How is the word "fraternity" being used in this context?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burschenschaft
"Burschenschaften" go back to the 19th century German national-liberal movement, and played an important role in the 1848 German revolution. They continue to exist as student fraternities, though with strongly decreasing relevance.
I did some more researchhttp://www.zeit.de/2013/06/Oesterreich-Burschenschaften/komplettansicht
(German Blog "Burschenschafter" against Neo-Nazis)
Austrian fraternities after 1945 have apparently focused more on the "national" part of the tradition, following a Greater Germany ideal that encompasses Germany, Austria and South Tyrolia. The "Deutsche Burschanschaften" is an umbrella organisation of German and Austrian fraternities. Since 2013, it is headed by Vienna's Teutonia fraternity, which is regarded as hot-bed of militant neo-Nazis. The Teutonia fraternity last year initiated a resolution, signed by 14 Austrian fraternities, which called for a "völkisch" concept of nationality. That resolution has commonly been understood as being directed against a Mannheim-based fraternity that accepted a son of Chinese parents as member. In opposition to that resolution, and in solidarity with that Mannheim fraternity, in the meantime 38 German fraternities, as well as a handful of Austrian fraternities have left the "Deutsche Burschenschaften", and are preparing for establishing a new umbrella organisation.
Within the "Deutsche Burschenschaften", there is a far-right sub-organisation called "Burschenschaftliche Gemeinschaft". The German members are under supervision by the German "Verfassungsschutz" for neo-Nazi tendencies. Currently, six German states are reporting links of local fraternities with the neo-Nazi scene. These fraternities are generally regarded as having an "interface function" towards the far-right.
Austria stopped supervising their fraternities in 2002 under the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition. A lot of former fraternity members have made career inside the FPÖ, FPÖ leader H.P. Strache, former fraternity member himself, once described fraternities as "the backbone of the party after the BZÖ split-off".
UNESCO has in 2012 taken off balls in the Wiener Hofburg from their Immaterial World Cultural Heritage list in explicit reference to the annual Vienna Corporatist (fraternity) Ball. In reaction to that decision, the Wiener Hofburg refused to further host that ball. Therefore, from 2013 on, Vienna's FPÖ chapter has been organising a new "Vienna Academics Ball" at the same date and venue as the previous Vienna Corporatist Ball.
Participants in the 2009-2011 Vienna Corporatist Balls have included Marine LePen (FN), Bruno Gollnisch
(FN), Patrik Brinkmann
(D/SE), Filip DeWinter (Vlaams Belang), Aleksandr Dugin
(RUS), Mathias Faust (DVU/NPD), Enrique Ravello (E). The Ball has apparently lost some appeal - in 2014, some 400-900 people participated (sources vary on the number), down from 1,900 in 2010.