Tradition and life

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The symbol of tradition and life, the crown of the German Empire

Tradition und Leben e.V. (TuL for short) is the largest monarchist association in Germany. He is active nationwide in various working groups (see below) and is pursuing the transformation of the Federal Republic of Germany into a parliamentary hereditary monarchy with an emperor from the House of Hohenzollern as monarch . This should take place in a democratic and peaceful way ("Any violent solution is ruled out from the start. Of course, a large majority of the population must affirm the new beginning - comparable to what happened in the ' GDR ' in November 1989. ").

Board members regularly represent the association at events in Germany and abroad, e.g. B. on memorial days, wreath-laying ceremonies or national holidays of European monarchies. There were also appearances by board members in various TV discussions and other contributions, e.g. B. at ZDF , ProSieben , N3.

The semi-official symbol of tradition and life has been the heraldic crown of the German Empire since 1985 , which existed from 1871 to 1918. The club's motto has been "We put the crown on democracy!" Since 1988.

The board of the association publishes the quarterly newspaper Erbe und Um, which is mainly distributed nationwide but also to subscribers and association members in other European and overseas countries.

History of origin

The association emerged from the Bund der Aufrechte , which was founded on November 9, 1918, on the day the Weimar Republic was proclaimed , by monarchists loyal to the emperor. In the subline of the name of the magazine Der Aufrechte , the current name (“Volkstümliche Blätter für Geschichte, Tradition und Leben”) was already in 1934. In the 1920s the Aufrechte reached a circulation of 100,000 copies, the association had 25,000 members. In the 1930s it last had 100,000 members. In 1934 the federation was dissolved as part of the ban on all monarchist organizations and associations. Many monarchists as well as members of some federal princely houses were deported as political prisoners to concentration camps and killed.

Among the people of July 20, 1944 around the brothers Berthold and Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg were many monarchists or supporters of the House of Hohenzollern (the German imperial and Prussian royal family) who intended to convert Germany back into a monarchy if successful . In this case, the Reichsverweser or German Emperor would have become Crown Prince Wilhelm (III.) (* 1882, † 1951) or Louis Ferdinand (I) Prince of Prussia (* 1907, † 1994). A corresponding declaration was already being prepared at that time.

Prince Louis Ferdinand, who, with the approval of his grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm II, had been in contact with the resistance in Doorn in exile in the Netherlands since the 1930s , was interrogated by the Gestapo . The chief representative of the royal family, Baron Kurt von Plettenberg , threw himself out of a window into his death after his arrest by the Gestapo. He probably saved some friends of the resistance because he could no longer be forced to reveal their names.

From 1948 Heinrich von Massenbach gathered the former and new members who were still alive and from 1949 sent the first circulars. From these letters for tradition and life , the association Tradition and Life, founded in 1956, emerged, which in 1959 added the addition “e. V. ”(“ registered association ”).


The association advocates the peaceful transformation of Germany from a republic into a parliamentary-democratic monarchy in which both monarchies and republics can coexist at the state level (the citizens of the federal states should decide whether their country becomes a monarchy or remains a republic). The office of Federal President is to be exchanged for that of the German Emperor . The current head of the House of Hohenzollern is supposed to become Kaiser - since 1994 Georg Friedrich Prince of Prussia has been this . The emperor should not only perform representative tasks ("A crowned clerk does not correspond to our idea"): These should be based on those of the kings of the Netherlands and Spain (see politics in the Netherlands and politics in Spain ).


On its website, Tradition und Leben cites various arguments for the monarchy, which has "proven itself in democracy", which has been proven by "numerous examples in Western and Northern Europe":

  • A head of state must "take on an independent, balancing role" and his office must be withdrawn from the party controversy and "the striving for achievement and the ambition of the parties". An election expose "the highest office in the state to the known disputes and intrigues, which experience has shown to damage its reputation."
  • The monarchy offers "the best opportunity to do justice to all groups in the population."
  • A monarch is a head of state "also of the minorities" and "represents their legitimate concerns."
  • In times of crisis, a monarch "as an independent personality has the opportunity to point out general points of view and to defend the weak."
  • "The training [...] of the monarch from an early age, the natural growth into his tasks" would provide behavioral security and convey "in addition to independence of thought a wealth of factual skills."
  • In a monarchy, not only is “the man at the top as head of state, but a family,” which would upgrade the social position of both the family and the woman.
  • The crown has proven to be the best guardian of national identity. She represents her own country in dignity, which is very important in a Europe that is growing together, and she builds bridges to the neighbors.
  • After 45 years of German division , the crown could become “the unifying bond of the all too long separated parts” of the German people. “A monarchy rooted in the middle of Germany” makes this process much easier.
  • "With all the representation that is inevitable in every state", "a monarchy would be economical." A monarch burdens the state budget less than a president, but achieves "a far greater effect."
  • A monarch acts "as a partner of the entire spectrum of opinion among the people" and can "offer the various political views and opinions as well as their supporters the necessary opportunities for realization."


At the federal level

Tradition and life are organized at the federal level in the association's board and the general assembly.

The general assembly is the decision-making body and elects the association's board every two years. It meets annually to discuss and vote on applications.

The association's board consists of the chairman, the deputy chairman and managing director, the deputy chairman and internet officer and the cash manager.

The heads of the working groups and suitable persons appointed by the executive board form an advisory board. The seat of the association is Cologne .


Period Chairman
1. 1956-1952 Heinrich Freiherr von Massenbach * 1905, † 1962
2. 1962 Bokelberg * 1890, † 1987
3. 1963-1969 Hans Voigt * 1896, † 1969
4th 1969-1972 Kurt Strehl * 1912, † 1987
5. 1972-1974 Friedrich Wilhelm Zöllner-Krumme * 1914, † 1999
6th 1974-1984 Klaus Schlegel * 1914, † 2002
7th 1984-1988 Harald Schmautz * 1953
8th. 1988-1996 Wolfgang Stribrny * 1935, † 2011
9. Since 1996 Knut Wissenbach * 1965

At regional level

At the regional level, the association is organized in working groups (AK). These working groups enable the members to do the activity: leaflets are distributed, lectures are given and round tables are organized. There are currently the following working groups in Tradition and Life (as of August 2009):

  • AK North Rhine-Westphalia (in succession and expansion of AK Cologne)
  • AK Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg
  • AK Lüneburg (northern Lower Saxony)
  • AK Rhein-Main
  • AK Saxon States and Duchy of Anhalt (includes Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt)
  • AK Berlin


General meetings

Since the beginning of the 1990s at the latest, the annual general meeting of the association has been embedded in a multi-day conference. There are usually two public lecture events. On one of the days the actual - closed - general assembly takes place. In the early years of the association, the general assembly always took place in the greater Cologne area, since 1970 at different locations in Germany (starting in Frankfurt am Main). Since the German reunification it has become common to meet alternately in the old and new federal states . In May 2009 a meeting with guest of honor Eduard Prince von Anhalt took place in the royal seat of Dessau . Often, outstanding members of the nobility take part as guests of honor or speakers at the general meetings. B. Albert Prince of Saxony, Duke of Saxony , Heinrich Prince of Hanover or, most recently, Eduard Prince of Anhalt.

Youth conferences (selection)

The youth conferences were each under the direction of a TUL youth officer appointed by the board and took place at different locations:


Meeting place

1. Easter 1960 Hohenzollern Castle , Hechingen
2. March 1962 Berge Castle , Gelsenkirchen-Buer
3. March 1964 Wilhelmshöhe Castle , Kassel
4th February 1967 Berge Castle, Gelsenkirchen-Buer
5. March 1968 Gelsenkirchen
6th February 1970 Kassel Bad Wilhelmshöhe

In the late 1980s an attempt was made to revive the youth conventions, but stopped after several unsuccessful attempts.


Founding members

  • Initiator and founder of the association: Heinrich Freiherr von Massenbach (* 1905, † 1962)
  • Wilhelm A. Rau († 1964 or 1965)
  • Wolfgang Stribrny (* 1935, † 2011)
  • Götz Assmann

Honorary members (selection)

  • Hans-Joachim Schoeps
  • Anton Ritthaler (* 1904, † 1982)
  • Elisabeth Freifrau von Massenbach (* 1914, † 2005), wife of the association's founder
  • Friedrich Wilhelm von Lindeiner, called von Wildau († between 1963 and 1966)
  • Klaus Schlegel (* 1914, † 2002), former chairman
  • Karl Rathmann

Prominent members (selection)

See also


  • Joachim Selzam: Monarchist Currents in the Federal Republic of Germany 1949–1989 . Dissertation (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), 1994.
  • René Häusler: ruler of hearts. About the sense of royalty in the 21st century. The parliamentary monarchy as a psychological form of government . Haag and Herrchen, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-86137-659-8 .

Club periods

  • Letters for Tradition and Life Cologne, from 1949, ZDB -ID 213776-8 , continued as:
  • Tradition and life . Journal, 1955–1965, Verlag Tradition und Leben, ZDB -ID 200797-6 , (especially the association journal of the Association Tradition und Leben, but independent of it)
  • Bulletin of the Working Group for the Promotion of the Monarchical Thought Tradition and Life eV , 1966–1968, ZDB -ID 537111-9 , continued as:
  • Heritage and Mission. Journal of the working group for the promotion of the monarchical idea . Verlag Tradition und Leben, from 1968, ISSN  1867-6502 .

Web links


  1. z. B. State ceremony and reception for 60 years of Hesse with a meeting of the Federal President, cf. Erbe und Einsatz 40th year (2007), issue No. 1, January / February 2007, p. 7; Blüchertage in Kaub, cf. Heritage and Mission Volume 42 (2009), Issue No. 4, July / August 2009, p. 6.
  2. z. B. National holiday in the Principality of Liechtenstein with reception by the ruling Prince, cf. Heritage and Mission, Volume 41 (2008), No. 6, November / December 2008, pp. 6–9.
  3. ZB 1996 in Zwei gegen Zwei (Pro7), 1996 and 2005 in Extra Dry (N3), 1998 in Mensch Ohrner: I demand the monarchy (ZDF).
  4. For the first time, the magazine Erbe und Einsatz in the 15th year (1982), issue No. 3, p. 1 is backed up once with the symbol. With issue 1 of the 18th year (1985) the crown is permanently integrated as a symbol in the title of the magazine; it replaces a monochrome crowned Prussian flying royal eagle with an imperial orb and scepter in its claws. The chairman at the time, Schmautz, commented on this in volume 3, p. 2 of the same year as “a visible expression of our will to open up tradition and life to non-Prussian royalists”.
  5. Before 1988 the motto is not verifiable in the club's periodicals.
  6. ZB Mafalda von Savoyen , married Landgravine Philipp von Hessen (1902–1944), s. Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Volume 100, Genealogisches Handbuch der Fürstlichen Häuser Volume XIV, CA Starke Verlag, Limburg ad Lahn 1991, p. 44.
    Maria Emanuel Margrave von Meißen was indicted before the People's Court, s. Albert Prince of Saxony Duke of Saxony: The Wettins in Saxony and Thuringia (= series of publications by the King Friedrich August Institute for Saxon History and Culture Research, Volume II), Dresden 1996, pp. 35–42.
  7. Friedrich Wilhelm Prince of Prussia: The House of Hohenzollern 1918-1945. Langen Müller, Munich 1985, Part III The Hohenzollern and the National Socialists in Conflict, chap. 3 Contacts for the Resistance Movement, pp. 268–290, ISBN 3-7844-2077-X .
  8. Louis Ferdinand Prince of Prussia: In the stream of history. Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1987, number 2, chap. 21, pp. 360-386, ISBN 3-404-61082-2 .
  9. Entry in the register of associations on January 5, 1959.
  10. ^ Articles of Association of the Association § 4.
  11. ^ Articles of Association of the Association § 6.
  12. ^ Articles of Association of the Association § 5.
  13. ^ Articles of Association of the Association § 1 b).
  14. Erbe und mandate 36th year (2003), issue No. 1, January / February 2003, p. 10
  15. Heritage and Order, Volume 17 (1984), Issue No. 3, May / June 1984, p. 42
  16. Inheritance and Order , Volume 29 (1996), Issue No. 4, July / August 1996, p. 42 f.
  17. Inheritance and Order, Volume 42 (2009), Issue No. 4, July / August 2009, p. 7
  18. Erbe und mandate 36th year (2003), issue No. 4, July / August 2003, pp. 28–29.
  19. Heritage and Order 33rd Volume (2000), Issue No. 1, January / February 2000, p. 7.
  20. Inheritance and Order, Volume 42 (2009), Issue No. 4, July / August 2009, p. 7 and Issue No. 5, September / October 2009, pp. 6-7.