Station: [17] Military: Dotzheimers at War

F: Even tiny Dotzheim didn’t escape the fallout from the major conflicts of recent centuries.

In the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, soldiers from Nassau initially fought on the side of the French. But after Napoleon’s return from exile on Elba, the Duchy of Nassau turned against the former invaders and fought on the side of the British in the Battle of Waterloo. The map on the wall shows the battle array, with the disposition of Nassau’s troops outlined in blue.

M: Between 1848 and 1851, the kingdom of Denmark and the German Confederation came into conflict about which of the two could lay claim to the Duchy of Schleswig. Karl Rossel, a member of one of Dotzheim’s old-established families, fought in this war and sent a military letter home to his siblings. There were three brothers, Jakob, Karl and Friedrich Rossel, and all three later emigrated to the United States.

F: The large-scale “Memorial Page for Relatives of our Fallen Heroes”, bottom right, was provided by another Dotzheim family, the Wintermeyers. August Wintermeyer was killed in World War One, and the German Reich brought up the heavy guns when it came to memorializing its heroes. It honored the fallen soldiers with an angel, a sprig of oak and an iron cross. From 1915, every family that had lost a member received an unsolicited memorial page like this one. It was designed by the artist Emil Doepler and bears the signature of the Kaiser, Wilhelm the Second, in facsimile.

M: After 1945, military events around Dotzheim and Wiesbaden were fortunately confined to the presence of US troops. From 1954 to 1973, the headquarters of the US Air Forces in Europe was located in Wiesbaden. One of the barracks used by the US troops can be seen in the two aerial shots of Freudenberg above the door.

The penultimate stop on our tour is now right ahead of you. Take a look down the long hallway. It’s decorated with countless mementoes of Dotzheim’s many and varied clubs and societies.