Sonja Eismann

Burschenschaft Hysteria parading in the centre of Vienna, 2018

Photo: Theresa Aigner

It is probably almost impossible for many readers to imagine how bizarre and threatening German and Austrian male student fraternities can be. Their politics typically ranges from nationalistic to extreme right-wing, and men form bonds that last a lifetime and reach into the highest levels of politics, while observing anachronistic rituals and dress codes. The Vienna-based Burschenschaft Hysteria, which is open only to women and claims to be the “ur-fraternity”, recasts the power structures of such associations with spectacular interventions and the demand for a “Golden Matriarchate”. By Sonja Eismann