thus also in the student associations. The male structures had become so firmly entrenched in the connections that changes to them were not even discussed. Although the question of women's studies was widely discussed in the associations, the question of accepting women was not seriously considered in any corporation. In place of mixed-sex connections, women's connections were created. The first women's associations were formed in 1899.
Weimar Republic and National Socialism
Even after the proclamation of the republic, the student associations continued to support conservative and nationalist ideas and were very popular. The proportion of corporates in the total student body rose from about 30% (1919) to almost 60% (1929). A large part of the members rejected the new republic at least since the beginning of the 1920s. Party political activities, however, remained a matter for the individual. At the same time, the anti-Semitic attitude of most student associations intensified. The majority of the corporation associations expressly forbade the admission of Jews in their statutes since 1919. In 1921 beating and non-beating student associations signed the Erlangen Association and Honorary Agreement . For the first time, this offered a basis for settling disputes between these groups. The contacts between women's associations and the part of the student associations that only organized men remained very low.
The NSDAP sought student members early on and founded the National Socialist German Student Union (NSDStB) in 1926 . In 1931 he took over the leadership of the German student body . After the National Socialists came to power, a process of self-alignment began in the student associations. Most of the student members joined a National Socialist organization. At the beginning of 1934, the “Corps Student Monthly Bulletins” spoke, with a critical undertone, of a real “race of the associations into the victorious National Socialist camp”. The Nazi student union tried to barrack all early semesters in a "comradeship house". The connections should make their houses available for this. In addition, according to the National Socialists' wishes, all connections were to be severed from those old men who were "non-Aryan" or "non-Aryan". This fundamentally contradicted the life covenant principle. Some of the affected connections tried to evade this, so that in the end all that remained was for them to voluntarily cease active operations (suspension). After Rudolf Hess had forbidden all NSDAP members from membership in a student association in 1936, the student associations either dissolved themselves or were forcibly dissolved. Only the old men’s clubs remained. As an alternative, the NS student union founded so-called comradeships . Since the National Socialists needed the old gentlemen and the corporation houses to finance and accommodate the comradeships, some of these comradeships developed into disguised student associations in the following years under the influence of the old gentlemen.
Of the 1207 members of the Reichstag (National Socialist period) , 67 were incorporated.
Post War and Student Movement
After 1945 the Allied military governments banned all German associations that existed before 1945, including student associations. This general ban was lifted for student associations in 1950.
In 1949, the West German Rectors' Conference (WRK) declared in its Tübingen resolution : “In the image of the coming student community, there will be no more room for events of courses, the assertion of a special concept of honor, the holding of mindless and noisy mass feasts, the exercise of a non-free club discipline and that public wearing of colors. ”Many universities changed their university regulations according to the demands of the WRK. The university's ban on corporations was found to be illegal in court a few years later.
Due to the difficulties and the negative attitude from different sides, the first gauges after the Second World War were then fought secretly and with an unclear legal situation. The Göttingen scale trial , a legal dispute that was brought up to the Federal Court of Justice , brought clarity in 1953. Since then, the scale has been exempt from punishment if it is not used to carry out honorary trades and if the protective weapons used ensure that fatal injuries are ruled out. The renunciation of honorary trades with the weapon was then confirmed to the then German Federal President Theodor Heuss at a personal meeting in 1953 by the delegations of all the relevant trade associations.
In the German Democratic Republic , student associations were considered a typical relic of the old ruling classes and were not tolerated. The Marxist-Leninist determined the course content. The first tentative efforts to revive old student traditions began as early as the 1960s. In the early 1980s, the first new student associations were founded, mostly under the guise of historical or fencing clubs and under strict observation by the Ministry of State Security .
With the student movement emerging from 1965, the connections grew in strong competition from political student associations . The rebellion of the 68 generation was directed against the “musty” of the educated bourgeoisie, against the lack of coping with and education of National Socialism and against the involvement of part of the university teaching staff in this totalitarian rule.
The conservative German student associations had no part in these efforts. Their past, their behavior especially during the rise of the NSDAP, but also their other manners and customs were the target of student criticism. Some of the associations responded all the more by preserving student traditions. This is part of the current reservations at some universities against student associations.
Since 1968 these have had to accept a relatively sharp decline in the proportion of corporates and the absolute number of members. Many connections had to adjourn. Some who previously only accepted men tried to stabilize themselves by accepting women. However, this failed in most cases. However, the downward trend came to a standstill in the 1980s and was finally reversed. Many connections that have been postponed since 1970 have resumed active operations. In part, they were able to learn from the service orientation of the sports movement.
German unity, Europeanization and globalization
After the fall of the Wall in 1989 , it became possible again in the GDR to revive the student associations that were previously located here and who had moved to the West in the post-war period at their home universities. Many connections went this way; But there were also some new foundations.
In the meantime there are also efforts at the European level to work together with student associations in other countries. Examples of this are the European Cartel Association , founded in 1975 , the first World Corporation Day in 2002 and the annual “ All-Baltic Völkerkommers ”.
Even if the student associations in German-speaking countries are very similar across national borders, there are still some special features.
The student connections in Austria are by and large comparable to the connections in Germany. But they are deeply divided into denominational (especially Catholic) and striking, national-liberal connections. Joint appearances at university or general social events are still extremely rare.
What is striking is a political and ideological closeness between Catholic corporations and the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) on the one hand and between fraternities and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and the Alliance Future Austria (BZÖ) on the other. Most of the Federal Chancellors from the ÖVP and their predecessors, the Christian Social Party and the Fatherland Front, belonged to Catholic CV and ÖCV associations. In the FPÖ, on the other hand, there are traditionally numerous members of striking associations, especially fraternities. In the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) today, unlike when it was founded, there are hardly any members of student associations.
Student societies have been documented in Switzerland since the 18th century. The only Swiss university was the University of Basel , founded in 1460 ; otherwise there were only smaller educational institutions in German-speaking Switzerland in the rank of academies and colleges without the right to award doctorates. Therefore, the student culture was less pronounced there.
Many Swiss went to Germany to study, where in the early 19th century they founded many national corps called Helvetia . When the Protestant universities of Zurich and Bern were founded in the early 1830s , many Swiss students came back to their country and brought the student customs with them from Germany. In these years the first Swiss connections began to wear color and to fencing lengths.
The corporation system in Switzerland today is similar to that in Germany and Austria, but the three large corporation associations in Switzerland ( Swiss Zofingerverein , Helvetia Student Association and Swiss Student Association ) did not emerge from mergers of individual associations, but were founded as associations from the start. They also belong to both student and pupil associations. Most of the active connections in Switzerland are organized in the Swiss Armed Forces Ring (SWR).
In the French-speaking French-speaking German model compounds exist. In addition to multilingual associations, there are also purely French-speaking associations with the Stella Helvetica and the Société d'Étudiants de Belles-Lettres .
In Liechtenstein there are indeed four universities ( University of Liechtenstein , Private University in the Principality of Liechtenstein , International Academy of Philosophy , Liechtenstein Institute ), most students complete their studies but abroad, mainly in Austria and Switzerland.
In Liechtenstein, on the one hand, there is the LAV Rheinmark corporation, which was founded as a holiday connection , and on the other hand, there is the Invictus zu Vaduz team at the University of Liechtenstein .
Connections outside of the German-speaking area
There are also student associations outside of the German-speaking area . A distinction must be made between the connections between Central and Eastern Europe , which have a common tradition with the German-speaking countries, special cases such as Chile and Japan , where there are also student connections of “German tradition”, and other countries with student connections and associations of independent traditions.
The best-known student associations from non-German tradition are:
- Fraternities and Sororities in North America;
- Tunas , student associations in Spain , Portugal and various Latin American countries ;
- Goliards in Italy and the Italian part of Switzerland (Goliardi ticinesi), which since the 19th century. cultivate traditional student customs;
- Student nations at the traditional universities in Sweden and Finland : Uppsala, Lund and Helsinki;
- Corps, which in terms of content have no resemblance to the German corps , and the Catholic corps of the All Saints Convent in the Netherlands .
The politics and history teacher Dietrich Heither attests to the connections a "hierarchical image of society that knows a natural above and below." Criticism is that "less professional ability or achievement, i.e. scientific authority [...] [determine] the corporate understanding of authority, rather, notions of domination and possession. "Since the imperial era, subordination has aimed at shaping the personality structure of the individual, which implies" a high degree of dependence of the individual conscience on the opinion of other people ". This, Heither continues, is “not only functional for the military, but also for an authoritarian society or a hierarchically structured social order par excellence”. The scale length is of great importance.
Accusation of forming a rope team
Some of the critics portray the principle of life union of student associations as a system that would specifically influence advancement opportunities for young academics. Instead of one's own performance, the relationships established there are decisive for a member's later career. In this context, Heither speaks of “favoritism”. At a consulting institute for young academics it says succinctly : "The main purpose of the connections is to heave each other into posts" . The anti-fascist press archive and education center Berlin writes:
“The life alliance principle is the reason why student associations form rope teams. Fraternity students who are in professional life (old men) protect younger fraternity members - often with success. Quite a few fraternity students get into high positions in this way, which supports the self-image of the student fraternities that they are the academic elite. "
The allegation of the rope teams is rejected by the student associations. In the modern world of work it is not possible to lift people with insufficient qualifications to important posts through networks alone. However, such attempts would revert to the fraternity. In addition, such behavior would contradict the core beliefs of fraternities that people should take responsibility for their own lives. Networks within the student associations can, however, help to find internships or to draw attention to job searches.
Image of women
To date there are only a few mixed-sex associations and comparatively few female associations ( see also: List of female associations ). According to Alexandra Kurth, the associations are free to decide whether to accept women. In 2004, she put the number of connections that women potentially took up at 10%; with a proportion of women well below 50%, she estimates the total proportion of female fraternity students, including all female fraternities, at 1 to 5%.
According to Heither, the principle of the men's union has been cultivated since the 18th century and in some cases made binding in the Comment. At the beginning of the 19th century, a " patriotic - military masculinity scheme " prevailed in the student associations.
According to Diana Auth and Alexandra Kurth, the scale length was also intended, for example, to keep "softening" and "feminization" out of the connections. They criticize the fact that women are only seen as "decorative accessories" in men's groups that should only appear in the fraternity house on festive occasions. Proponents oppose that the gender segregation primarily has historical reasons, since at the time when the oldest connections still existing today, women were not even allowed to study ( see also: women's studies ), and this regulation is due to the "customs and Customs on the House "is required.
Right-wing extremist tendencies
The Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance (DÖW) and Spiegel Online see ideological and personal references to right-wing extremism in individual fraternities of the Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft (BG) . In the 1990s, Jens Mecklenburg and Dietrich Heither saw right-wing extremist tendencies in some of the associations of the Coburg Convent , the Association of German Students and the Wingolfbund, such as claims to former German eastern territories and xenophobia . In the Wingolfbund, such connections have since been excluded due to incompatibility with the basic principles of the Federation. Critics point out, among other things, that members of some fraternities also belonged to right-wing extremist groups, and some fraternity houses offered rooms and audiences for lectures by well-known right-wing ideologues. These saw the fraternities as an interface to civil rights and would have expressed themselves accordingly in right-wing extremist publications. Some offices for the protection of the constitution confirm such contacts.
In 2007, the federal government replied to a small question from the Die Linke parliamentary group as to whether it saw "signs of a substantive proximity to the extreme right" at DB:
“The vast majority of the member fraternities have no contact with right-wing extremists. From appearances by right-wing extremist speakers at individual houses of fraternities of the umbrella organization 'Deutsche Burschenschaft' (DB), it cannot be inferred that the umbrella organization is closely related to right-wing extremism. "
In 2011, a motion introduced at the Boy's Day of the German Burschenschaft attracted a lot of media attention, demanding the exclusion of the Hansea Mannheim fraternity because it had accepted a German of Chinese descent as a member. The application was not negotiated. Due to the increasing right-wing tendencies in the German fraternity, over 40 fraternities left the umbrella organization in the following years.
In February 2013, the Allgemeine Zeitung from Mainz quoted the author Stephan Peters, who was critical of the connections, who gave a lecture on student connections in general and fraternities in particular and referred to the complexity of the topic:
“The problem with the debate, according to Peters, is that there is not enough differentiation. He explains that there is a difference between far-right fraternities, student associations and corps that are all lumped together in public opinion. Corps, for example, placed great value on tolerance and kept themselves politically neutral, in contrast to the fraternities. "
Incompatibility resolutions by the SPD
On June 25, 1954, the SPD decided at its Berlin party congress that membership in academic student associations belonging to the Convent of German Corporations Associations was incompatible with membership in the SPD. In 1967 the party executive of the SPD decided after talks with student associations to lift this incompatibility.
Above all , however, the Young Socialists kept the distance to the connections; their college groups have excluded fraternity members from their ranks in recent years. In the 2005 Bundestag election campaign, they criticized appearances by prominent party members such as Friedhelm Farthmann and Egon Bahr at connections events:
“Fraternities treat people unequally, women are often structurally disadvantaged because of their gender. For many fraternities, racial criteria, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or conscientious objection are exclusion criteria for admission. [...] We consider it unacceptable if Social Democrats, by speaking to fraternities, help fraternities gain influence and make their elitist and undemocratic worldview socially acceptable. "
The federal party congress of the SPD in Karlsruhe commissioned the party executive on November 16, 2005 to examine whether “membership in a student fraternity or in a corps” could be declared incompatible with membership in the SPD. On March 27, 2006, the presidium and board of the SPD decided that membership in a fraternity of the Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft (BG) was not compatible with SPD membership. The party council of the Federal SPD approved this decision on April 24th. No prominent SPD member was affected by this incompatibility resolution.
In June 2007 the exclusion of a fraternity due to this decision was lifted by the Berlin Regional Court because the procedure provided for by the Political Parties Act was not followed.
In response to the discussions in the SPD and with the aim of positively influencing the understanding between the party and its connections, the Lassalle Circle , an independent network of corporate social democrats , was founded in June 2006 .
On June 23, 2014, the SPD party executive decided that membership in a fraternity of the Deutsche Burschenschaft (DB) was also incompatible with SPD membership.
Violence against fraternities
Historically, violent clashes among students and especially with craftsmen and other groups have been documented and are one of the reasons for the privilege of carrying arms. Dealing with and using physical violence has been clearly taboo since the 1950s. The relative share of fraternity students in the student body has decreased significantly.
At the beginning of the 2010s, hostility and violent rioting against fraternity students were increasingly made public and discussed. In some cases, considerable acts of violence against people and objects as well as systematic disruptions of public events are to be found in color. In some university cities, fraternity houses were the target of vandalism, for example paint bags and stones were thrown at them or attempts were made to set them on fire. Meetings of fraternity students in public had to be partially protected by the police. A Fuxentaufe of the Göttingen fraternity Hannovera on Ascension Day 2011, which was canceled at short notice, should have been placed under police protection after there were indications of violent counter-demonstrations. At the Marburger Marktfrühschoppen the event was disrupted for years.
In January 2011 the Convent of German Academic Associations (CDA) presented its own statistics for the first time at a press conference in Frankfurt, which addressed violence against student associations. This named for the year 2010 in Germany and Austria "over 100 crimes against members of student associations and against their property". Most of the cases involved vandalism, but there have also been ten cases of grievous bodily harm and five serious arson attacks on fraternity houses and cars. The head of the Central Criminal Police Service in Göttingen confirmed to the HNA that there would be about one incident per month. According to the chairman of the convent Joachim Schön, criminal complaints are filed with the police "partly only reluctantly". In the statistics of the CDA for the following year, an increase in acts of violence is indicated, especially in the case of arson, the number of which rose from five in 2010 to 13 in 2011.
At a press conference on the results of the Austrian Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Fight against Terrorism (BVT) for the observation period 2010, Peter Gridling , the director of the BVT, stated that corporations would target political opponents at internal events in so-called “fraternity safaris” and “run-ins” disturbed and provoked. There are regular acts of violence, mainly against intervening police officers. In the course of the demonstration against the ball of the Vienna Corporations Ring in 2012, there was violence and assaults. In the course of these events, five police officers were injured and three people attending the ball were slightly injured. There was also a night arson attack on the house of the Bruna Sudetia fraternity .
In May 2013 in Göttingen there was an attack with a baseball bat on members of the Erlangen fraternity of Bubenreuth .
Student history is a research area of university history and deals with the cultural and social history of students from the Middle Ages to the present. For a long time, the field of research was the territory of hobby historians from the area of the student associations themselves. Recently, student history issues have found increased interest in academic discourse.
The considerations also include informal associations in the wake of the political change in the GDR, for example . In the winter semester 2010/11, as in the following years, a first lecture series was held at a German university under the title Füxe, Kneipen und Couleur - Student Associations in the Past and Present at the TU Dresden , which was devoted to the topic of "Student Associations" at a scientific level. The increasing interest and improved analytical tools in and for social networks are also reflected in research on connections. Examples include the history of mechanical engineering, where membership in student associations often reflects the closest relationships between the university professors studied, as well as research on American fraternities and sororities .
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- Alexandra Kurth: Men - frets - rituals. Student associations since 1800 . Campus, Frankfurt 2004, ISBN 3-593-37623-7 .
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- Working group of student historians Information on the working group and student history
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- Boys, corps and old men - WDR, October 8, 2011 ( Memento of October 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
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- Cf. Carl Creifelds and Klaus Weber (eds.): Legal dictionary , Beck, Munich 1999, on the keyword association.
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- Franz Meyers , 1908–2002: a political biography, Stefan Marx, Klartext, June 30, 2003
- Couleur student information: Women's associations
- Möller, Silke: Between Science and “Burschenherrlichkeit”. Franz Steiner Verlag: 2001, p. 108 Available from Google Books .
- Herbert Neupert serves as the basis of the estimate: statistics, organizational charts and lists of other corporate associations . In: Board of the Association of Alter Corpsstudenten eV (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Kösener Corpsstudenten . Volume II, item 42, 6th edition, Würzburg 1985, p. 4/1. In a list of 24 associations that are members of the CDA, 23,304 student members and 152,333 no longer students are counted, a total of 175,637 members (as of 1984). This does not include suspended corporations or those that were not members of the CDA in 1984.
- History | KBSt.V. Rhaetia. Retrieved February 9, 2017 .
- Christian Käselau: The cartel convent of the tendency connections of German students of the Jewish faith as an example for Jewish corporation associations in the German Empire and in the Weimar Republic
- Erich Bauer: Schimmer book for young corps students. 4th edition, o. O., 1971, p. 24 f.
- Erich Bauer: Schimmer book for young corps students. 4th edition, o. O., 1971, p. 8 ff.
- Erich Bauer: Schimmer book for young corps students. 4th edition, o. O., 1971, p. 10 ff.
- Erich Bauer: Schimmer book for young corps students. 4th edition, o. O., 1971, p. 10 f.
- Since RGZ 78, 134 ff. Of January 3, 1912
- CDA / CDK homepage ( Memento from August 28, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on January 16, 2013
- Erich Bauer: Schimmer book for young corps students. 4th edition, o. O., 1971, p. 12 ff.
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- Birgitta vom Lehn: Beer-blessed science . In: Welt online from January 20, 2008
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- O golden glory of my student days (FAZ)
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- Jens Mecklenburg (Ed.): Handbuch Deutscher Rechtsextremismus , Berlin 1996, p. 325 f. and 869 f.
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