The Henschelvillen

In the eastern part of the upper vineyard, the locomotive manufacturer Oskar Henschel had a villa built in 1868 - 1870. The industrial Henschel family enlarged their vineyard property in 1887 - 1901 by further purchases. After the construction of the retaining walls on Frankfurter Strasse (1903), the Henschel house was built on the western vineyard, a huge villa. First inflation, then the world economic crisis. The Henschel company was a mirror of the development. For Oskar Henschel, a point was reached in 1931 at which a caesura seemed necessary in his private fortune as well.


On December 4, 1931, a report appeared in the Kasseler Tageblatt that provided plenty to talk about: "We have just received the news that illustrates the changing times better than a thousand other things that otherwise reach our ears. We hear that Mr. Oskar Henschel has applied to demolish his large villa, which was built by his father at the time at considerable expense. The reason given for the intention to raze this outstandingly beautiful building to the ground is the excessively high house interest tax and the impossibility of finding a buyer for the property at present."

The news was a shock, because after all it was about the probably most splendid private building of the city. But Oskar Robert Henschel did not change his mind. He was annoyed by the tax burden of 33,000 marks a year for a villa in which no one lived after his stepmother moved out. The city did not want to take over the building either. At that time, the city had completely different worries. Because of the sales difficulties for locomotives, Henschel had temporarily stopped production completely, and things were no better at Credé and other large companies.

Unemployment in Kassel had risen from 2,500 to 33,700 within a few years. Only the people's kitchens were booming. From the merchant whose livelihood had been destroyed by the economic crisis, to the craftsman who could no longer get orders, to the worker who was no longer needed, they all stood in line to serve food to the needy.

The demolition of the Henschel Villa in 1932 was a symbol of economic decline. It is said that the exclusive marble bathtub in the floor may still be present.

Below you will find a few historical newspaper clippings from the HNA on the topic: