For decades for the guest!

Today's generation of the Dodel family can look back on a long history in the field of guest services in Oberstdorf, which began in 1938 and was partly marked by deep strokes of fate. We humbly look back on the work done by our parents and their parents and we would like to proudly continue this story here

The continuation will follow shortly.

Structural change

Purchase of our country house

In the further time the demand changed from small guest rooms to bigger and better equipped apartments. The social contact between guest and host also changed: the guests' desire for anonymity and independence grew. In order to meet this change of time, the existing guest rooms were merged into holiday apartments and the breakfast service was discontinued.

As the rental business continued to flourish, our parents expanded their capacities and bought the small country house at Speichackerstraße 17 in Oberstdorf in 2007. It was to prove later that this was a valuable investment in the future of our family.

Three years later our grandmother died at the age of 98 and we owe a lot to our Fanny, who laid the foundation stone for the Dodel family in Oberstdorf and, against all odds, built something from which the following generations can profit. Many thanks for this Fanny. We will never forget you.

Stop of the baggage transport

Unexpected strokes of fate

In 1989, German Railway completely outsourced its luggage service and switched the transport of suitcases from rail to road. As a result, guests travelling on holiday by rail could no longer check in their suitcases at the departure station before they set off on their journey, only to have them delivered to their hotel or guesthouse by a luggage delivery company such as Wilhelm Dodel Jr. This reorientation of Deutsche Bahn deprived such baggage delivery companies of their livelihood. As a result, our father Wilhelm Dodel Jr. had to give up his baggage delivery business. The guest rental business, which was born out of necessity at that time, suddenly became the main pillar of our parents' livelihood.

After a few years of abstinence from transporting suitcases, our father's longing for it awakened again and he decided to enter the taxi business. This gave him the chance to transport not only the luggage of the guests but also the guests themselves to their destination.

Besides the forced stop of the luggage transport our family had to accept another heavy blow of fate in a short time. At the age of 45, Johanna Dodel was torn from our midst after a serious illness. After our grandmother Franziska Dodel had already lost two husbands as a result of the war, she also had to bury her daughter.

The next generation takes over

Offspring in the family Dodel

After the renovation, the guesthouse had in total 12 guest rooms in different sizes. On the ground floor, a room for the guests was set up where breakfast was served in the morning and which could otherwise be used as a TV room. Because at that time the rooms were not equipped with their own TV, the guests met for TV watching or board games in the evening.

1978 Markus and in 1984 the second son Stefan was born. Meanwhile, our 67-year-old grandmother retired more and more from business and handed over the porter service to her son, Wilhelm Dodel Jr.
Many guests, who were present at the beginning of the guesthouse, stayed with us for several years and were able to experience the growth of the next generation. Sometimes close friendships developed with our guests, some of which still exist today.

Tourism boom

Renovation of the guest house

Although in 1930 the Oberstdorf tourism counted already more than 600,000 overnight stays per year for around 5,000 guest beds, it experienced another strong increase in the post-war years. Due to the economic miracle in Germany, the tourism increased more and more, so that the tricycles used to transport the luggage were no longer sufficient and a small motorized van had to be purchased to handle the high quantities of luggage.
Wilhelm Dodel Jr. married our mother Elisabeth (née Szerney) in 1975, who had come to Germany from Serbia at the age of 17. Since she came to Germany, Elisabeth had worked as a waitress in Oberstdorf for several years. So from the beginning she felt very comfortable in the care of the guests in the guest house Dodel. Due to the steadily increasing demand for guest rooms in Oberstdorf, our parents decided to expand the guest house in 1975 and to enter the rental business completely.

Start of guestroom rental

Born of necessity

1944, in the year of the war, Franziska Dodel lost her first husband Johann Dodel, who had to sacrifice his life on the Eastern Front. Only 6 years before, both had started together the porters' trade business . Shortly after his death, when his brother Wilhelm Dodel came to Oberstdorf for a convalescent holiday, he fell in love with his sister-in-law. He married our grandmother after returning from Russian captivity in 1946. After 18 years Franziska Dodel also lost her second husband, barely a year after both of them had realized their dream of building their own small house, Wilhelm Dodel succumbed to the consequences of his jaundice and malaria illness, with which he returned home from the war. Now Franziska Dodel had to entertain a family of three people with her 14-year-old son (Wilhelm Dodel Jr.) and her 16-year-old daughter (Johanna Dodel) and earn the money with carrying luggage to pay for the house. In order to manage their lives, three additional rooms were rented to guests in the small house on Hans-Besler-Straße.

Read more about about our grandmother in the newspaper article

Luggage transport

Our grandmother Franziska Dodel

It all started with our grandmother Franziska Dodel, who, together with her husband Johann Dodel, got into the luggage carrier business and earned her money with carrying bags for more than 40 years. From 1938 to 1979 she was a kind of institution with the brass tag "porter" on her service cap for the locals in the village and the guests from Oberstdorf, well-known for their tireless diligence and unusual muscle power for a woman.

Read more about our grandmother Franziska Dodel in the newspaper article

Chronological overview

1938 Marriage of Franziska (née Lindner) & Johann Dodel

1938 Franziska and Johann Dodel start the luggage carrier business in Oberstdorf

1944 Death of Johann Dodel (1st husband of Franziska Dodel)

1946 Marriage of Franziska Dodel & Wilhelm Dodel (brother of Johann Dodel)

1948 Birth of Johanna Dodel (daughter of Franziska and Wilhelm Dodel)

1950 Birth of Wilhelm Dodel Jr (son of Franziska and Wilhelm Dodel)

1957 First transporter for suitcase delivery (before that the transport was done with tricycles)

1963 Purchase of the current Dodel guesthouse in Hans-Besler-Straße and start of guest room rental by Franziska and Wilhelm Dodel

1964 Death of Wilhelm Dodel (2nd husband of Franziska Dodel)

1975 Marriage of Elisabeth (née Secenji) & Wilhelm Dodel Jr.

1975 Conversion of the guest house and extension of the guest room rental by Elisabeth and Wilhelm Dodel Jr

1978 Birth of Markus Dodel (1st son of Elisabeth and Wilhelm Dodel Jr.)

1979 Transfer of the luggage carrier business from Franziska to her son Wilhelm Dodel Jr

1984 Birth of Stefan Dodel (2nd son of Elisabeth and Wilhelm Dodel Jr.)

1989 Abandonment of the luggage carrier business due to the transfer of luggage transport to the road

1993 Death of Johanna Dodel after serious illness

1998 Start with the taxi business in Oberstdorf by Wilhelm Dodel Jr.

2007 Purchase of the current Landhaus Dodel in the Speichackerstraße and extension of the holiday home rental by Elisabeth and Wilhelm Dodel Jr.

2010 Death of Franziska Dodel

2015 Abandonment of the taxi business

2016 Handover of the holiday apartment rental of Landhaus Dodel to Stefan Dodel

2016 Marriage of Ina (née Hellebrandt) & Stefan Dodel

2019 Conversion of the country house

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