Katholischer Studentenverein Arminia Bonn

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Arminia's Gothic RevivalBeer-Cathedral” at Bonn (1900– today)
Arminia's board in 1896/97 - on the very right side Konrad Adenauer
Arminia's Colours

The Katholischer Studentenverein Arminia (Catholic Students Society Arminia) is one of Germany's oldest Catholic male student societies.


Arminia is a student corporation founded on 6 November 1863 at the University of Bonn. The name was chosen in reference to Arminius, the chief of the Cherusci who drove the Romans out of Germany and thus became a symbol of the – not yet unified – fatherland in the 19th century. In 1865 Arminia, among four other Catholic corporations, became the founder of the Kartellverband katholischer deutscher Studentenvereine (KV), Germany's second oldest umbrella organisation of Catholic male student societies.

In accordance with the Roman Catholic faith and teachings, Arminia strictly refuses academic fencing. Its members do not wear couleur. Arminia's motto is Treu, frei! (English: Loyal, straightforward!). Arminia's principles are (Latin) religio, scientia and amicitia.

Because of its history and its large number of prominent members, Arminia is one of the most distinguished student corporations. Like all German student corporations Arminia is much smaller than American fraternities usually are; it has approx. 350 members, including "Aktive" (students) and "Alte Herren" (alumni).

Famous members[edit]

German Chancellors[edit]


A number of members participated in the Widerstand (English: resistance) against Nazi Germany; two of them, Leo Trouet and Benedikt Schmittmann, were arrested and killed.


"Last week Adenauer's college days became a topic of national discussion. Addressing a nostalgic reunion of Alte Herren (old grads) (note: at Arminia's hundredth anniversary celebration), the Chancellor defended Germany's tradition of fraternities, which are widely accused of fostering authoritarianism. Though at 87 Adenauer has seen most if not all of his old fraternity classmates die, he is still a loyal member of Arminia. […] Adenauer is supposed to confine himself to being […] the oldest surviving member of Arminia." (Germany. The Oldest Grad, in: Time Magazine (Atlantic Edition) 82 (1963) No. 4, July 26, 1963, 26-27.)

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