The Cult of the Duel
Giving Satisfaction at the University of Vienna and in the Joint Army, 1867-1914
In the Habsburg Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, dueling was a crucial way for university-educated men, as well as Joint Army officers, to assert the value of their own honor. It was a terrible insult when, in 1896, German-nationalist university dueling fraternities (Burschenschaften) in Germany and Austria passed the Waidhofen Resolution, officially declaring Jewish men unable to give satisfaction in a duel and therefore incapable of possessing honor. This article argues that the passage of the Waidhofen Resolution was not an isolated incident of bigotry but an evolution of the German-nationalism of the Burschenschaften as they increasingly valued an exclusionary definition of what it meant to be “racially German,” and that the Burschenschaften’s definition of honor fought against the more inclusive (and pragmatically self-serving) definition of honor espoused by the army.
Copyright (c) 2020 Sophie Hammond
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
The author retains their copyright in their work and licenses the work for distribution under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial license.