Station: [18] Clubs and Societies in Dotzheim

M: Documents, cups and standards, a historic high-wheeler and any number of old photographs – Dotzheim offers a wide range of lively clubs and societies. From the gun club through the pigeon fanciers’ association, various glee clubs and bands, all the way to the volunteer fire brigade – and of course the gymnastics and sports club. There’s no time to be bored in Dotzheim!

For more than a century and a half, these clubs and societies have left their mark on life in Dotzheim. Some of the old-established clubs still exist, while others have disappeared.

F: As you wander along the hallway, look out for the large-scale mosaic pictures from the early days of photography. Each one shows small groups of people clustered around a central motif. These collages don’t just look good, they also give you a good idea of the individual chapters of various clubs and their active members.

M: At the far end, on the right, you’ll discover a special treasure: a black, red and gold flag from the early days of the gymnastics and sports club “TuS Dotzheim”, founded in 1848. In those days, gymnastics was a highly political activity, because gymnastics clubs were involved in the struggle for national unity and the end of regionalism in Germany. The colors were identical to Germany’s national colors today: black, red and gold. The gymnastics club was banned shortly after it was set up and only allowed to re-form in around 1863.

F: Towards the end of the 19th century, as increasing numbers of blue-collar workers arrived and settled in Dotzheim, they were not made welcome by the existing clubs. So they set up their own, and for decades, there were two clubs promoting the same type of sports: one for the farmers and middle class people, the other for the blue-collar workers. These structures, which had evolved historically, were destroyed by the Nazis. In 1945, the American occupation authorities only gave permission for one club per sport to be set up. Clubs were only able to develop freely again from the 1950s onwards.

M: We’ve almost come to the end of our tour. Please take as much time as you like to discover more about club life in Dotzheim. Then go back down the stairs. At the bottom, you’ll come to an aerial photograph – that’s our last stop.