(14 Nov) Regular Meeting and Presentation of Mr. Wolf Harlfinger about Fraternities in Germany (+GAL)

The weekly regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International took place on 14 October in Hilton Sofia. Our guests were: H.E. Bea ten Tusscher – Ambassador of the Netherlands in Bulgaria; Mrs. Aparna Vinod – Rotary Calicut Beach, Kerala, India; Mrs. Jude Notea – Rotary Club Rishon le Zion Israel; Ms. Alda Ramadanowa – Interact Sliven; Mr. Cris Biemond – Rotary Troyan; Mr. Yordan Dukov.

Mrs. Aparna Vinod’s club is located in Calicut Beach. It is a beach on the Western side of Kozhikode, situated on the Malabar Coast of India. Mrs. Vinod explained that the city was flooded recently and now is almost destroyed. She gave as a gift to our President a small toy – symbol of the strong spirit of the people who live there.

Mrs. Jude Notea – Rotary Club Rishon le Zion Israel also explained about her club and brought a gift from her place, a traditional plate.

H.E. Bea ten Tusscher- Ambassador of the Netherlands in Bulgaria introduced herself and shared her Rotarian experience and her activities in Bulgaria. 

We also welcomed our beloved member Snejana, who has finally recovered from ailments and whom we look forward to see more often.

At the same time our member Ms. Slavena Savkova represented our club at the dinner party of H.E. Zakia El Midaoui, the Ambassador of Morocco in Bulgaria.

Mr. Repouz gave to floor to Ms. Hristova to presented an Award of Rotarian Contribution 2017/2018 by District Governor Mr. Emil Kotsev issued to Mrs. Snejana Doncheva for her work as a Chairman of Rotary Peace Fellowship Committee.

Mr. Repouz reminded the members to register for our Christmas party, which will be on 28 November 2018 at Ranchero Steak House by Bodega, starting at 19:00 o’clock.

The meeting then continued with a presentation on “Fraternities in Germany” by our dear friend and member Mr. Wolf Harlfinger.


First universities in Middle Ages – the education was a monopoly of the churches, the first universities were founded in the 11th century in Italy (Bologona in 1088), first German – speaking university in Prague founded in 1348, other universities followed in 14th century (Vienna, Heidelberg, Cologne, Leipzig)

Within universities, so called „Nationes“ established organizing students from the same region and representing their interests (similar to guildes). They had a strong formal position in the organisation of the university. These „Nationes“ are seen as predecessors of later fraternities.

The Protestant Reformation (1517) and the Thirty Years‘ War (1618 to 1648) ended the history of „Nationes“. Universities were under the control of local sovereigns.

Fraternity life was revived in the 18th and early 19th century in so called  Landsmannschaften“ originally based on origin of the students.

  • „Landsmannschaften“ were seen as potentially revolutionary and were initially forbidden.
  • This required strict rules („Comment“), secrecy and discipline to ensure survival Despite prosecution
  • Unconditional internal support and friendship
  • Defense against external threat and insult („unbedingte Satisfaktion“ duels)
  • Democratic decision-making and obedience
  • Own signs and symbols
  • Own language and songs
  • Spark of today‘s fraternity life


  • First two justify– 1st year as freshman („Fuchs“) and 2nd year as young boy („Bursch“)
  • Living together in the house
  • Strict rules and compulsory participation in activities
  • Fencing exercise
  • Joint meals
  • Convent
  • Organisation of lectures, Kneipen, Balls
  • Weekend activities
  • 4 fencing encounters with a member of another fraternity
  • The active members are solely responsible for all matters concerning internal and external matters of the Corps.

After the official part was closed and the fellowship to continued in the lobby bar of the hotel.


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We meet on Wednesday at 18:45 in
Hilton Sofia, 1 Bulgaria Blvd., Sofia.

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Upcoming Events

  1. (Dec 12) Regular Meeting

    December 12 @ 18:45 - 21:00
  2. (Dec 19) Last Meeting for the Year at the “German Christmas Market”

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