Student Societies

Discussions on all aspects of Imperial Germany not covered in the other sections.
joerookery
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Student Societies

Post by joerookery » 16 Sep 2006 03:06


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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 16 Sep 2006 13:19

An excellent read, Joe. Good work!
Cheers
Chris

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Post by nondescript handle » 16 Sep 2006 18:33

[...]40 courses are considered the norm for completion of the Mensur, 15 courses for a Fox. I do not know what constituted a course[....]
A "course" (Gang) is a predefined amount of strikes. Always under ten and usually around four for a "required" Mensur (Pflichtmensur).

Regards
Mark

joerookery
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Post by joerookery » 17 Sep 2006 01:23

Thanks Mark!

I used your sentence in the article to replace my ignorance. Obviously you are aware of many of the nuances of these groups. Do you think the article missed the mark? Is it even remotely close? It is really foreign to me as an American. This entire subject has been a source of strength for the Sonderweg historians.

Michael Jonas
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Post by Michael Jonas » 18 Sep 2006 09:32

joerookery wrote:Thanks Mark!

I used your sentence in the article to replace my ignorance. Obviously you are aware of many of the nuances of these groups. Do you think the article missed the mark? Is it even remotely close? It is really foreign to me as an American. This entire subject has been a source of strength for the Sonderweg historians.
Hi joerookery,

please email me your questions to: m.jonas@online.de.
But my writing in English is bad.

I'm a member in a "Corps" named "Corps Cheruscia" Berlin in the WSC "Weinheimer Senioren Convent" , one of the German wide umbrella organisations for duty Mensur.
I have fought 6 "Mensuren" from 1991 to 1994, without a "Schmiss" in my face, but the fights were hard on the other side - yeah, I was the winner in 3 fights, I lost 1 fight and 2 fights ended in a draw. I can describe every aspect of the student "Mensur".

a little mistake:
your picture "Fencing" is not a fencing.
Its a "Landesvater- Stechen" - take your student cap and hold it, that your best friend in the Corps can transfixing your cap with his "Schläger", our swords. You can do the same thing with his cap. Than clasp his hand to pledge troth.
This is a old ritual to pledge troth to the leader of the German countries in the middle age, because the students at the universities were associated in country groups till the end of 1815/ 1830. After the "Landesvater" you can request your girlfriend to embroider the slit in the cap with silver or gold yarn.
A Landesvater is a special event all 5 years.

Please note that every town has a special fight rule. You have to learn the typical town rule to fight in this town.
Or the opponent have to learn my rule in Berlin to fight with me.
We are hard fighters in the Corps Cheruscia, hard rules, strict against "Mucken", but there are other towns with soft rules.
And there is a big change in this generation - only a few young business man from a modern university are prepared to fight after the old rules today.
The German fencing is dying - I'm a member of the last hard generation - 10 years in the future there is only beer in the student societies. I see this - its a shame.

Greetings
Michael

joerookery
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Post by joerookery » 19 Sep 2006 00:15

Michael thanks for your kind response!

I posted a in entirety at the end of the article. Your participation in the duel is fascinating to me as an American thank you.
VR/Joe

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Post by nondescript handle » 19 Sep 2006 01:27

joerookery wrote:Thanks Mark!

I used your sentence in the article to replace my ignorance. Obviously you are aware of many of the nuances of these groups. Do you think the article missed the mark? Is it even remotely close? It is really foreign to me as an American. This entire subject has been a source of strength for the Sonderweg historians.
Hi Joseph,

I'm far from being an expert on German student fraternities during the second empire. And I see that you've already had some first hand feedback.

On one hand I tend to agree with the "former Fox Major": you show how many fraternities existed, but not their diversity. Turnerschaften (influenced by Friedrich Jahn and promoting athletics), Sängerschaften (singing as a choir), "academic hunting societies", female sororities, Jewish and Zionist fraternities and so on.
All could be "non fencing", "voluntarily fencing" or "compulsory fencing", "without Colours", "with Colours" or "Colour wearing", "moderate" (= no inevitable drinking) or not, "tolerant" (= apolitical) or not, etc.
But on the other hand it's probably not possible to cram all that into such a short overview.

I was surprised that "visual aspects" ("Colours" including the caps and ribbons, the Zirkel/monograms, coat of arms, and so forth) played such a small role, as your starting point were period pictures. But I guess the exotic lure of sharp steel was even stronger than the collectors instinct to create a database of the colours :-)

Regards
Mark

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Post by Trench Digger » 02 Feb 2007 01:23

Dear Mr. Jonas:
Is it true that the scars from fencing in schools was a more of a private school honor? Or, I've also read they were personal dueling marks. Were they referred to as 'menschen' scars? Please excuse any misunderstandings of either the German or the practice. I've only read about it as asides in old biographies or as vague descriptions in literature from the between Wars period. And, as Joerookery pointed out, Americans don't usually have much exposure to the etiquette of fencing !

Regards,
Kelly (Hook 'em Horns!)

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Post by Frojo » 18 Apr 2007 21:00

I found your article really interesting, so thanks.
I'm interested in German universities in the inter-war years. I assume these kind of fraternities would still have been around then? And would all students have been a member of one?

joerookery
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Post by joerookery » 19 Apr 2007 02:34

Hi,

These societies were still around and in fact are still around today albeit in a much reduced number. One of the commentators at the end talked about his present-day fraternity. Not all students were members. There were different kinds of societies: some dueling, some not. It was a very complex system with a great many organizations that are not all understood today. By the way I recently added a bunch of pictures -- photographs -- these are actually from the interwar years.

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Re: Student Societies

Post by Gustav_SC » 16 Jul 2008 18:16

http://www.jonathan-green.com/articles/ ... rt_a03.htm

I know I'm bringing back an old thread, but I found this article very interesting and thought it should be posted here.

Honor and discipline are two of the most important values a man can have.

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Ranke
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Re: Student Societies

Post by Ranke » 27 Jul 2008 01:19

Gustav,
Meant to respond earlier but forgot. There are a few good books on students, dueling, and honour in Imperial Germany.

Ute Frevert, Men of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel.
Kevin McAleer, Dueling: The Cult of Honor in Fin-de-Siecle Germany.

Heinrich Mann's classic novel, Man of Straw, is also worth reading.

Konrad H. Jarausch, Students, society, and politics in imperial Germany : the rise of academic illiberalism.
Keith H Pickus, Constructing modern identities : Jewish university students in Germany, 1815-1914.

Gustav_SC
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Re: Student Societies

Post by Gustav_SC » 28 Jul 2008 05:23

Thanks. Mann's novel in particular sounds interesting and I will read it.

Ken S.
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Re: Student Societies

Post by Ken S. » 15 Nov 2008 03:15

There's a novel entitled "Karl Heinrich" by Wilhelm Meyer-Foerster that deals with the subject of student life in Heidelberg during the 1870s (if I recall correctly). Apparently it was quite popular in its time (turn of the century) and the author also based a play on the story. The book was published by an American publishing company c. 1904 with numerous footnotes and an extensive glossary.

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