4u2 - For you too - Roland Brunner

Bund für Soziale Verteidigung

 Konflikte gewaltfrei austragen - Militär und Rüstung abschaffen

Federation for Social Defence

transform conflicts nonviolently - abolish military and armament


Bund für Soziale Verteidigung
Schwarzer Weg 8
D - 32423 Minden
Tel. +49/571/29456
Fax +49571/23019
E-Mail: info@soziale-verteidigung.de

What is the 'Bund'?

The Federation for Social Defence (often called the "Bund" by English-speaking friends) is an indepen­dent non-governmental organisation based in Germany. The Bund unites people and organisations of different ideological, religious and political convictions and affiliations who consider nonviolence the only answer against the threats and dangers human kind has to face. Its subtitle "transform conflicts nonviolently - abolish military and armament" expresses the two sides of its commitment.

The Bund has been founded in 1989 in the follow-up of a big conference on social and civilian-based de­fence, held in Minden in 1988 in order to have an organisation to promote social defence and to work for total disarmament.

The Bund organises campaigns (e.g. "Germany without an Army"), pursues different long-term projects like nonviolent conflict resolution in schools, develops forms of nonviolent intervention in wars like in former Yugoslavia, organises conferences and meetings and has some standing working groups.

Its structural components are an annual General Assembly as the highest decision-making body, an executive of seven members elected every two years, and a standing committee of delegates of the supporting organizations meeting between the general assemblies. The office is in the beautiful small town of Minden in the north-western part of Germany, west of Hannover. In the moment it is staffed by five part-time officers.

The Bund publishes a quarterly newsletter, and a series of background papers. An up-to-date list of the publications can be ordered at the office.

Resisting the Military

Since its foundation the Bund has been engaged in several campaigns and activities directed against armament, broadening of the Nato mandate, military interventions of Nato like in Iraq 1991 and Yugoslavia/Kosovo in 1999. It has been one of the organisations starting the Campaign "Germany Without An Army" in 1989. At the moment, it is preparing a new campaign against future Nato wars.

Social Defence

Social defence is nonviolent community resistance to armed aggressions. The concept of social defence was developed as an alternative to military defence. It is based on historical experiences like the Indian liberation struggle under Gandhi, the resistance against the Kapp-Putsch in Germany in the 1920th or the invasion of the Warsaw pact troops in Czechoslovakia 1968. The basic idea of social defence is that it is possible to overcome an armed aggression if people refuse to collaborate with the aggressor - be it a foreign intruder or a insurrector - since both eventually need the support of the population to turn a military victory into a permanent rulership. Methods of social defence are strikes or "dynamic continuation of working wi­thout collaboration" (Theodor Ebert), demonstrations, boycotts, civil disobe­dience, recruitment of internatio­nal sup­port and the setting up of alternative institutions. The Bund's strategy proposed in this concept is to work at the same time in the social movements for the abolition of the military and the armament industry, and convince the power-holders to provide adequate institutions to further the reconstruction of society.

Empowerment and Training

Empowerment and training is one of the major fields of work of the 'Bund'. Three different types of trainings have been developed:

1. Trainings with the goal to empower people against the daily racism met at the job, on the street, in the train or in shops.

2. Trainings in constructive conflict resolution in schools with children and teachers, with parents and with leaders of Youth groups.

3. Training for Trainers in conflict transformation.

Civil Peace Service and Nonviolent Intervention in Conflicts

The Bund has developed and promotes a concept to organise a one-year Civilian Peace Service for women and men of all ages who want to learn and practice nonviolent ways of intervention and conflict transformation, either in Germany or abroad. The volunteers would undergo an extensive education in nonviolent conflict resolution, and work in crisis areas, be it neighbourhoods with high racist violence in Germany or conflict-ridden areas in other parts of the world. After the completion of the one-year service they would stand by for international peace-keeping efforts.

This objective has not yet reached. But there is a program 'Civil Peace Service' at the federal Ministry for Development funding training and deployment abroad, and since 1997 a four-month course to prepare 'peace experts' for such work, organised by a coalition of five organisations.

The Bund has been involved in the international coalition project 'Balkan Peace Team'. Since BPT stopped working at the beginning of 2001, the Bund is now exploring possibilities for new activities in the field of nonviolent intervention in conflicts.

Peace Research Institute

There are hundreds of studies of past conflicts and movements. But with a few exceptions they do not concentrate on nonviolent activities. This was the reason for some members of the Bund to establish the "Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Settlement of Con­flicts". It has a dozen members coming from different academic backgrounds who work as volunteers and mainly in their spare time for the institute. The Institute concentrates on action and applied research. Contact address: Dr. Barbara Müller, Haupt­str. 35, D-55491 Wahlenau, Tel. +49/6543/980 096, BMuellerIFGK@aol.com

Working Groups

Ø     Campaign "Ways Out Of Violence" (trainings in empowerment, development of projects )

Ø     "Defend the Social" (new poverty, violence related to poverty. The working group will publish a handbook on campaigning.)

Ø     Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Settlement of Conflicts

Ø     Peace Tax (advocating a law of conscientious objection for tax resisters)

Ø     Making nonviolence public (planning a data base and documentation of nonviolent groups in Germany)

Supporting organisations

Aktionsgemeinschaft Friedenswoche e.V.Minden * DFG-VK * Evangelische Ar­beitsgemeinschaft zur Betreuung der Kriegsdienstverweigerer in der BRD * Friedensausschuß der Religiösen Gesellschaft der Freunde (Quäker) * Friedenssteuerinitiative * Die Grünen/Bündnis 90 * Die Grünen- Kreisverband Minden-Lübbecke * Internationaler Versöhnungsbund Deutscher Zweig * JungsozialistInnen * Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Christinnen und Christen bei den Grünen NRW * Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden Die Grünen Niedersachsen * Ohne Rüstung Leben * Pax Christi * Gruppe für eine Schweiz ohne Armee * Werkstatt für gewaltfreie Aktion Baden



Membership and Possibilities of Support


O I would like to become member of the Federation for Social Defence and will pay a membership fee of

__________ (50 EURO minimum, reduction is possible)


O I would like to support the Bund by donations, and commit myself to a monthly/quarterly/yearly payment of _____ EURO.


O I would like to be added to your e-mail information exchange list, and receive background articles, appeals etc that might be of interest to BSV supporters. (These texts generally are in German language.)
My E-mail address is:





(Name, Address)



Please, print this form out and send it to the address of the 'Bund für Soziale Verteidigung"



The BSV is a registered charity in Germany. Donators paying tax in Germany may deduce their donations from their tax.



4your questions and contacts: rbr(at)4u2.ch