Mensur & Schmiss: German Dueling Societies is the first photographic history of the student academic duel, the Mensur, practiced in Germany since the eighteenth century. The slashing swordplay ofthis fascinating Western European ritual often resulted in a Schmiss, or facialscarification. The Schmiss scar was a record of one’s courage, cherished as a badgeof honor that signified masculinity and high social position. This compilation of over175 images documents all aspects of the tradition: combatants, seconds, referees,spectators and attending surgeons before, during, and after the Mensur, as well as thecelebrations and social functions that were part of Germanic student life. The Mensur is still practiced today although hidden from public view. The astute observations of Mark Twain and Jerome K. Jerome, both travelers through Germany during the nineteenth century, are included.This book emphasizes the Corps and other elite fraternity groups that engaged in Mensur, vividly documenting the camaraderie, seriousness, reality and violence of the academic duels.