What is camaraderie

Youth cultures in Germany

Friendship is a deeply individual and personal matter. Not so the "camaraderie". It depends on the situation and is mostly reserved for men only. Women are only short-term disruptive factors.

Skateboarding with friends: young people skaters in Kabul, Afghanistan. (& copy AP)

Not so the "camaraderie". It depends on the situation and is mostly reserved for men only. Women are only short-term disruptive factors. "If there is trouble, it's because of a woman / Someone pulls her through, the other drinks himself blue / After that we are reunited with beer", philosophizes the Hessian right-wing rock band Märtyrer in their song "Women, Beer and Tattooing" (1991).

The term "comrade" - derived from the Italian camerata - chamber companion - comes from the soldiery. A "comradeship" is a shared destiny of men who feel threatened. "A group of people as a group, not as a sum of individuals, standing under threat to their existence, defends their existence against the elements, the need, the power, the violence, the meanness. Only this explains that the comradeship mutual assistance even if it endangers or harms the helper, demands that the comrades defend them “as if it were a piece of me.” Comradeship is certainly less emotionally based than friendship, but it arises from much more elementary motivations clearly when one observes how even higher values ​​of individual morality (e.g. truth) recede if their realization would endanger comradeship. Comradeship is not recognized from theory and with the help of discussion and then realized organisationally it becomes real-diale in direct insight, through example and image, in failure and conflict k table generated. Even if society has advanced towards very complicated social structures and a 'high ethos': in primordial conditions of human need, in as it were pre-individualistic situations, its elementary norm structure is suddenly effective again "(Muchow 1959, p. 116f).

"Comrades" can only be those who belong to the "comradeship", unconditionally conspiring to achieve their goals - the "struggle" for the "white race", the "nation", against "foreigners" etc. Whoever gets out is automatically no longer a "comrade", but an enemy, traitor - victim. Hardly anyone leaves the right-wing scene if they cannot join in elsewhere at the same time, find other friends who accept and protect them, with whom they can now spend their free time. The best "weapon" against right-wing scenes is obviously not the "fight" against right-wing youths and their cultural forms of expression, but rather the promotion or tolerance of the other - non-violent, non-violent - competing with the rights for the youth on the youth leisure and identity market. racist, tolerant - cultures. Experience has shown that right-wing extremists have a hard time gaining the desired dominance over young people in the first place where there is strong competition, where there is a wide variety of youthful subcultures.

In the mid-1990s, the techno scene developed into an important stepping stone for neo-Nazis (and other violent young men). At the moment, the hip-hop and skateboarder scenes as well as the friendship circles of illegal rough and tumble that are sprouting up everywhere seem more exciting than the right wing, and punk and the "black" gothic scene are also alternatives for young people in many places.


Muchow, Hans Heinrich: Sexual maturity and social structure of youth. Reinbek 1959 (quoted here from the 7th edition from 1963).