Rüsselsheim is the largest town in the Groß-Gerau district in the Rhein-Main region of Germany. It is one of seven special status towns in Hesse and is located on the Main, only a few kilometres from its mouth in Mainz. The suburbs of Bauschheim and Königstädten are included in Rüsselsheim. Rüsselsheim has attained international recognition through the presence of the German car company Adam Opel AG.
Rüsselsheim emerged from a settlement of the Count of Katzenelnbogen.
The name of the town evolved over the course of time:
- 764/5 Rucile(n)sheim
- before 1130 Ruozcelenesheim
- 1336 Ruzelnsheim
- 1275 Ruozelsheim
- 1640 Ruselsem
- 1840 Rüsselsheim
In the year 1435 the high noble Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen was first to cultivate Riesling in Rüsselsheim. His administrator bought new vines for 22 Schilling documented in the annual reports. in the following years Riesling showed up down the river Rhine and up the River Mosel. Rüsselsheim's comeback in the history of wine took place in 18th and 19th century, when famous wine-growing estates in the Rheingau recultivated their vineyards with vines of the Rüsselsheim and Flörsheim Area (Allendorf, Rheingauer Weinbauverband EV 1980). After the First World War viticulture disappeared in Rüsselsheim. In 1980 the mayor of Rüsselsheim Dr. Storsberg initiated a memory vineyard near the castle celebrating 550 Years of Riesling. This vineyard still exists.
Coat of arms 
In the town's coat of arms, there is a silver "Doppelhaken" (a double hook) and two silver stars on a blue background.
The "Doppelhaken" is also called a "Wolfsangel" (wolf hook); however, it is not clear whether or not it was actually used to kill wolves. Some also see the "Doppelhaken" as a grappling hook. It is actually forbidden in Germany to use this symbol on the grounds that it has been used in the past to stand for certain right-wing extremist groups, also now banned. Civic coats of arms or similar, which have traditionally used the Wolfsangel, are exempt from the ban.
The two stars indicate that Rüsselsheim used to belong to Katzenelnbogen County, which also bore these stars on its coat of arms.
World War II 
During World War II, Rüsselsheim was bombed several times by the British RAF. The RAF followed a policy of "area bombing" of cities. The day after one such bombing, August 26, 1944, an American B-24 Liberator was shot down after bombing nearby Hanover (American policy did not allow for area bombing as did the British; the American crew had been bombing an airport). The nine member American crew was captured and under guard was placed on a train to a POW camp routed thorough Rüsselsheim. Due to damage done to the railyards, the captured crew and their guards were forced to alight and walk to another location to catch another train. During this walk, the townspeople of Rüsselsheim saw the crew and vented their anger on the crew, shouting insults and spitting. Assuming the crew were "Canadians" and that they had taken part in the bombing of their town the night before, this group grew larger. One woman shouted out "There are the terror flyers. Tear them to pieces! Beat them to death! They have destroyed our houses!" She threw a brick at the crew and that precipitated a riot during which the townsfolk attacked the crew with rocks, hammers, lumber and shovels. Six of the crew were killed. A local Nazi official administered a final shot to four of the men. The bodies of the dead crew were hidden at the rear of the town cemetery.
After the War (1946) when Rüsselsheim was under occupation by the American Army, the killings came to light and the bodies located. In the first war trials of Germans prior to the Nuremberg trials, five of the townspeople were tried as war criminals, found guilty and hanged. Three others received sentences to hard labour and were released in the 1950s. A later trial was held for two more townsfolk, one of whom was hanged. In all, eleven townspeople were tried for war crimes and murder stemming from this incident, six of whom were executed. (see Wolfsangel: A German City on Trial 1945–48, by August Nigro (Brassey's Inc, London, August 2000; 186pp)(ISBN 1574882457 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]))
Lord Mayors 
- 1954–1965 Dr Walter Köbel, SPD
- 1966–1981 Karl-Heinz Storsberg, SPD
- 1981–1994 Norbert Winterstein, SPD
- 1994–1999 Ottilia Geschka, CDU
- 1999–2011 Stefan Gieltowski, SPD
- 2011- present Patrick Burghardt CDU
Town partnerships 
Since 1961 Rüsselsheim participates in a programme of international town partnership. A regular exchange of culture and sports takes place between the four partner towns. Among other things, there are regular competitions between the four towns.
The first partnership began in 1961 with the French town Évreux, the capital of the département of Eure, with approximately 50,000 inhabitants. Evreux is about 100 km from both Paris and the Normandy Coast. In terms of history, Evreux offers historical monuments from the Gallo-Roman period (3rd century) and a cathedral from the 13th century. The economy of the town is based on business from the printing, electronics and pharmaceutical industries.
In 1977 Rugby (England) was added as the second partner town. The town has a population of about 70,000 and is located in Warwickshire County. It became well-known because of the public school with same name, as well as the sport "rugby." Rugby is a transportation junction between London, Birmingham and the north of England and its economy is based on industry and agriculture.
In 1979 the town of Varkaus, in Finland, was added. A quarter of the town is water, and as a town with bridges and canals, Varkaus is a popular tourist destination, both in summer (baths and boot tours) and in winter (100 km cross-country ski runs).
In 1991 the town of Kecskemét formed a partnership with Rüsselsheim and is its most recent addition. Kecskemét is the capital of the Hungarian komitat Bács-Kiskun, with a population of about 100,000. Kecskemét is located in the national park Kiskunság between Danube and Theiss. Well-known people from the town include the playwright József Katona, the painter János Muroközy, and the composer Zoltán Kodály. Art, education and agriculture shape the town.
An attempt to add the Turkish spa town of Bodrum as a fifth partner town failed.
The car manufacturer Opel and the ideal transportation location with many Motorway connections and direct train connections from Rüsselsheim station to Mainz, Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden and Darmstadt have resulted in the establishment of many businesses and the attraction of many commuters in Rüsselsheim.
Local companies 
- Hyundai (and Hyundai-Kia European Technical Center)
Public institutions 
The Rüsselsheim Museum, which was designated in 1980 with the Council of Europe's museum award as a "Model Museum", focuses in particular on the development of labor procedures and labor conditions from prehistory to the present.
Educational institutions 
Fachhochschule Wiesbaden 
The Fachhochschule Wiesbaden is an advanced technical college which has a branch in the town of Rüsselsheim. The technical departments of the Fachhochschule Wiesbaden are primarily located here.
Courses of study:
- Television engineering and electronic media
- Automotive, industrial, energy, and design engineering
- Environmental technology
- Physical technology, nanotechnology, computational engineering and medical technology
- Air traffic systems, marketing and control
- Media technology, information technology and electrical engineering
Recreational and sports facilities 
Event spaces: Walter-Köbel-Halle (2500 spectators)
Swimming pools: Freizeitbad an der Lache, Waldschwimmbad, Opelbad (no longer in use)
Stadiums: Stadion am Sommerdamm, with a field including bleachers and an artificial field for hockey
Boathouses: Bootshaus des Rudervereins Rüsselsheim am Main
Rüsselsheim features a large number of clubs. Some of them are members of national and international leagues.
- tg 1862 Rüsselsheim is the biggest of Rüsselsheim's clubs with approx. 4,000 members. 30 sports are offered in 12 divisions. The volleyball and dancing teams are members of their respective national leagues.
- JC Rüsselsheim offeres judo and other martial arts. A few German champions, as well as world champions, originate from this club.
- Rüsselsheimer Ruderklub is best known for hockey. The women's and men's teams have won German championships and were the winners of the European Cup.
- Flug-Sport-Club Rüsselsheim flies from its airfield on the Hoherodskopf.
- DPSG Stamm Partner Erde is the Scout Group in Rüsselsheim. It is a member of the Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg, the German Catholic Scout Association and as such a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. It has around 80 members and its headquarters at Georg-Jung-Str. 64.
In 2004, the Volunteer Fire Brigade of the town of Rüsselsheim was 125 years old.
Development of the town 
- 1951 Haßloch
- 1956 Königstädten
- 1970 Bauschheim
Twin Towns 
Honorary citizens 
- Ludwig Dörfler, former mayor of Rüsselsheim
- Roland Plaisance, former mayor of Rüsselsheim's partner city Evreux
Sons and Daughters of the Town 
- Adam Opel, founder of Adam Opel AG (1837–1895)
- Dr. Norbert Blüm, politician (CDU) and retired Federal Minister (1935)
- Klaus Fuchs, physicist, convicted of espionage (1911–1988)
- Andrea Ypsilanti, politician (1957)
- Kai Hundertmarck, cyclist with the Deutsche Telekom team (1969)
- Britta Becker, field hockey player (1973)
People who have had influence in Rüsselsheim 
- Diether Ritzert, painter und designer (1927–1987)
- Wilhelm Hammann, Buchenwald prisoner, district administrator of Groß-Gerau (1897–1955)
- Ottmar Hörl, artist (1950)
- This article is based on a translation of the corresponding article from the German Wikipedia, retrieved on May 10, 2005.