The Next {Second} Step
by
W. Walter LaRoche -- {version: 02/25/98 as updated 7/02 and 12/04}

auf Deutsch (version von 2002)
en Français (v. 1998)

So spricht der HERR: Tretet hin an die Wege, schauet und fragt nach den Wegen der Vorzeit, welches der gute Weg sei; und wandelt darin, so werdet ihr Ruhe finden für eure Seele!

Use Web.Archive.Org to find old links that no longer work. It is very, very useful.

This is a stand alone article about Germany, however I suggest you also read our somewhat similar French History. Some of the references here may make better sense in a broader, historical context. Also of interest but not as comprehensive, is our discussion about Venerable Bede and the Anglo-Saxons through the time of the Norman conquest in Northern England. Bishop Bonifatius, known as Boniface the Apostle to the German People, was born in England. He wrote favorably of (and so was probably influenced by) the Northumbrian Priest and historian, Venerable Bede. As a missionary Boniface propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century, especially to those living north and east of the old Roman border. He is the patron saint of Germany and the Netherlands. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Boniface An Oak of Thor at Geismar was chopped down by Boniface. A fir tree growing up, protected in the roots of the old oak, was to become a new symbol of a new Faith. This humble tree's wood is used to build your homes; let Christ be at the center of your households. Its leaves remain evergreen in the darkest days; let Christ be your constant light. Its boughs reach out to embrace and its top points to heaven; let Christ be your Comfort and Guide. His remains were eventually buried in the abbey of Fulda, after resting for some time in Utrecht. Today they are entombed within a shrine beneath the high altar of the Fulda Cathedral.

From the past

The town of Höchst lies along the river Main, in west - central Germany {just east of the River Rhine}. The town, since 1928, has been a suburb of Frankfurt (am Main) in the state of Hessen. Go  here for map of Hessen (133kb). Hessen plays an important role in American history, but its impact is much more -- back to the Reformation -- and much earlier. This region was near the center of Roman and Celtic culture in what we know today as Germany. We invite you to read on to learn more.

Many Americans have German ancestry, or perhaps better stated, have ancestors who at one time lived in what is today Germany. Although the concept of a Germaniæ Historiæ {east of the Rhine and north of the Danube} has been undisputed for over 2000 years, modern Germany, as a sovereign entity, did not exist 150 years ago. Moreover, as most people know, major border changes have occurred three times, just in the 20th century alone, the most recent being the reunification, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the communist government in East Germany. Frankfurt and Hessen were in the American Zone after the Second World War.

German tribes (among them the group called the Chatten) were united by custom and language, when they first entered the west from central Europe in about the 5th century BC. Initial contact was with Celtic tribes of la culture La Tène, who were either absorbed or pushed further westward. The initial clash with the Romans took place in Provence during the second century BC. From that time forward these first Germanic peoples, and those that followed (Franks, Saxons and later the Allens, Vandals and others), became a continual source of harassment at the Roman frontiers. Eventually, these Germanic tribes occupied or influenced all of the western Roman Empire.

Just as the romanization of Celtic lands changed life, so too did the process of germanization. Little of the original culture and dialect remained. The right to use land (ownership), based on family ties (the clan or pagus in Latin), changed to an annual distribution system, which reflected social caste after Roman contact. At first the pagi had leaders or chiefs only for military adventures; but, by the first century AD the chief had become a full-time elected position, whose power was limited by a council of nobles, as well as the assembly of fighting males. We have a similar anglo-saxon pattern in England, where, over time, the rule of many tribal leaders was consolidated under one English King and his loyal Barons (the witenagemot). The last act of the witenagemot in England was to choose Harold, Earl of Wessex, as King in 1066, a fatal choice.

Frankfurt has a great archeological museum, among many great museums in the city, which shows evolution of the ancient cultures of the area. Similar museums, though many are not as extensive, exist throughout the region -- such as at Mainz (west of Frankfurt on the other side of the Rhine), one of the oldest Roman settlements, dating from the time of Augustus. Mainz became the capital city of the Roman province, Germaniæ Superior on October 27, 90AD. Legion 22 relieved the local legion about 10 years later. It occupied the fortification there until the middle of the 4th century. A portion of the castle of Weisenau (2km south and east of the center of Mainz) was developed from a Celtic predecessor. Also, the local Celtic population is well represented. They lived among the Romans, not as slaves, but as craftsmen. The tombstone of the Celt Blussus and his family is a good example for the romanization of the original Celtic people.

Here is a Roman map (large file) showing the Franken and other German tribes. The map names Mainz as Moguntiacum and Bonn as Bonna. Across the river from Bonn it shows the Tencteri tribe. North of them are the Sugambri and to the west of the Tencteri are the Chatten. It shows the tribe of the Turones east of Frankfurt (however, there was a group by the same name for which Tours gets its name). The Main river is designated as the Moenus. The Turones lived in an area where Germanic tribes of the Rhein-Weser group resided: Tencteri, Sugambri, Bructeri, Cherusci and Chatten. Therefore, one may presume that all these are all Germanic ones, including the Turones. On the other side of the Rhine, in what is today Belgium and France, there lived Celtic-Germanic mixed tribes like the Condrusi, Nervii. These groups lived together with "pure" Celtic tribes like Mediomatrices and Eberones. In relatively close distance to, but west of Mainz lived the mixed Treveri group. Unfortunately, I have not found any specific descriptions of the tribes, living between Mainz and Frankfurt. There are well known sites and Celtic museums such as in Hochdorf, close to Heilbronn, and elsewhere (see e.g. www.glauberg.de) that explore the original residents of the Rhein River Watershed.

Domitian "subdued" the Chatten-Kelten population north and east of the Main region in about 80AD. The Roman inhabitants on the eastern side of the Rhine (and which would have included the lower Main river valley) at that time, lived in an essentially rural area, with a few fortified civil towns, a series of greater and lesser forts along a wall (limes and cohorts) in the Taunus hills (to the north and east) and several ancillary support bases, among the many farm Villas. Roman Nida [125k map] {modern Heddernheim -- on the Frankfurt U-Bahn line} seems to be the closest civil town to the Frankfurt area, being slightly north and west, lying along the northern bank of the Nidda River. The Nidda in turns flows southwest entering the Main River at Nied -- today a suburb of Frankfurt, which sits just east of Höchst. For some Roman resources go here. An English translation of Tacitus work about the Germanic peoples can be found at: http://w1.2220.telia.com/~u222203993/e-tacitus.htm

The history of the Chatten or Catti before living in Hesse is quite shrowded. Some claim that they descend from phœnician traders, and even from the Tribe of Gad. What happened to them after the Rome arrived in germaniæ historicæ is even more interesting. Those who stayed became part of Germany under Roman rule. Some bravehearts moved on. From the College of Arms, London, England, is an extract from a work on the origin of names about the Keith clan: "This family derive their descent from the Chatti, or Catti, now Hesse, a tribe of Germans, who dwelt in what is now called Hesse-Cassel, and whose name ... is preserved in Katzenfort, Katzenburgh, etc., Germany. About B. C. 100, a part of this tribe descended the Rhine, and settled in Batavia or Holland, where the name is also maintained in Katwijk aan Zee, Katswoulde, etc."

During the reign of Corbred the second, King of Scotland, circa A. D. 76, a part of these Catti emigrated to Britain, some of whom, called Fordun, "Catti Meliboci," were driven to the northern parts of Scotland and landed in that part called Kateness, or Caithness; i.e. Catti's promontory. The Celtic name for that district is "Catt taobh," Catti's side; and the inhabitants are styled "Cattich." Caithness is also called "gall taobh," "Stranger's side, way, or shore."

The first of the tribe named by the Senachies is Gilli Chattan Noir, chief of the Catti, temp. King Alpine (A.D. 831-834), from whom descend the Kethi, Keychts, Keths, or Keiths; and also the MacPhersons, Sutherlands, etc., known under the general name of Chattan Clan. The ancient title (Celtic) of the Earls of Sutherland is "Morfhear chat," Lord Cat; literally Greatman Cat."

The 17th century English/Scottish historian, Sir Robert Gordon stated, "In the year of Christ four score and two, there arrived {in Scotland] a great company of Germans named "Catti", a valiant people of mighty bodies who were banished out of their native land for killing of a Roman general. At their first arrival, their captain went onshore to spy the land, when he was suddenly invaded by a company of monstrous big wild cats that much molested the country. The fight between them was cruel, yet in the end he killed them all. From thence the thanes and earls of Catti, or Sutherland, even unto this day do carry on their crest or badge, above their arms, a cat sitting with one of its feet upwards ready to catch his prey." He continued, "There is not a rat in Sutherland. And, if they do come thither in ships from other ports, which often happeneth, they die presently as soon as they do smell the air of that country." Whatever the fate of rats in the area, there is tradition that after landing in the north of Scotland, the Catti named the area of Caithness and their chief married the daughter of the Pictish King Brude.

Robert, the chief of the Catti in 1010, fought against the Norsemen. He slew Comus, the Viking leader of the invaders, and thus gained a complete victory, for which Malcolm II gave him the lands of Keith in East-Lothian. He was succeeded by his son Robert, who also fought against the Norsemen in Fife. Somewhat later on the 7th of November, 1324, Robert I. granted a charter of the lands of Keith Marischal to Sir Robert Keith and his heirs, and the office of Great Marischal of Scotland, on account of his support against the English -- but then I have far departed from my task, which should focus on Hessen and what happened to the people who did not depart Roman rule.

Clovis, the Frankish chieftain who established rule over most of Gaul and founded the French nation, also controlled southwest Germany. The power of the Franken Kingdom in Hessen virtually coincided with that of previous Roman rule. At the time when Clovis was making Paris his capital city, the Valley of the Main River was at the border of the new empire. The name Hessen appears first in reference to the area in the 8th Century AD. More particularly, in 738AD there is a letter from Pope Gregory III to Bonifatius, in which the populous is referred to as Hassiorum (The folk of Hessen). The forefathers of those Hessen people were the Chatten, as described above, who migrated into the area from the northeast; who inter-married with the Celtic peoples and others who lived and farmed in the portion of the region (East of the Rhine and north of the Main Rivers), which was between Lahn and the Pass at Fulda. Bishop Bonifatius, known as the Apostle to the German People, was born in anglo-saxon England. He wrote favorably of the Northumbrian Priest and historian, Venerable Bede, who wrote the history of the English people. Bishop Bonifatius established his Bishop's seat in 745AD in the City of Mainz (Mayence). Five years later Pipin (of the Carolingian line) was named King of the Franks (a germanic offshoot of the Merovingian line that continued to control what we today know as France), under the sanction of the Pope Zacharias. In the city of Soissons, Bonifatius anointed Pepin with the holy oil.
 
The Carolingians, under Pepin's son, Charlemagne, annexed all of southern Germany and the lands in the north and northeast, held by the Saxons. Charlemagne, crowned emperor of the Roman Empire in 800AD by Pope Leo III, patterned his court after the late Roman Empire. He ruled from Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), which is today in Germany, close by the Dutch Border. The official work of his court as done in Latin; however, the day - to - day language (in the east) congealed into what has evolved into Hoch Deutsch today. Why not French? Because, upon his death the empire split into three kingdoms. The west eventually became France and the romantic (ne c'est pas) language base of Latin prevailed. Indeed, even in 800AD the language between the west and the east part of the empire showed marked differences. So much so, that the treaty named after Virodunensis (Verdun -- see below-843AD) had to be written in two languages.



A Merovingian Map is here

The middle kingdom included the land generally between the Rhône/Saône/Meuse and the Rhine Rivers. This is the area over which and in which most of the European Wars for 1200 years would be fought. For example look at what happened to Alsace (Elsaß). It all set up with the Treaty of Verdun in 843 AD. So Frankfurt and the greater Hessen area were in the kingdom of East Francia, but Mainz, just thirty miles away, was in the disputed area.
 
Otto I, an old-Saxon chief, emerged as the King of East Francia by 962AD. He became the leader of the [Holy] Roman Empire {Römischen Reich}, an official designation {Rede} which remained in use, and in German hands, for another nine centuries. Toward the end of that time period, the words Reich, Reiches or Reichs were used without any other direct attributes, still signifying however, a continuation of the empire from the previous millennium.

Frankfurt became the site where the emperors of the German Reich, traditionally, were elected and crowned. Saint Henri II, Saxon emperor of Germany and nephew of Otto, would convene, in Frankfurt, an assembly of bishop with an aim of restoring the ecclesiastical discipline. As a result, one can argue that he alone largely makes possible the diffusion of German Christianity, in particular by supporting the monastic expansion with Saint Odilon (he wrote the biography of the Impératrice Adélaïde -- Abbé de Cluny (994 to 1049)). Henri II will meet the king of France, Louis the Pious, to assist Pope Benoît VIII in his work of reform.

The emperor will request on several occasions this Pope's advice about the bénédictines abbeys under Henri's secular control, most notably that of Verdun. Verdun, which had been originally a Roman civitas. The counts of Verdun belonged to the family of Ardennes, from which Godfrey of Bouillon of the First Crusade came. The Emperor Otto III in 997 conferred on Bishop Haymon of Verdun, and his successors in office, the title of count of this episcopal city and of prince within the Holy Roman Empire with all the rights of sovereign rule. Under Henry III the medieval Holy Roman Empire probably attained its greatest power. By the Synod at Sutri in Italy (and Rome), German King Henry III dismissed Pope Gregory VI, Benedictus IX & Silvester III (3 rival claimants) and named Bishop Suidger of Bamberg as Pope Clemens II (the only Pope buried north of the Alps and the first of four German Popes Henry would select, including his cousin Leo IX, né Buno d'Eguisheim-Dagsbourg).

All this is happening within a generation of the great conversion events that would rock England. The Vikings, once berserk, they who had pillaged France, became Christian Norman Comtes under fielty to the French King. The Norman Conquest (1066) was a direct result. The Russ from the north countries become the Christianizing force in the slavic regions, and that impact changed Russia forever.

For various reasons the German kingdoms or states, unlike those in France, Spain and England, failed to unite. By tradition German Kings were elected. Because no secular chief wanted to be subject to another, weak Kings were chosen over strong contenders. Furthermore, Royal authority declined, as the Kings of the Empire busied themselves in foreign wars, particularly with the obsession to rule Italy -- the center of the ancient Roman Empire. Secular lords gradually made their annual grants into hereditary fiefs. Until the 1400’s wealth and the economy was land based. Lessor warriors had smaller land grants from their secular lords. The common people lost the right to bear arms and became “free” share-croppers or bonded serfs. At one time there were 240 free states and cities and a host of lesser knightly holdings.

The concept of a temporal Empire, coextensive with a religious {Heiligen} dominion, had little practical meaning and survived only as theory. The theory died with the Reformation and the Peace of Ausburg (1555), when free cities and states chose their religious affiliation. Furthermore, the Empire lost its technical sovereignty over its constituent parts with the Peace of Westphalia (1648), ending the 30 Years’ War, as France emerged as the premier continental power. However, even at the beginning of the 18th Century, one may still find a formal reference to the Römischen Reich or heiliges Römischen Reich, such as in the Alliance among Kaiser Leopold I, England and the Niederlanden against France (1701).

The invention of moveable type by Johann Gutenberg (1440) made possible the wide distribution of Der Heilige Bibel in the German language (by Gutenberg in Mainz 1452 - 1455), promoting knowledge of the foundations of Church doctrines, as well as secular learning. This freedom of understanding, coupled with the growing, city-oriented business of trade, prepared the intellectual ground for planting the seeds of change. Germany, of course, was one of the great centers for the Reformation, and Frankfurt a leading city. The Reformation, once begun however, resulted in the extreme hardships of several centuries of war, with Germany as the central battleground. Clearly, it is an understatement to say that matters of "conscience" were taken too far, because they were mixed with revenge for socioeconomic grievances, unleashed in populist excesses.
 
Phillip the Magnanimous (1504-67), Landgraf von Hessen, was the German Prince (Fürst) who helped ensure survival of Protestantism, forming the League of Torgau in 1526. In addition to the Lutheran reformers who were supported by many of the secular princes against the excesses of the populace, there were theocrats or those with Calvinist leanings, first expressed by Huldreich Zwingli from Switzerland (born January 1, 1484), as well as the independent-thinking Anabaptists. After the reforms (about justification) at the Council of Trent, many southern German leaders would strongly support Catholicism.

Briefmarke: Niederlande 1940 MiNr #355Phillip failed in his attempts to reconcile Swiss and Lutheran doctrine (1529). Because he was a principal organizer (1531) in efforts to counteract Emperor Charles V and the Emperor's wars to defeat Lutheranism, he was imprisoned (1547-52). His stance, however had assured the 1555 compromise {the Peace of Augsburg}.

As indicated before, the Peace of Ausburg gave a free choice to state secular leaders (but not to the people or Church hierarchy) between Catholic and Lutheran reforms. The dissenters had to adopt, adapt or leave. Tensions between states of different denominations resulted in the 30 Years' War, when Spanish Troops occupied part of Germany and the Netherlands. The Dutch and English joined into the fight over German disagreements; then the Swedish found reason to fight; and, eventually the French crossed the Rhine. A “peace” resulted, preserving the “status quo” of the exhausted combatants. Scarcely had one war ended, when another began.

Louis the XIV strove to extend French territory and regain his Huguenot subjects, who had fled to the Palatinate region after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Palatine, which had a long history of tolerance, included the west bank of the upper Rhine and part of the region near Hessen. Landgraf, Charles of Hesse-Cassel was the first of the German princes to offer asylum to the Huguenots from France (April 18, 1685).
 
The French King's conquests not only finally secured Strasbourg and Alsace, but also laid strong claim to Lorraine, thereby assuring nearly another 300 years of war, first with the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), primarily fought in Bavaria and western Germany. Lorraine was part of the German Empire when seized by Louis XIV in 1678. It was restored in 1697, but France regained possession, by reversion, upon the death of Stanislaus of Poland (1766). In that time it was formally incorporated, but a portion returned to Germany in 1871 after the Franco-Prussion War. See http://www.trier-online.de. It was one of the sources of irritation leading to the second as well as first World Wars of this century. Many towns in Alsace and Lorraine have two names, of which one is usually the translation of the other. (e.g. Thionville and Diedenhofen -- Betstein and Bassompierre -- Mainz and Mayence). The House of Cleves also is associated closely to the northern portion of the region.

Pennsylvania emerged during this time of extreme turmoil as one of the safe-havens for Protestant Germans, who did not fit the Lutheran mold or could not remain safely in French occupied lands. Established by Quaker William Penn, under authority of the Britsh government, Penn’s woods furnished fine productive land to those who would clear and farm it. It also became a place where “out-of-favor” communities could flourish in freedom. The Georgia Colony also gave refuge to the persecuted in the first years of its existence (circa 1733).

Today's Pennsylvania Dutch are the descendants of those refugees from the western German regions. Because of their hard work and early success, more persons came to America in the 1700’s. One such group is known as the German Colony of 1717, who by “accident” came to Virginia. Twenty refugee families from Alsace, Palatinate and Hesse left by way of England to join countryman and relatives in Pennsylvania. Reaching Virginia, additional money for passage was demanded. Governor Spotswood paid the “extortion” in exchange for service. It is doubtful that these refugees fully understood the terms and conditions of their release from one captivity to another, until it was too late.

Spotswood established these families in an existing German community, which was founded in 1714. After obtaining their freedom some years later, the whole colony moved to Blue Mountain in what is now Madison County, Virginia in 1725. Other German colonists were added. Over time, some went "west", particularly after the Revolutionary War, when land was given by the US Congress in payment for patriotic service. Their descendants migrated to places like Washington County (Old Franklin) in Upper East Tennessee, Habersham County in Northeast Georgia, and Pendleton, South Carolina with other veterans from around the original 13 colonies.

One family named Broyles illustrates this trek well. The Bryol, Fleshman and Wilhite (Wilhoit) families were among those who arrived in Virginia. They were interrelated by marriage several generations later. A descendant and Revolutionary War veteran moved into Tennessee on the Nolichucky River -- the family farm is still there. In time this Broyles clan became part of a community there. While some of their children moved to South Carolina, great-grand children returned to Tennessee. During the 100 years that followed, this family became allied through marriage with old Virginia families, other Germans from Pennsylvania, Scottish-Irish from Virginia and North Carolina, Huguenots from throughout the Southeast, Highlanders from South Carolina and even the descendants of the Swiss reformer, Zwingli. Our page on Zürich, the city he died defending, is here.

A number of persons served and died in the American War Between the States and the family became dispersed throughout the United States. It is from this group of German refugees and allied families that my spouse descends on her father’s side.

Just as individual freedom played an important role in America and its development, Frankfurt’s political freedom was important in its progress. The city of Goethe’s youth, Frankfurt historically was an important Imperial City of the First Holy Roman Empire (Frankonovurd) under Charlemagne and later as the seat of Imperial elections and coronations. It obtained a measure of Independence in 1372, which it maintained during the many European religious wars.

Frankfurt was a prominent city in the Reformation, but had been a central Christian location for at least 1000 years before. It became the center of the Confederation of the Rhine after the Napoleanic Wars. Because it sided with Austria during the Seven Weeks’ War (1866), it was seized by Prussia, thereafter part of Greater Imperial Germany until November 9th 1918. General Information.

Die Hessische Verfassung
Die älteste Landesverfassung in Deutschland
(Verfassungs-Text)

Although still in the heart of farming country and close to the Rheingau vineyards, because of its river position, long-term freedom, and history as a convenient central city, Frankfurt am Main (population of about 650,000 people) continues to prosper as a center of European banking and world-class manufacturing. The Hoechst facility (Hoechst at one time employed over 30,000 people), just downriver from Frankfurt, has been a chemical manufacturing site for 145 years. The aniline dye factory "Theerfarbenfabrik Meister, Lucius & Co." at Höchst am Main was founded in 1863, forming the basis for Hoechst AG. Just as the story, however, of how Progil {also a dyestuffs firm} and other companies became Rhône-Poulenc Chimie S.A., the Hoechst story has taken (and continues to take) many twists and turns.

For instance, the Grenoble area was occupied in the last World War. The French occupied Höchst after the first World War. Frankfurt am Main is in the western portion of Germany on the Main River, in the proximity of the Rhine and at the foot of the wooded Taunusgebirges. The highest of the Taunus’ mountains is the 878 meter (2879 feet) high Grosse Feldberg. Frankfurt, which has about 660,000 inhabitants (including the suburbs) relies on industry, trade, banking and insurance. Because of its skyline, which reminds one a little of Manhattan, Frankfurt is only half-humorously called "Mainhattan". Frankfurt is home of the German Federal (Reserve) Bank (Bundesbank), other federal authorities and the most important of stock exchanges in Germany. Frankfurt has an active cultural life as it has many theatres, an opera and several concert halls, a row of museums and a number of great restaurants. In addition to the tethering of Frankfurt by the water ways Rhine and Main, there are several major motorways and significant railway connections. Because of its airport "Frankfurt-Main", the largest in Germany, as well as, the Rhein-Main Airbase of the American Air Force, many call Frankfurt also a "gateway to the World". Höchst, originally an independent city, became (1926) part of Frankfurt and is now one of several western suburbs.

The history of Frankfurt is detailed, so that what is reported here, only quite briefly covers it. In the proximity of Frankfurt one can find hill-graves from pre-historical times. Additionally, there are reminders of the Celtic culture that date to 4th century BC, as for example the stone barriers on the mountain, Altkönig in the Taunus. There are further remains from Roman times (before 100 A.D.), like the border barrier (limes) and remains of attached garrison-forts, one of which, the Saalburg, has been reconstructed for visiting. From the time (around 800 AD) of Charlemagne, crowned emperor of the Roman Empire, there is a remain of a palace (Saxenhausen) and the Church of St. Justinus in Höchst. During the time of the Holy Roman Empire, as a German realm (1000 - 1806), the emperors were elected in Frankfurt. The election chamber in Frankfurt cathedral and the Emperor hall in Frankfurt city-hall (Römer) can also be visited. In 1848 the first freely-elected German parliament met met in the Paulskirche (St. Pauls Church), which elected body, however, did not have a long life. Only few reconstructed old buildings remain of this older portion of the city. Old-town Frankfurt, with its old romantic half-timbered houses and narrow winding lanes, was to a large extent destroyed in the Second World War by Allied bombardment. New reconstruction furnished a new city with a new face, although the market-place {Römerplatz} was restored.

Today's Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft (Hoechst AG) arose in 1863 because four entrepreneurs established the firm with the name "Meister Lucius & Co." in Höchst as factory for the production of aniline dye. The first produced coloring material was the red magenta dye (fuchsia). This explains why the new factory was also called the "red factory". The company diversified substantially during the course of the time; and, in 1925, under the name "Farbwerke vorm. Meister Lucius and Brüning, Höchst am Main" became part of the chemical cartel I.G. Farbenindustrie AG. The factory, in contrast to the city of Frankfurt, was not heavily destroyed in the Second World War. Höchst was occupied in 1945 by American troops and the factory soon resumed production. After dissolution of I.G. Farben and reestablishment of its original component companies (in the year 1951) strong growth in Höchst began.

The company now called „Farbwerke Hoechst AG, vormals Meister Lucius & Brüning" during its hayday, produced a broad line of products, including: inorganic and organic chemicals, fertilizers, plastics, artificial fibers, coloring materials and pharmaceuticals. The 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles) large factory contained the company administrative headquarters, the sales offices, research and development, analytical laboratories, libraries, a power plant and others in addition to production facilities. The Frankfurt-Höchst factory employed about 30,000 persons. The entire operations of Hoechst AG in the 1970's the 80's, including all other factories, was about as large as that of the America's DuPont before the acquisition of Conoco Inc. (1981). In the 90's factors affecting all chemical concerns began to change Hoechst into a life-sciences company. That was consumated with restructuring, consolidation and rationalizing of smaller units, the sales of certain activities and substantial personnel reductions. The chlorine activities of Hoechst AG at the Frankfurt-Höchst factory were distributed first to the Celanese GmbH, a subsidiary of Hoechst. Later the business was sold to separate American owners at about the sometime Celanese was acquiring full interest in its US assets. Those same American owners also acquired the chlorine business of RP at Pont-de-Claix.


From the past
Hoechst AG History     Geschichte betrifft Hoechst auf Deutsch

Now it is called Aventis after its merger with RP.

We have a special thanks for, Dr. Bergner, our friend that we met in Germany in 1998, for his help in translation of this Webpage into proper German.

Somewhat similar French History -- the first step
History of the Hightower Trail in Georgia

Ponder also, bitte: So, is it only by the fruits that we may judge? Can grapes come from thistles and thorns? America’s freedom is known by her rich earth, fruitful fields and bountiful heritage.

(last extensive revision: 12/03/02 @ 12:53am EST
revised last: 11/10/08)