Station: [6] Dotzheim Workers

F: Dyed-in-the-wool Dotzheim locals may prefer not to hear it, but in the 19th century, Dotzheim‘s fate was closely linked to its big neighbor, the city of Wiesbaden, which was also a spa town.

In 1806, the Dukes of Nassau made Wiesbaden their ducal seat. What’s known as the “Historic Pentagon”, the Old Spa House and the City Palace were built. By the second half of the century, the spa business was booming. Wiesbaden welcomed spa guests from all over the world, the city expanded, countless buildings sprang up …

M: … and many of the workers transforming Wiesbaden into a magnificent spa resort came over from Dotzheim. Even the reverential title “the World’s Spa Resort” didn’t originate in Wiesbaden itself. Dotzheim pastor Dr. Robert Haas coined the phrase in 1852.

Over the course of the 19th century, the village of 600 souls expanded until it boasted a substantial four thousand residents. A lot of young men settled here as craftsmen or workers and started a family. And they brought their class consciousness with them. The village, soon notorious as “red Dotzheim”, was seen as a stronghold of social democracy. The workers had their own clubs and societies, and held political meetings, choir evenings and sports competitions. In the early years of the 20th century, they organized several strikes to force their employers to provide better working conditions, and in November 1918, there were even meetings of a short-lived Workers’ and Farmers’ Council.

F: If you’d like to find out about working women in Dotzheim, take a look at the transverse wall on your left.