Student associations in Austria

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The student associations in Austria are by and large comparable to the student associations in the rest of the German-speaking area ; However, they are much more deeply divided into a striking German national- freedom and a non-striking Catholic / Christian camp. Joint appearances by the two camps at university or social events are extremely rare.


After the Karlovy Vary resolutions in the Austrian Empire, the establishment of student associations was prevented more rigorously and permanently than in other states of the German Confederation .

The Corps Saxonia Wien , founded in 1850, is considered the oldest association in Austria ; a first wave of student associations, including fraternities, did not begin until the Schiller Festival in 1859. The AV Helvetia Oenipontana ( SchwStV ), founded in Innsbruck in 1860 , as the oldest non-beating association and originally a Catholic corporation in Austria only accepts Swiss. Therefore, today the oldest Catholic student association in Austria is the AV Austria Innsbruck , which was founded in 1864.


Politically, Austria’s connections are generally much more conservative than those in Germany . In addition, they have been deeply divided into denominational and striking connections among themselves since the 19th century. This was expressed in numerous arguments, for example the appointment of the liberal rector Anton Menger at the University of Vienna on October 24, 1895; they only ended when students were thrown over the university ramp. The aggressive rejection culminated in the death of the Catholic Innsbruck student Max Ghezze in the early 20th century. Joint appearances at university or general social events are still extremely rare there.

The student corporation system is more pronounced in Austria than in other countries . Most Austrian middle school associations refer to themselves as student associations.


The Catholic umbrella organizations Austrian Cartel Association (ÖCV) and Cartel Association of Catholic Non-Colored Academic Associations of Austria (ÖKV) coexist as independent associations with the German CV and KV, but each have common roots and in some cases a common history. They split off from the German associations in 1933. As a special feature, there is also the monarchist academic federation of Catholic-Austrian Landsmannschaften in Austria . Other Christian connections (male, female and mixed-sex) are assigned to this “denominational” camp.

Most of the Austrian fraternities are organized in the obligatory Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft (BG), to which 43 fraternities belong, most of which are the German Burschenschaft (DB) and the German Burschenschaft in Austria (DBÖ) or the Conservative Delegate Convention of the student fraternities in Austria (CDC) ) belong. Some fraternities are German national . The Austrian corps are organized in the Kösener Seniors Convent Association , the country teams in the Coburg Convent .

The split into two camps also affects the Austrian school associations . The largest associations of middle school associations are the Catholic Middle Schools Cartel Association (MKV) and the striking Austrian Pennäler Ring (ÖPR).

Party proximity

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 parties of the Third Camp , namely the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ), on the other.

Almost all Federal Chancellors of the First Republic from the Christian Social Party and the Patriotic Front that emerged from it , the predecessors of the later ÖVP, belonged to Catholic CV associations. The Austrian Cartel Association (ÖCV) split off from the CV after the National Socialists came to power in Germany when, against a resolution of the General Assembly, the CV connections in Germany assured them of their loyalty. Engelbert Dollfuß, the founder of the authoritarian corporate state , was at the time of his assassination in 1934 Philistine senior of his student union KÖHV Franco Bavaria (Vienna). In some cases, posthumously, he was awarded honorary membership by almost all of the ÖCV associations, as Dollfuss was instrumental in the creation of the ÖCV. His successor as the dictatorial chancellor, Kurt Schuschnigg , was also a member of an ÖCV association. In the Second Republic there were and are numerous ÖVP politicians, such as Andreas Khol , Michael Spindelegger , Günther Platter , Erwin Pröll as well as various members of state governments and mayors, members of the ÖCV or the MKV.

Traditionally, numerous members of beating fraternities, as well as beating school associations, are represented in the FPÖ. The former party leader Heinz-Christian Strache is the old man of the Viennese fraternity Vandalia , the long-time party chairman of the FPÖ and later founder of the BZÖ Jörg Haider belonged to the optional hunters of Silvania Vienna. Several MPs of the FPÖ, including the third President of the National Council, Martin Graf , are old men of the right-wing extremist fraternity Olympia , which was officially dissolved in 1961 and reconstituted in 1973. Well-known weapons students in the ranks of the FPÖ and BZÖ include the National Council members Werner Neubauer , Manfred Haimbuchner , Ewald Stadler and Lutz Weinzinger , the MEP Andreas Mölzer and the former Vice Chancellor Herbert Haupt .

In the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) members of student associations are hardly represented today. At the time of its establishment as SDAPÖ in 1888, the socialist founding fathers Viktor Adler and Engelbert Pernerstorfer were both fraternity members. Later, too, socialist politicians from the “national” weapons student camp came again and again, including Eduard Speck , SPÖ Mayor of Graz 1945-1960 and Alfred Schachner-Blazizek , Deputy Governor of Styria and Deputy SPÖ Party Chairman. The President of the Constitutional Court, Gerhart Holzinger , nominated by the SPÖ, is the old man of an ÖCV association. The former independent Foreign Minister in the SPÖ's sole government and Federal President Rudolf Kirchschläger , nominated by the SPÖ in 1974, was also a member of the Catholic Pennälerverbindungen K.ö.St.V. Waldmark Horn in the MKV.


The (striking) connections in the Burschenbunds-Convent are completely wrongly forgotten . That was four in Vienna, four in Prague and two in Brno. Unlike in Germany, they were not called Burschenbund in Austria, but rather - in relation to the Urburschenschaft  - Burschenschaft. In the mid-1920s, the BC comprised 1,300 to 1,800 members, mostly assimilated Jews. One of the protagonists was Oskar Scheuer .

See also

Lists of student associations by university location


  • Fritz Ranzi : Corps and Burschenschaft in Austria changing ideas . Once and Now, Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research , Vol. 6 (1956), pp. 73-85.
  • Robert Hein: The Austrian student associations and the German question 1859–1866 . Einst und Jetzt, Vol. 8 (1963), pp. 36-44.
  • Michael Gehler : Austrian student associations and corporations. In: Harm-Hinrich Brandt , Matthias Stickler (eds.): “Der Burschen Herrlichkeit.” History and present of student corporations. Student History Association of the Coburg Convent, Würzburg 1997. pp. 173–205.
  • Peter Krause : Studiosus Austriacus. Handbook of the Austrian Corporations. Austrian Association for Student History, Vienna 2007.
  • Henn-Jüri Uibopuu : 1912–1992 - 80 years of the Graz University Students Association. The history of the oldest existing women's association in Austria . Series of publications by the Styrian Student Historian Association, Graz 1992.
  • Alexander Graf: “Lot of Rome” and “home to the empire”. The German national academic milieu at the cisleithan universities of the Habsburg Monarchy 1859–1914 . Diss. Univ. Graz 2014. ISBN 978-3-643-12834-8 . Online version
  • Hermann Rink : About the term "Freedom" in Austrian corporations . Einst und Jetzt, Vol. 51 (2006), pp. 151-161.
  • Raimund Lang : Large Austrian Kommersbuch , published by the MKV and ÖCV. Vienna 2015.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Helmut Engelbrecht : History of the Austrian educational system. Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 1986. p. 243.
  2. ^ Helmut Engelbrecht: History of the Austrian educational system. Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 1986. p. 247.
  3. Michael Wladika : Hitler's generation of fathers: the origins of National Socialism in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy , Böhlau Verlag, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2005, ISBN 3-205-77337-3 , p. 287
  4. ^ Matthias Hambrock: The establishment of the outsiders: the Association of national German Jews 1921-1935 . Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar, 2003, pp. 136ff., ISBN 978-3-412-18902-0