The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State

No. 2363

Sir: With reference to various previous despatches respecting the political position of the student corporations in Germany, I have the honor to report that the Kösener Senioren Convent, the graduate body of the student corps, announced its voluntary dissolution on October 1.

This development is of considerable significance at the present time as it denotes in effect a breaking-up of the extraordinary power and influence enjoyed by the more exclusive student corps in pre-Nazi Germany, and the passing of an association which included many high personages in officialdom and public life. Relying upon its historical prestige the Kösener S. C., as it is called, was one of the few organizations which until now succeeded in resisting the encroachments of National Socialism. More recently, however, it has been under fire from the Party, its constant refusal to expel such Jewish and half-Jewish members as it had, having brought upon it a ban by Staff Chief Lutze of the S. A. (see Embassy’s despatch No. 2350 of September 30, 193538). There can be little doubt that its ultimate dissolution was forced by official pressure following the withdrawal of support by Dr. Lammers, head of the Reich Chancery and prominent former corps leader.

The Party press declares that it is not yet certain whether this step will be followed by the dissolution of the undergraduate corps, but that they are to be the next object of attack is made abundantly clear by recent speeches and articles.…

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Respectfully yours,

William E. Dodd
  1. Not printed.