With cap and racket

- Yg. 1921, No. 4 -

When I came to college in the fall of 1906, I joined a color-bearing beating bond and soon became one of her most enthusiastic members. Not blindly enthusiastic: I soon saw some shortcomings, above all, that the spiritual life in the Federation was not quite up to par. On the whole, however, there was a healthy, efficient life. We were 20 to 30 "active", ie younger semesters, and a dozen or more "inactive" who more or less violently pushed for their studies; that was the right number: not so much that not everyone knew each other exactly or that special efforts were possible, but not so little that the individual had too much work for the Federation and no opportunity to find friends. Among the 40 was a large number of talented people, and at the top was an 3. Semester, which had already been in practical life and was half a dozen years older than the rest of us. The composition was good, and the covenant strived upward, pursuing its goals skillfully and with perseverance. One wore "Kulör", ie cap and band, so one had to hold oneself in suit and appearance; we did that without us fatzken. And "determination was fought", so it was all right that on the daily "floor" one regularly sweated his shirt and beat each other green and blue; the successes on scale itself made us proud, without us unnecessarily "stalking", ie, having sought clashes. Most of us did not miss our studies, although we not only fought, but also rode, "spuzten," that is, made exits, wandered and drank. Breeding and freedom were connected happily, I owe much to my covenant and have done all sorts of things for him.

From 1910 onwards - you can state it for the year - there were offspring who brought a different spirit to all connections. We had the popular Swabian spirit: sincere, coarse, strong in love and hate, and enthusiastic about our ideals; the federal motto “friendship, honor, fatherland” was honestly the highest for us. From 1910 on, things changed, now came the nerds who thought about exams and careers from day one, the correct ones and patents, for whom creases and fashionable ties and social polish were the highest, and who instead of the men’s drink ran after women. The boys no longer or seldom came to the Bund because of “friendship, honor, fatherland”, but because something was socially required and because one got “relationships” for later. The "old men" became more and more important for the lives of the young; they had built a house for Aktivitas, and the latter began to develop into a club. There were semesters when things were better again; On the whole, no one who experienced these years in Tübingen will fail to recognize the change that began in 1910.

The war came. The national - with which I had been quite in agreement - had always played a strong role in all connections (party-politically my connection had not been burdened). So the enthusiasm was great, and most of them did well. And in the field you felt even more connected, often spent hours running or ridden to meet a federal brother. And the families of the old gentlemen sent love gifts from all over the place with a piece of tricolor ribbon, and many fell and were buried with the ribbon around their breasts. It was true, beautiful friendship, loyalty was not an empty delusion among federal brothers. Nobody can forget that, who was there.

And yet the war opened my eyes and made my criticism of the student nature grow. When he was promoted to officer, the following questions were asked: does he have connections, is he an academic, does he have the maturity test, the one-year-old, then only finally came the only question that mattered: is he a good soldier. That was bad in peace and became shameless in war. Everyone who was outside and was in the ditch has met an astonishing number of people among the “crew”, ie the non-annuals, who could not be surpassed by anyone in terms of judgment, character, or military ability. Even if they had been in the field for 30 months they could not become officers - it was better to promote the windiest, youngest one-year-olds; the few exceptions, where crew airmen got the shoulder pieces, remained real exceptions; there won't be three in Württemberg. That was the one thing I saw. I had never been so stupid as to simply regard the "better" people as the most capable people, or to doubt that among the "people" there would be equally capable; but that "better" and efficient, and workers and less efficient, would match so little, that I had not known. All privileges of class, I realized in Graben, would therefore have to disappear in the future, even if they were apparently harmless. The student had to stop fencing determination and wearing a cap and ribbon outside the pub. I applied for that to my federation in 1915 and 1916, and when I failed to get through, 17 and 18 at least sought reforms. I was able to achieve a little, everything that is essential has remained.

Cap and thugs were not allowed to stay, because they are status privileges and we had to merge into a people. And there was another reason that was no less important. The war had created entirely new political, economic and cultural conditions, affirming to the humanities their backwardness, inability, alienation from the world, and placing new ones of the highest importance in life to the unresolved and unrecognized old tasks. There was no new spirit to be expected of the university professors, the hope was only for the academic youth. If she recognized her task and took it seriously, she could no longer have the money and the desire for appearances and no time for fencing (which could be justified as an antidote to drinking, couching, physical and mental retouching and also against German formlessness) , If the son of the muses did not want to become a filister, he had to remain and become popular, and had to strive and seek. The war, whether won or lost, had shattered all expert opinions, all "venerable" traditions, and high convictions; The people and the state had to be put on a completely new basis. For this I also hoped for the academic youth. I have buried the hope. The young gentlemen with cap and bat have overslept four and a half years of greatest experience, and have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. They see their task in threshing national phrases and providing support for the old enemy against the internal enemy; they defend old external box privileges, cultivate old ones and seek new "relationships". The student fraternities once had ideals; they have started 1910 to become entertainment centers and utilities; they no longer have a right to exist today. Student comes from studere = striving to seek with earnestness and zeal. Today's students believe they have found everything; they can not redeem their people, whose native leaders they boast of being - the people must take care of redeeming students from their masters for whom they pay dear money and who continue to make science a whore - according to the Model of their professors, who have "scientifically determined" in the war that humans can live in Germany from what he got on German food cards.

I like to be happy with people who I know are serious where necessary; I also like to do stupid things with reasonably smart people. So I was a student and felt comfortable.

When the state machine was retracted and the class domination of "ownership and education" secured, it remained hidden how inadequate most of the young academics were. Today the individual is self-reliant, today the academician should seek, strive, doubt the "self-evident", should have the courage to think for himself, to confess to the known upright - then he would have to be in sharp contrast to " Society ", because then he would have to step on the side of the people and the popular, powerful and natural. Instead, the young men parading with cap and racket, are patent where we have 400 billion debts, prove physical courage (rather: domination), where time needs moral courage, are "faithful to the fathers of holy need" where all the foundations have changed.

The young gentleman with cap and bat are the sons of the well-to-do bourgeoisie. The apple does not fall far from the stem. Unsocial, ill-educated parents have children who, in times of grave need, only think of themselves, swear eternally stagnant and are peaceably vain. The ax is laid to the root of this bourgeoisie.

1921, 4 Karl Hammer