The „Schützen“ are the former voluntary army or militia of Tyrol. Today their main task is to plead for freedom, in a democratically way, and the preservation of the cultural heritage of the land. The district “Burggrafenamt-Passeier” is the alliance of 26 Schützen-companies from the Burggrafenamt, consisting of 1000 members. It is a voluntary, honorary, non-profit oriented organisation.
Since medieval times the Burggrafenamt is a unitary administrative district, in its heart lays the city of Meran and the castle Tirol, after which the land Tyrol was named.
Therefore the inhabitants of the Burggrafenamt have always had a very deep connection to their land. Maybe for just that reason Andreas Hofer was one of us, who gave distinction to the history of Tyrol.
We, the Burggräfler (inhabitants of the district Burggrafenamt), are aimed to sustain the awareness of how special and independent our land is.
We are sons and daughters of a nation, which lives in the heart of the alps since over 1000 years, and which established itself a homeland, from the fruit orchards and vineyards in the valleys to the highest mountain farms. A homeland with its dialects and customs, the churches, castles and manors.
A homeland, which is unique in the world.
Unique, not because it is richer, better or more beautiful than other countries, but because it is different, it is our land and our home.
Since the 14th century the Burggräfler Schützen serve the Tyrolean defensibility. Our fundamental duty is to defend our land: freedom for our homeland. During the 1st World War weapons have been used to defend the land, today our most important weapon is our mind and all democratic means. Our appearance with flags and arms reminds us of this task!
In terms of this democratic national defence we stand up for self-determination and the dissociation from the national Italian state.
Well aware, that to change the political status of South Tyrol, the majority of the population is needed, we argue for the national independence of our land.
In an autonomous republic we see the natural development of the actual South Tyrolean autonomy, which would be the best solution for all three linguistic groups of our land.
As residents of Tyrol it is our utmost concern to stand for a close collaboration and unity of all parts of our land. Today Tyrol is divided up into two different states: North and East Tyrol form the Austrian province Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino/Welsch Tyrol the Italian autonomous provinces Bozen-Südtirol/Bolzano Alto Adige and Trient/Trento. The Ladin communities Fodom, Anpezo and Col belong to the Italian province Belluno.
For us todays borders of the national states aren’t God’s will, but relicts of the nationalism in the 19th century and both World Wars. We speak up for the overcoming of these boarders and look forward a combined Europe of population and regions. By this means the Tyrolean Burggrafenamt and an independent South Tyrol could be the guarantor for a unitd Tyrol as a European heartland:
Tyrol, a small but unique tile in the huge mosaic picture of Europe.