The pistol remains the weapon of cripples, the senile, and those infected with a communicable disease. The murder instrument of the highwayman, the dastardly, insidious pistol, is the preferred weapon of the officer.
—Hugo Böttger, Editor of the Burschenschaftliche Blätter
Even though fraternity men glorified their duels with swords, a series of frivolous pistol duels with deadly ends led students to organize a movement against pistol duels that swept German universities in 1902 and 1903. Students argued that pistol duels violated the rules of reason, morality, and religion—and were thus also purportedly un-German. Male students organized assemblies, made passionate speeches, and passed resolutions in opposition to the pistol duel. They then sent these resolutions to the War Ministers in Prussia, Bavaria, and Saxony. Burschenschaft fraternity men built on their long tradition of liberal political activism and convened assemblies in Berlin, Bonn, Breslau, Freiburg, Giessen, Greifswald, Halle, Kiel, Königsberg, Leipzig, Marburg, Munich, Rostock, and Tübingen and passed resolutions inspired by the movement. Some of these assemblies drew large numbers of students, for example, 600 students in attendance in Leipzig, 1,500 in Munich, and 1,500 in Freiburg. In Berlin, leaders of 67 organizations representing 2,400 members signed petitions against the pistol duel. Other universities not included were majority Catholic institutions, such as Münster or Würzburg, where the opposition to all forms of the duel was even stronger as a result of the Catholic Church's prohibition against dueling. Reaching universities throughout Germany, this movement united students from across the political spectrum.