My Student Fraternity
During my time in Germany I was a student in Cologne and needed somewhere to live very quickly and my friend who was a non-Christian from Mongolia pushed a flyer into my hand claiming he needed a room somewhere as well but that this particular one was for a Baptised Male Student. It was a room for 150 euros a month in the best part of town not far from the hospital just off the Südstadtring on the number 9 to Sülz at Lindenthaler / Gürtel.
So I went down there and they showed me some pictures of what they did and it just looked like some public school fancy dress and it was a very plush interior and a wonderfully well built accommodation for students. What I discovered was really quite extraordinary. They were part of the movement that formed the German state; in other words traditional Prussian students that believed firmly within upholding the German traditions going back centuries.
They were a bit like the German Bulla and I was taken on as a trial member immediately and allowed to move in for a semester as a so called Fox (or half-member).
Basically it was a bit like being Beethoven at college. I'd inadvertently fallen in with some of Konrad Adenauer's close personal friends and family the first Bundeskanzler of Post War Germany.
They love to sing and if you are lucky you might meet your Marlene Dietrich!
Das Kartellverband (Cartel Association KV)
The KV was set up in rebellion to some of the other youth movement associations in the latter part of the nineteenth century primarily for Catholic Students who did not wish to take part in student fencing or some more of the extreme elements of student life. We were nichtschlagend which means we never practise student fencing under any circumstances and nicht farbentragend which means that we don't normally carry bands with the frat colours on.
My fraternity itself was the KSTV Rheinpfalz zu Köln it's a famous one for having been the fraternity of two of Adenauer's sons Konrad Jr and Max Adenauer. They had died before I was a member but on founders day 2006 I did get to meet the wife of one of them and she took us on a guided tour of Adenauer's former home in Bonn and gave us all the inside information on being a member of the Adenauer family. The KV was also Adenauer's masonic association as well at the turn of the 20th century because he was about 70 when he came to power having been the mayor of Cologne for much of his life before being deposed for not attending a Nazi rally and losing his first wife to cancer. His second wife was as good as murdered by the gestapo.
Adenauer was credited with the formation of the EU and being the creator of Germany's post-war economic miracle. We also had events that were organised by us every semester including traditional German student events called Kneipen and Komersen during which, some of us dressed up in traditional German student costume and we made speeches and sang traditional German student songs. They really are funny sometimes. This is a pretty good idea of what it's all about. It's really good fun actually.
The Beethoven song is an early version of a famous song Beethoven wrote early on.