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Old 09-09-2007, 05:02 AM
VictoriaGermany VictoriaGermany is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 20
Wow, so many replies over night I never imagined you all would be so interested in German fraternities/sororities. Okay, here we go with further information

Originally Posted by AKA_Monet View Post
Thanks for your wonderful history lesson. You or someone in your organizations should write a brief ezine, or book about it. Seriously!
I am quite sure there are a lot of books about this topic. I will try to find out if some are available in English

Originally Posted by AKA_Monet View Post
It sounds like it is a Germanic heritage and cultural expression mechanism for Fraternities and Sororities.

SOME American fraternities and sororities that are closely associated with colleges and universities are based on various heritages and cultures. While there are some "stereotypes" that American fraternities and sororities have as "American historical pursuits and traditions" that we all get labeled as having, such as those seen "Animal House", "ABC GREEK" and "Stomp the Yard"; all are about doing wonderful things for individual members and the community.
Well, I am quite sure that the historical roots of the American fraternity/sorority system comes from Europe. But it is obvious that both models (the European and the American) developed completely different.
There are huge stereotypes about German fraternities and sororities as well: Forcing members to drink alcohol, being nazis etc.. Of course there are some members of fraternities who are politically incorrect and unfortunately their behaviour in public gives all of us a bad reputation. As our fraternity have a longer history than the sororities, different types of fraternities do exist:

The "Corps" are the oldest type of fraternity (some are over 200 years old). Academic fencing (they use sharp weapons and yes, you can get hurt) is an obligation for their members and one major principle is "tolerance". Therefore they do accept Non-German members as well.

The "Landsmannschaften" were historically groups of man from the same geographic area/region. Their members as well have to practise academic fencing.

The "Burschenschaften" are politically oriented. The developed in the first half of the 19th century and were fighting for a free nation. They were strongly involved in the "Wartburgfest" and the "Hambacher Fest". Sorry, I need to fresh up my history knowledge before I can go in detail.
Today, the "Burschenschaften" are more conservative and unfortunately some are very "German oriented". Yes, I guess some of them are nazis... Unfortunately these people give all fraternities/sororities a bad reputation.

The "Turnerschaften" were impressed by "Turnvater Jahn" and therefore do a lot of sports. They also practise the academic fencing, but not in every "Turnerschaft" it is an obligation.

The last major type of fraternities are the religious (mainly catholic) oriented fraternities. They refuse any kind of duel and therefore do not practise academic fencing.

By the way: All sororities in Germany are non-politically oriented, non-religious and they do not practise academic fencing.

I once read a newspaper article written by an American student in Germany who wrote about the tradition of academic fencing. I will try to find it and put the link in here
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