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Steglitz group around 1930

A movement that originated in Steglitz (today Berlin) in 1896 is referred to as the Wandervogel mainly by schoolchildren and students of bourgeois origin who, in a phase of advancing industrialization of the cities and stimulated by ideals of the Romantic era, broke away from the narrow requirements of the school and social environment to to develop one's own way of life in the great outdoors. The Wandervogel thus marked the beginning of the youth movement , which also provided important impulses for reform pedagogy , nudism and the life reform movement in the first third of the 20th century.

The impetus for a long-term organization of the hiking activities at the Gymnasium Steglitz came from the former student Karl Fischer , who in 1901 set up the Wandervogel as an association. Like others after him, Fischer shaped the activities of the group he led as a leader. With the growth of the movement, which within a few years spread across the entire German-speaking area, there were often divergent guiding principles and priorities, which led to various spin-offs and new foundations. Issues such as girls' participation and alcohol abstinence were controversial.

In the face of attempts at political influence and appropriation, those responsible for Wandervogel mostly tried to maintain neutrality. The First Freideutsche Youth Day on the Hohe Meißner in October 1913, for which the Wandervogel had prepared the ground, officially took place without his participation. The First World War created new conditions for the youth movement and the Wandervogel. The decisive turning point was the National Socialist dissolution or compulsory integration of the youth leagues into the Hitler Youth . The successor organizations founded after the Second World War are linked to the legacy of the wandering bird.

The Prelude - The Phase Hermann Hoffmann (1896–1900)

Before the Wandervogel was founded as an association, there was an initial phase that was largely dominated by Hermann Hoffmann (1875–1955). His hiking activity was triggered by a school experience as a fifteen year old in Magdeburg in 1890. The class, dozing in the summer warmth, dealing with a reading piece “Hoch auf dem Wander”, was roused from sleepy-headedness by a blow from its German teacher Sträter on the desk and impressively portrayed how Sträter himself and his contemporaries lost their pennies in their youth had saved up to go on hiking tours at Whitsun or during the big holidays. Hoffmann stated in a manuscript "From the early days of the wandering bird":

“That packed! At least some of us. During the next summer vacation, I hiked out to Magdeburger Tor with my younger brother and a classmate, my knapsack on my back - the backpacks had not yet come time for northern Germany - hiked forty kilometers to the Harz Mountains in a zigzag through this and after eighteen days home through the same gate. "

After graduating from high school in 1894, Hoffmann enrolled in Berlin for philology (oriental languages) and law and gave half-year shorthand courses for students at the Steglitz grammar school from 1895/96 . He himself reported that occasional course participants visited him in his student apartment, including Karl Fischer . Browsing through his books together, one came across Hoffmann's descriptions of the hikes, and they immediately said: "You have to do that with us too!"

This was followed by the first trips: in 1896 a one-day “test hike” in the Grunewald , in summer two days in the Teupitz area, in 1897 already a two-week “trip” in the Harz Mountains with 15 participants, in 1898 a four-week trip from Thuringia via the Spessart to Cologne with 11 participants, and finally in 1899, the four-week " Šumava ride" by Bliiher became known chronicle and thereby gained a great importance that the participants of this trip later took a decisive influence on the development of migrant bird. Hoffmann was seen as someone who left nothing to chance.

There were statutes early on that regulated subordination to the leaders. Hoffmann called himself "Oberhäuptling", on long journeys he had two "chiefs" under him who supported him. During the Böhmerwaldfahrt these were his brother Ernst and Karl Fischer , who later became particularly important for the development of the Wandervogel Club. Even in the preliminary phase, the hierarchy of the groups was arranged according to experience. Experienced hikers were called "hiking boys", beginners "hiking foxes". The hiking groups were called "herds". At that time there was still no hiking equipment: School equipment and student hats were carried, along with umbrellas against rain, sun and wind.

At the end of 1900, Hoffmann appointed Karl Fischer as his successor. He himself accepted a call to Constantinople and began a diplomatic career there. Before that, he suggested to Fischer in the so-called "Fichteberg Agreement" at the Paulsendenkmal in Steglitz that this type of youth hiking should be spread among German youth beyond Steglitz.

According to the philosopher and literary scholar Rüdiger Safranski , the chances of success of such a broad-based youth movement were essentially to be ascribed to a renewed concept of "life", as it went back in particular to Nietzsche :

“'Life' meant the unity of body and soul, dynamism, creativity. The protest of Sturm und Drang and Romantik was repeated . At that time, 'nature' or 'spirit' was the battle slogan against rationalism and materialism . The term 'life' now has the same function. 'Life' is an abundance of forms, ingenuity, an ocean of possibilities, so unpredictable, so adventurous that we no longer need a hereafter. This world offers us enough. Life is a departure to distant shores and yet at the same time the very near, one's own form-demanding liveliness. 'Life' becomes the watchword of the youth movement, of Art Nouveau , of neo-romanticism , of reform pedagogy . "

The founding of the Wandervogel association: The committee for student trips e. V. (1901–1904)

Hoffmann's student Karl Fischer was so enthusiastic about the experience that he decided to set up a hiking organization for young people. On November 4, 1901, the "Wandervogel - Committee for Student Rides" was founded in the Ratskeller of the Steglitz town hall . V. “(AfS) was founded in order to give the hiking groups a legal form that can be presented to schools and parents. Fischer helped some people who were sympathetic to his project from among the Steglitz dignitaries . The founding members were the writers Wolfgang Kirchbach , Heinrich Sohnrey , Heinrich Hagedorn and Hermann Müller-Bohn as well as the doctor Anatol Hentzelt. Heinrich Sohnrey was elected chairman and, together with Karl Fischer, drafted the later statutes of the association. Some students were also present: Bruno Thiede, Wolfgang Meyen, who suggested “Wandervogel” as the club name, Siegfried Copalle and Karl Fischer, and Kirchbach's son. The initiative to found the association should, however, go back to Wolfgang Kirchbach.

See also: Youth Movement: The Wandervogel Era (1896–1913)

Origin of the name

The name "Wandervogel" for the hiking movement was chosen in 1901 at the suggestion of Wolfgang Meyen. According to his cousin Albrecht Meyen, the term comes from a poem by Otto Roquette (1824-1896) from Waldmeister's Bridal Journey - A Rhine, Wine and Wandering Tale from 1851, which was sung as a song in the Steglitzer Wandervogel group. This is the first time that the term wandering bird is applied to people:

You wandering birds in the air,
in the ethereal luster, in the scent of the sun
in blue sky waves,
I greet you as journeymen!
I am also a wanderer
I have a fresh breath of life
and the gift of my song
is my favorite thing.

Another interpretation leads back the origin to Walt Whitman's collection of poems Grashalme (1855), whose book XVII bears the title Birds of Passage = migrating birds . In 1907, in his selection translation for Reclam, Johannes Schlaf overwrote the second song, The Song of the Pioneers, with Wandervögel:

All pulses on earth
Fall in and strike with us, strike with the advance of the west;
Individually and together; always forward, all for us!
Pioneers! Pioneers!

However, this derivation is considered unlikely. Whitman also only played a role on the left wing of the “Free German Youth”. In 1921, Whitman's poems were printed in the Schlafschen translation on the cover of the magazine Freideutsche Jugend .

A third derivation refers to a tombstone in the St. Anne's churchyard . It adorns the grave of Kaethe Branco († 1877), a daughter of Hermann von Helmholtz who died early . The epitaph reads:

Who has you wandering birds
Science given
That you on land and seas
Never steer the wings wrong?
That you the old palm
Elect again in the south,
That you the old linden trees
Not missed in the north?

"Oberbachant" Karl Fischer

As an independent managing director, Karl Fischer was granted extensive authority by the association's statutes. According to § 7 of the statutes, he was able to issue supplementary provisions and was only obliged to report to the association committee once a month. The committee itself exercised restraint and acted mainly as a "shield against the public". According to the writer Hans Blüher, it was the loosest possible organization that had nothing more to do than “protect, represent and pay money”. Occasionally "some good advice" was given. Wolfgang Kirchbach, however, also took into account that the young people prefer to stay among themselves and have given them this limited, no-parenting space.

Fischer used the ideal of traveling pupils from the Middle Ages as a romantic model for his hiking organization. The hiking foxes and boys became " Scholars ", the hiking guides he called "Bachanten" (derived from " Vagant "). He proclaimed himself "Oberbachanten" and claimed an undisputed leadership role. He decided who was accepted as a newcomer and allowed to hike with them. A prerequisite was the taking of a loyalty vow to Fischer. Overall, a common style only developed under Fischer. There was an internal group recognition whistle, from then on they greeted each other with “ Heil! “And preferred to sing folk and marching songs. In addition, a special costume was developed in order not to be mistaken for tramps.

A specific migratory bird habit

In their migratory divide and in the way to give up runs, the migratory birds oriented initially many of the also often walk locomotive " customers " and traveling journeymen . Wolf Meyen, who adopted their language and customs and popularized them in the Wandervogel movement, was particularly fascinated by the customers, who in their own way made their way outside of bourgeois society:

“Those guys who had become half stupid from sunburn with swaying knees and bleeding from flea bites, he loved them and liked to imitate their gestures and pick up their wisdom. That affected the others and so it was reproduced. There was a kind of bastardization. The wandering bird of real romantic blood is a mixture of a German student, a customer and a traveling scholast from the Middle Ages. [...] A dirty brown guy with a slouch hat, a couple of green, red and gold ribbons somewhere, a backpack on his back, a sooty saucepan outside and a guitar on his shoulder - this picture was never lost, even if such a villain stood by the lake at noon, the burned-out fire behind you, the crooked tobacco pipe between your teeth and defiantly raised your shoulders, it was as if nature adorned its reconciliation monument. "

Club stabilization and rift

The teacher Ludwig Gurlitt , who joined the committee for school trips in 1902, even achieved official recognition of the association by the Prussian Ministry of Education in 1903. This made the AfS the first extracurricular student association, which had to appear officially as an adult association. This was necessary because according to Prussian law it was forbidden for students to become members of non-school associations. These facts and Fischer's advertising led to an expansion of the AfS. In 1903 a total of 250 participants, so-called “registered people”, were registered for the 13 trips and 103 days of hiking. Four other local groups were founded in the period from 1901 to 1904 in Lüneburg , Posen , Munich and Rawitsch .

Nevertheless, in 1904 the Bachanten Siegfried Copalle, Bruno Thiede and Richard Weber fell out with their Oberbachanten Fischer. After a scandal triggered by Hans Blüher on a hike under Copalle's leadership and an Easter trip scheduled in March 1904 with Fischer's refusal, but with the approval of the board, Fischer resigned from the post of Oberbachanten. The AfS broke up into two associations, on the one hand the "Wandervogel - registered association in Steglitz" (Steglitzer eV), around which the opponents of Fischer rallied, and on the other hand the "Alt-Wandervogel" (AWV), the Fischer's ideas took over. The meeting to dissolve the AfS took place on June 29, 1904 and marks the starting point for the third phase of the Wandervogel story.

Division and expansion (1904-1911)

The third phase of the migratory bird is characterized by the fact that several migratory bird clubs with different programs and structures existed in parallel.

The Wandervogel - registered association in Steglitz (1904–1912)

In contrast to the AWV, the Steglitzer eV always remained a local association, and of the larger leagues it was always the smallest. In December 1912 it had only 715 "registered" members (including 216 young women) and 414 adult members. Almost all members of the AfS, but above all the dignitaries, switched to the Steglitzer eV This was constituted immediately after the AfS was dissolved on June 29, 1904. Ludwig Gurlitt became chairman for the next three years; Heinrich Sohnrey took over the office after him. The reason for Fischer's Caesarism was less his person than the AfS statutes. In a statement from the association's newly published journal in September 1904, it said:

“The whole organization was so tailored to the one person of the Oberbachanten that the whole thing stood and fell with this one person […]. The fundamental mistake that was made when the committee was set up was that the statutes on which the organization was based did not guarantee it the rights and influence which it was entitled to because of its importance. "

- "Wandervogel" newsletter

The office of Oberbachanten was abolished and a seven-person leadership team was set up instead, which initially included Copalle, Thiede, Weber and their schoolmates Richard Schumann, Lothar Lück, son of the director of the Steglitzer Gymnasium, as well as Rudolf Hartmann and Günter Wendland. The manager now changed quarterly. A "chairman" was introduced to act as a mediator between the association's board and the leadership team. Heinrich Albrecht was almost always chairman of Steglitzer eV and at the same time treasurer for a long time. Leadership College meetings were called "convents". The terms scholar and bachant have been dropped. Instead it was called “pupil” and “guide” or “auxiliary guide”. Students were preferred as guides. Instead of “clumping” as a hiking style, as Fischer was accused of by Copalle, contemplative experience of nature through quiet hiking was envisaged. The guide should take on the task of interpreting between nature and hiking society.

The Alt-Wandervogel e. V. (1904–1926)

The Alt-Wandervogel was later known as the Steglitzer e. V. constituted. A re-establishment never took place, the association's statutes of the AfS were deliberately retained as a symbol, when at the end of the year the advocates of Fischer's style gathered around him to rebuild the “old wanderer bird”. Wolfgang Kirchbach was one of the few notables who joined the AWV. The AWV is the wandering bird federation that reached the greatest extent in the German Reich and from which smaller groups split off most frequently. The naming falls back to the end of October 1904. Fischer had previously moved to Halle to study law and sinology there. This is where the new central office of the AWV was created, in which Fischer was now called "Groß-Bachant". At the same time as Kirchbach, Fischer suggested the establishment of a "Council of Honor and Friends" (Eufrat), the establishment of which the befriended parents approved on November 18, 1904 under the direction of Kirchbach.

Here, too, Fischer showed a strong commitment to recruit new members and friends for the AWV. To support him, he named Hans Breuer , Wolfgang Meyen and Ernst Anklam "Oberbachanten". With an increasing number of new foundations throughout the German Empire, the AWV experienced a strong expansion. From 681 registered students in 1905, the number rose by 1908 to 2076 registered students in 44 local groups. In 1912 the AWV had around 15,000 "registered" members in around 300 local groups.

Fischer's authoritarian leadership style with the centralization of the AWV on his person quickly turned into a problem again. The manor owner Wilhelm Jansen from Friemen , who had been an Oberbachant in the AWV since 1905, finally convinced Fischer to resign. He resigned on January 1st, 1906, followed a little later by Wolfgang Kirchbach and gave up his chairmanship of the Eufrat. Jansen himself only took over the office of Großbachanten for a short time, as there was already a general assembly of the Eufrat on April 4, 1906, where a new statute was issued. Fischer's autocratic system was replaced by one that was not unlike the Steglitzer eV. The federal management of the AWV received a five-person leadership team. As a second important organ, the college joined the Eufrat. Jansen became chairman of the Eufrat, Ernst Semmelroth on May 18, 1906 chairman of the federal government. All medieval names were omitted. Bachanten became leaders again, etc. Since that also applied to Karl Fischer and a trip he had registered was not approved by the federal management, he resigned from the AWV in August 1906 and a little later went into the military service, which he after Kiautschou in China .

In a public climate charged by the Harden-Eulenburg affair, the first open argument about homosexuality sparked in the Wandervogel at Wilhelm Jansen, as he also had erotic relationships with some of the young migrant birds and with Willie Jahn, who was also active in the Wandervogel tour, “at least one love-like relationship ”. In 1903 Jansen was one of the founders of the Association of Owners , which was supposed to support the homosexual magazine Der Eigen , and in 1905 he came across the Wandervogel through the mediation of Hans Blüher , who later wrote the book The Wandervogelbewegung as an erotic phenomenon . Jansen had to resign in 1908 and was excluded from the organization in 1910 after his sexual inclinations were discussed again.

Two groups split off from the AWV and developed into larger groups of migrant birds, on the one hand the "Wandervogel, Bund für Jugendwanderungen" (DB) and on the other hand the "Jung-Wandervogel" (JWV) with Wilhelm Jansen. After the re-establishment, Jansen wrote a manifesto to the parents of the young people in the AWV, which stated, among other things, that they would have to get used to having so-called homosexuals in their ranks as long as they behaved properly towards the boys. “In the whole struggle in which your sons suffered more harm than good, you parents have unfortunately shown in some cases a striking indifference. It is time to really take care of yourself, how your sons were actually influenced under the guise of indignant morality, finally to weigh up the benefits and harms impartially and without the glasses of hypocrisy behind which selfish interests lie to see things as they are. ”The treatment of the topic in public and within the organization had led to hatred, ingratitude and information that was harmful to them among the young people.

Wandervogel, German Association for Youth Hikes (1907–1911 / 13)

1907 joined the entire Jena from local branch of the AWV, as the National Board the request by abstinence from alcohol and nicotine dismissed on the rides. The head of this local group, the engineer and teacher Ferdinand Vetter, had made a corresponding application on January 3, 1907. Together with the Marburg student Wilhelm Erhardt, he founded the Wandervogel, the German Association for Youth Hikes (DB), on January 20th .

Initially, the DB had only 42 "registered", that is, students who were registered in the lists of the Wandervogel. At the end of the year it already comprised 16 local groups (approx. 170 registered). At the first Bundestag of the DB from April 6th to 8th, the teacher Kurt Haehnel was elected federal director and cousin treasurer. Many members of other Wandervogel clubs joined the DB, including Ludwig Gurlitt, Frank Fischer, Hans Lißner and Hans Breuer. Breuer was elected federal director in 1909. While he finished his medical studies in Heidelberg with the grade “summa cum laude”, he and his friend Lißner advanced to become the new spiritual leader of the entire movement. Among other things, he published the “ Zupfgeigenhansl ”, a collection of folk songs that he had probably put together from the holdings of the Heidelberg University Library and from the submissions of committed migrating birds.

The program of the DB differed in many respects from the other groups. She followed a strict rule of abstinence and advocated mixed hiking for boys and girls. Furthermore, she pursued the wish to extend hiking to all “stands”. Due to the strong decentralization of the DB in favor of the individual local groups, it also differed significantly from the other groups structurally. The local groups had the right to self-determination and self-administration within the framework of the federal statutes. Finally, he set himself the goal of restoring the unity of the entire movement. At the end of 1911, the DB had 8,138 registered students in 210 local groups.

The young wanderer bird (1910-1916)

A second large spin-off from the AWV took place at the end of November 1910. Under the leadership of Wilhelm Jansen and Willie Jahn , the Hamburg group disbanded and founded the Jung-Wandervogel (see above). It arose out of a discussion about the influence of the elderly and their intrusion into the "world of wandering birds". With the motto "Away with the senior teachers!" One broke away from the "youthful" AWV, which seemed to be dominated by teachers. Like the DB, the JWV had a federal structure. Local groups could "not join the league directly" but had to belong to a circle. Furthermore, the JWV tried successfully to keep the local groups under 40 "registered". The JWV organized 3,700 students in 112 local groups, which corresponded to an average local group size of 33 students.

A common alliance in the pre-war years, the “Wandervogel e. V. "

Based on an initiative of the DB under Hans Lißner and Hans Breuer, the “Sachsenburger Whitsun Conference” took place from May 14th to 16th, 1910, in which representatives of the AWV and Steglitzer eV also took part. On this, Breuer called for the union of the migratory bird federations. At the Steglitzer eV, the upcoming meeting triggered a crisis between the board and the leadership team, as the board was rather skeptical about an association. Albrecht resigned from his offices as chairman and treasurer; Conradin Brinkmann was his successor.

The executive board of the AWV had also taken a negative attitude towards the unification efforts and knew a large part of the leadership behind them. Both clubs, both the AWV and the Steglitzer eV, feared that the DB would collect them. Nevertheless, around 500 migratory birds attended the meeting, including 100 guides. From this group, seven representatives were elected to a committee that was supposed to push ahead with the unification efforts. On January 8, 1911, the Association of German Wandering Birds (VDW) was founded, an interest group consisting of the two largest groups AWV and DB, which joined the Steglitzer eV in March of the year, along with other groups. Many DB and AWV local groups formed unauthorized local groups, even if no agreements on the content of girls' hikes, the question of abstinence and the extension of the groups to elementary school students were reached at a joint Bundestag from April 8 to 10, 1911 in Marburg. The federal authorities were powerless against these alliances.

The founding of the Wandervogel e. V., Association for German Youth Hiking (Wandervogel eV) in June 1912. The then federal manager of the DB, König, drafted a statute and had it entered in the register of associations before the contradiction of the AWV could be taken into account. As a result, the AWV never officially joined the Wandervogel eV, although two thirds of the local groups had joined them on their own initiative. The JWV also remained independent of the great Unification League, not least because of the differences on the adult issue. In contrast, the Steglitzer eV was completely absorbed into the new federation after a dissolution resolution on December 29, 1912. The DB followed on January 5, 1913 and the Association of German Wandering Birds in February 1913. With that, the largest number of migrating birds had joined together in the Bund Wandervogel eV. Its chairman became on September 21, 1913 the school principal Edmund Neuendorff .

Change and Loss of Meaning: From the Meissner Meeting in 1913 to the Present

National meeting of the Nerother Wandervogel at Stahleck Castle (Pentecost 1958)

The Wandervogel eV did not officially appear at the First Freideutschen Jugendtag on October 11th and 12th, 1913 on the Hoher Meißner near Kassel , although it had invited and many representatives of the Federation took part in the meeting. Officially, there was a wait-and-see attitude towards the Free German youth movement and criticized the influence of the reformers and leaders on this movement.

In an independent counter-event of the organized youth, this meeting set itself apart from the hurray-patriotic events of the empire for the centenary of the Battle of Leipzig . A specific youthful ideal was expressed with the Meißner formula developed by those involved in preliminary consultations .

Especially during and after the First World War, members of the Wandervogel movement and boy scouts were regrouped and mixed up. This resulted in the Bündische Jugend in a second phase of the youth movement . In addition to the actual Wandervogel focus, the trips , the experience of nature and a romantically transfigured return to a folk culture that was perceived as originally, the Bündische Jugend was increasingly involved in social and political engagement.

In a 1928 contribution to the migrant bird culture, the educator Erich Less also outlined features of a change in the external appearance of the groups that went on tour:

“Much of what seemed to be 'proper' for all time has changed gradually and imperceptibly for many, the youth hostel has replaced the hay store and tent, the clothes have gone from randomly romantic colorfulness through all sorts of style experiments to objective simplicity peculiarly dissolved form of typing - the widely spread out group [...], reminiscent of the migration of wild birds from a distance and a strange intertwining of defiant individualism and self-evident bondage - is replaced by under the influence of the scouts, but probably out of deeper necessities the closed, marching group with the pennant carried ahead. "

Between 1933 and 1935 the remaining wandering bird federations, as well as the other groups of the Bündische Jugend and the Jungenschaftsgruppen, were banned, suppressed and transferred to the Hitler Youth by the National Socialists ( Gleichschaltung ).

After the Second World War, many of these groups emerged anew; some still exist today. The radiating importance of the Wandervogel movement before the First World War was and is not granted to them. Larger still active groups are the Nerother Wandervogel and the Zugvogel - German driving association with several hundred members each.

Wandering bird in Austria

History of the Austrian wandering bird

The Austrian Wandervogel (ÖWV) was founded in 1911 by the student Hans Mautschka (1888–1914), who had connections to the German Wandervogel. 41 students from Bohemia and Vienna followed his call to the founding meeting of the ÖWV. The official, legally valid assembly took place on June 30, 1911 in Vienna under the name: "Österreichischer Wandervogel, Bund für Deutschen Jugendwandern". The silver griffin on a blue background , which is still used today, became the federal symbol. The ÖWV soon became very popular; it was divided into local groups, not only in German Austria , but also in other parts of the Habsburg monarchy, especially in Bohemia .

The program of the ÖWV was based to a large extent on the rejection of traditional bourgeois values ​​in the late monarchy. The migratory birds wanted their life to be simple, healthy and nature-related, to dress outside of social conventions and to be free from addictive substances. The consumption of alcohol, nicotine and other drugs has always been frowned upon in the ÖWV. They wanted to find their cultural roots in hiking, in singing together, in literature, in folk song and dance and often in amateur play. Interest and openness towards other cultures found their expression in songs and in trips abroad.

However, the ÖWV followed the main political currents that prevailed before the First World War and accordingly oriented itself towards German nationality and anti-Semitism. Any party political ties were rejected. The ÖWV was banned from 1936 to 1937 because Austrofascism demanded a clear commitment to the party line. On March 12, 1938 , the ÖWV was dissolved again by the Reich Youth Leadership; one last parade in Vienna was attacked by the Hitler Youth.

In 1947 the ÖWV was officially re-established as a registered association. While the old German-national thought patterns often continued to have an effect among the members of the interwar period, in 1953 some youth groups of the new generation formed the Junge Bund in the ÖWV, where the German-national orientation became more and more a marginal phenomenon.

In the course of the 1960s there was an increasing number of open ideological disputes between representatives of the older generation and active young members. Many young migratory birds were under the influence of the 1968 movement and attached importance to a clear demarcation and distancing from any right-wing relics.

In 1969 the Austrian Wandervogel organized the Europolislager on Michelberg north of Vienna, in which youth groups from many European countries took part. In the decades that followed, many members became involved in the environmental movement, the anti-nuclear movement and the peace movement. Group-internal trips to the demonstrations against the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant (1979) and the construction of the hydropower plant in the Reichraminger Hintergebirge (1984), the occupation of the Hainburger Au (December 1984) and against the Wackersdorf reprocessing plant (1986) took place.

In the course of the preparation for the 100th anniversary there were again arguments and discussions about the past. In addition to the revision of the guidelines, statutes and terminology in 2011, the Kefermarkt Declaration, a description and discussion of the 100-year history, was drawn up across generations.

Organization and activities

The ÖWV is divided into three groups, of which the “Junge Wandervogel” forms the active core area. There is also the "family circle" and the "singing and hiking circle" of the older generations. The "Junge Wandervogel" consists of around 80 active members aged 8 to 26 who organize themselves in regional girls, boys or mixed groups across Austria. Just as the groups are led by their peers, the organization of camps, Austria-wide campaigns and trips abroad is taken on by the members (without the help of adults). In this way, the young people learn to take responsibility, to get actively involved and to implement their ideas and concepts that have no place in everyday life. Just as important as the independence and the idiosyncrasies of each person is life in and with the community in the WV, in which one also has close contact with other age groups.

Living together is based on the following interests and ideas (according to the Meißner formula of 1913):

  • Be independent, think independently and take responsibility for yourself and others
  • actively experience the environment and respect and protect nature
  • be religiously and politically independent as a community
  • spend free time without nicotine, alcohol or other drugs
  • Set a counterpoint to the general consumer frenzy through a simple and cheap lifestyle
  • Perceive each member in their uniqueness, regardless of age and gender, and allow them to participate equally in decision-making processes.

To what extent each individual implements this in his or her private life is up to him and her.

In addition to approximately quarterly Austrian camps, there are group-internal hikes, trips and meetings, as well as folk dance festivals, music weeks, sailing trips and every three years a major trip abroad lasting several weeks. Camp and travel life is as simple and nature-related as possible. People sleep in the open air and in kohten and yurts; Cooking is done on an open fire.

Wandering bird in Switzerland

The wandering bird in Switzerland was named “Wandervogel. Swiss Confederation for Alcohol-Free Youth Hikes ”, which before 1918 was most widespread with 1,500 members. The movement was formally dissolved in 1955. Fritz Baumann was Federal Chairman of the Wandervogel from 1919 to 1921 . He is also the author of a story of the migratory bird in Switzerland. The archive of the wandering bird is located in the Swiss Social Archives in Zurich.

History of the impact of the wandering bird

Already at a very early point in time, in 1912, Hans Blüher wrote under the title “Wandervogel. History of a Youth Movement ”presented a first balance sheet of the Wandervogel movement with strong personal accents, in which not only the“ rise ”but also the“ decline ”of the movement was discussed. The First World War actually meant a turning point towards something new for the Wandervogel movement.

A historical retrospective and a programmatic outlook in one is to be understood as what the old hiker Ernst Buske wrote in 1920 during the transition phase of the youth movement from the Wandervogel to the Bundische era. Buske, who later headed the most important youth association of the Weimar period in terms of membership as federal leader of the German Freischar , saw in the Wandervogel above all a valuable link between the individual and his natural and social environment:

“Who year in, year out, Sunday after Sunday and also for several weeks during the holidays out of unnatural force, out of haste and greed of the life-killing city gears, has been driven out into the ever-young, tension-releasing nature, who through the mysterious weaving of a summer morning in the steep forest dome Whoever wandered over blooming heather at deadly silent noon through shimmering sun dusts, who saw the sun sink on a towering mountain heights or on the rushing sea or on silent snow heap, who looked up from the dull walls of dilapidated castles to the star-studded night sky, who, when the midsummer fire gradually faded away , saw the early red rise above the mountains - whoever feels himself to be part of nature and nature as part of himself is no longer rootless like the city dweller, his roots sink deep into the land he is wandering through, and he embraces the homeland with all his love. - But not only the country, also its inhabitants and their kind are life and experience for the hiker. Whoever finds a simple night's camp today with the farmer, tomorrow with the village craftsman, the day after tomorrow with the forester, teacher or pastor, who sits here at the stove today and lets the friendly grandmother tell you about old legends and customs and wonderful human fates, who tomorrow with the village youth The sprawling village linden sings the old folk songs or swings in funny dance, whoever goes to the field with the farmer the day after tomorrow and lends a hand in urgent work - whoever meets people with a friendly look and with a helping hand, they are not strangers. And from understanding people, their nature and work comes respect and love, comes the deep feeling of being part, the awareness of a supernatural context in which we are all embraced. "

In the seclusion among the initiated, the wandering bird had developed its customs, emphasizes Barth. But then they were copied by the entire youth work; almost all of the world was now on the move. The resulting need for organization gave adults more and more opportunities to influence movement. "This is how parties began to set up youth departments according to the motto 'He who has the youth has the future'".

Der Zupfgeigenhansl (Ed. Hans Breuer ), one of the most influential and widespread German folk song books, was created in 1909 as part of the Wandervogel movement . The youth hostel organization that spans the world today and reform pedagogy have to a large extent their roots in the migratory bird movement. A student offshoot of the Wandervogel movement is the German Guild, founded in 1923 ( see also : Student Association ).

The Wandervogel drew criticism from the contemporary public in the context of an affair with a homosexual background, the focus of which was Prince Philipp zu Eulenburg , a friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Because in the Wandervogel, especially according to Hans Blüher's testimony, there were no homoerotic tendencies more precisely determinable extent, which have now been scandalized. Those responsible for Wandervogel were at times exposed to diatribes and were even referred to as the “ pederast club ”. After vehement general distancing from this accusation on the part of most Wandervogel guides and members, the discussion about it finally ebbed.

In the commemorative volume Die Blaue Blume des Wandervogel , the writer Werner Helwig, as a contemporary witness and prominent member of the Nerother Wandervogel, defended the movement against the accusation of having pioneered National Socialism by stating for the time of the Weimar Republic : "Deviations after extreme- The right did not appear more often than the extreme left. ”Where individuals tried to get involved in party politics, they were usually sidelined very quickly. National Socialism, on the other hand, absorbed everything “that had the character of movement. […] The carriers of the adopted movement were exterminated before they could act as ferments. The forms they had brought with them remained, as it were, meaningless ... “Helwig also saw the effect of what the Wandervogel had set in motion, mainly in what he conveyed and meant to members and successors:

“The youth movement promoted asceticism, loved simple ways of life, cultivated the spirit of personal responsibility, helped open up the world with the simplest means. Avoided the hotels, in a good period of their later phase even despised the self-made youth hostels, valued toughening, difficult poets, thinkers, worldview revolutionaries and - via the rediscovered folk song - strict musical forms. […] Let us be happy about the fact that the Wandervogel existed. Because who - whenever he was seized by its artistic spell - which of us would like to miss him? "


A memorial plaque for the founding of the Wandervogel can be found at the Steglitz Town Hall , in the Steglitz City Park (in the part of the park between Sedan and Klingsorstraße) there is a memorial stone. Another memorial plaque was set up in Steglitzer Südendstrasse.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Quotation from Werner Helwig: The blue flower of the wandering bird . Heidenheim an der Brenz 1980, p. 28.
  2. ^ Günther Köhler: The Steglitzer Wandervogel 1896–1914 . In: Gerhard Ille, Günther Köhler (eds.): Der Wandervogel - It began in Steglitz , Berlin 1987, p. 55.
  3. Hermann Hoffmann in: Das Nachrichtenblatt des Wandervogel, No. 30 of February 1955, p. 6f.
  4. Hans Blüher: Wandervogel - history of a youth movement. First part: home and rise. 2nd edition Berlin 1912, pp. 106f. Blüher erroneously dated the Bohemian Forest Tour here to 1897.
  5. Ottomar Johannes Dupré: Hans Breuer's life. In: Hans Breuer. Work and life, compiled by Heinz Speiser, Burg Ludwigstein 1977, p. 15.
  6. Hoffmann quoted from: Gerhard Ziemer, Hans Wolf: Wandervogel and Freideutsche Jugend. Bad Godesberg 1961, p. 38f.
  7. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Romanticism. A German affair. Munich 2007, p. 303f.
  8. ^ A b Walter Laqueur : The German youth movement. A historical study. Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, Cologne 1962, p. 28f.
  9. Winfried Mogge: Departure of a youth movement. Wandervogel - myths and facts. In: Sabine Weißler (Ed.): Focus Wandervogel - The Wandervogel in its relationship to the reform movements before the First World War. Marburg 2001, p. 10f.
  10. ^ Georg Korth: Wandervogel 1896–1906. Frankfurt am Main 1967, p. 157.
  11. ^ Idea and Movement  56, 2001, pp. 53/54.
  12. Winfried Mogge: "Ihr Wandervögl in der Luft ..." Finds about the migration of a romantic image and the self-staging of a youth movement. Würzburg 2009, p. 53.
  13. ^ Walter Grünzweig: Walt Whitmann [sic]: the German-language reception as an intercultural phenomenon . Wilhelm Fink, Munich 1991, pp. 126-130.
  14. Hans Blüher : Wandervogel. History of a youth movement. First part: home and rise. 3rd edition, Berlin-Tempelhof 1913, p. 128f.
  15. cf. Köhler 1987, p. 64.
  16. Hans Blüher : Wandervogel. History of a youth movement. First part: home and rise. 3rd edition, Berlin-Tempelhof 1913, pp. 120f.
  17. Werner Kindt (ed.): Documentation of the youth movement. Volume II: The Wandervogelzeit - Sources for the German Youth Movement 1896 to 1919. Düsseldorf 1968, p. 53ff.
  18. cf. Köhler 1987, p. 73
  19. cf. Hans Blüher: Wandervogel - history of a youth movement. Part two: flowering and decline. 2nd edition Berlin 1912, p. 11ff.
  20. ^ "Wandervogel" news bulletin - registered association in Steglitz near Berlin , 1/1904, p. 3.
  21. cf. Kindt 1968, p. 97
  22. cf. Ille / Koehler 1987, pp. 106f.
  23. cf. Kindt 1968, p. 106
  24. Ille / Köhler 1987, p. 87
  25. cf. Kindt 1968, p. 1075
  26. cf. Kindt 1968, p. 107
  27. Geuter 1994, p. 38 ff.
  28. Geuter 1994, p. 38 ff.
  29. Quotation from Geuter 1994, p. 56 f.
  30. cf. Kindt 1968, pp. 143f.
  31. ^ On the program of the DB: Jakob Müller: The youth movement as the main German direction of neo-conservative reform. Zurich 1971, p. 19.
  32. See Ille / Köhler 1987, p. 91f.
  33. Otto Piper quoted from: Ziemer, Gerhard: Jung-Wandervogel - Zur Geschichte . In: ders., Hans Wolf: Wandervogel and Freideutsche Jugend. Bad Godesberg 1961, p. 258.
  34. cf. Kindt 1968, p. 1076
  35. cf. Kindt 1968, p. 100
  36. cf. Kindt 1968, p. 146
  37. Invitation and a. published in: Der Anfang - Zeitschrift der Jugend (5/1913), p. 129ff.
  38. Erich Less: The youth movement and its cultural impact . In: “Geist der Gegenwart”, Stuttgarter Verlagsinstitut GmbH, 1928. Quoted from Werner Kindt (ed.): Documentation of the youth movement , Volume I: Basic writings of the German youth movement . Diederichs, Düsseldorf 1963, p. 546.
  39. ^ Gerhard Seewann : Österr. Youth movement: Austrian youth movement 1900 to 1938. Volume 1. dipa-Verlag, Frankfurt / Main 1971, p. 67.
  40. ^ Heimo Meiche: History and development of the Austrian wandering bird. Housework from pedagogy. Paris Lodron University Salzburg, 1978, p. 52.
  41. ^ Gerhard Ziemer, Hans Wolf (ed.): Wandervogel and Freideutsche youth. Voggenreiter Verlag, Bad Godesberg 1961.
  42. Andreas Gärtner: The Austrian Wandering Bird - History (until 1918) and characterization, taking into account the development in the German Empire and that of the Salzburg branch. Diploma thesis Univ. Salzburg, 1995, p. 103 ff.
  43. Doris Hillebrand: The phenomenon of the wandering bird based on images of life. Diploma thesis Univ. Innsbruck, 2002, p. 127.
  44. Wolfgang Kos (Ed.): The struggle for the city - politics, art and everyday life around 1930. In: Exhibition catalog Wien Museum. Vienna 2010, p. 351f.
  45. ^ Helmut Haberl: Der Junge Bund vol. 85/2
  46. Rainald Grugger et al. a .: Kefermarkt Declaration, 2013 (accessed on March 29, 2015).
  47. Bernhard Kotek: About us. (accessed on March 29, 2015).
  48. Swiss Social Archives Archive Finding Aid, Archive: Wandervogel. Swiss Confederation for Alcohol-Free Youth Hikes , Signature: Ar 19.
  49. ^ Ernst Buske: Youth and People . From the text: Origin and Tasks of the Freideutschen Jugend by Adolf Grabowsky and Walther Koch, Gotha 1920. Quoted by Werner Kindt (ed.): Documentation of the youth movement. Volume I: Basic scripts of the German youth movement. Diederichs, Düsseldorf 1963, pp. 198f.
  50. Reinhard Barth: Youth on the move. The young against old revolt in Germany in the 20th century . Berlin 2006, p. 31.
  51. Hans Blüher: Wandervogel. History of a youth movement. Part two: flowering and decline. 2nd edition Berlin-Tempelhof 1912, p. 112.
  52. Werner Helwig: The blue flower of the wandering bird . Heidenheim an der Brenz 1980, p. 316f.
  53. Werner Helwig: The blue flower of the wandering bird. Heidenheim an der Brenz 1980, p. 317/319.


  • Ulrich Aufmuth: The German Wandervogel movement from a sociological point of view. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1979.
  • Fritz Baumann: The Swiss Wandering Bird. The picture of a youth movement , Aarau 1966.
  • Hans Blüher : Wandervogel. History of a youth movement. Reprint of the 2nd edition from 1913/14. dipa, Frankfurt am Main 1976, ISBN 3-7638-0210-X .
  • Werner Helwig : The blue flower of the wandering bird. Revised new edition. Deutscher Spurbuchverlag, Baunach 1998, ISBN 3-88778-208-9 .
  • Ulrich Herrmann (Ed.): “The new time moves with us ...” - The wandering bird in the German youth movement . Juventa, Weinheim / Munich 2006, ISBN 3-7799-1133-7 .
  • Gerhard Ille, Günter Köhler (Ed.): The Wandering Bird - It all began in Steglitz. Stapp, Berlin 1987.
  • Werner Kindt: Documentation of the youth movement . Volume II: The Wandervogelzeit. Sources for the German youth movement 1896 to 1919. Diederichs, Düsseldorf 1968.
  • Nerohm (Fritz-Martin Schulz): The last migratory birds. 2nd Edition. Deutscher Spurbuchverlag, Baunach 2002, ISBN 3-88778-197-X .
  • Otto Neuloh, Wilhelm Zilius: The migrating birds. An empirical-sociological study of the early German youth movement. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1982.
  • Susanne Rappe-Weber: Wandervogel. In: Historical Lexicon of Bavaria, 2017.
  • Marion EP de Ras: Body, Eros and Female Culture. Girls in the Wandervogel and the Bündische Jugend 1900–1933. Centaurus, Pfaffenweiler 1988, ISBN 3-89085-286-6 .
  • Sabine Weißler: Focus on the Wandervogel. The wandering bird in its relationship to the reform movements before the First World War. Jonas Verlag, Marburg 2001, ISBN 3-89445-290-0 .
  • Gerhard Ziemer, Hans Wolf: Wandervogel and free German youth. Voggenreiter Verlag, Bad Godesberg 1961.
  • Gerhard Ziemer, Hans Wolf: Wandervogel picture atlas. Voggenreiter Verlag, Bad Godesberg 1963.

Web links

Commons : Wandervogel  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Wandervogel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations