Welcome, guest. You are not logged in.
Log in or join for free!
Stay logged in
Forgot login details?

Stay logged in

For free!
Get started!

Multimedia gallery

> Kaspar Hauser <

In May 1828 the German city of Nuremberg was abuzz with deep and almost obsessive curiosity about a bizarre stranger who had wandered into Unschlitt Square. Who could this shabbily dressed figure possibly be? He was staggering as if in a daze, was vaguely aristocratic in appearance, yet unable to utter more than a grunt or two. Seemingly, he had a mental age of no more than three, yet although he could hardly even walk, he was physically well into his teens.
Where had he come from? And why was he so distraught? It was almost as if he was a stranger not only to the city of Nuremberg but to the very planet. Rumour and speculation were rife - to such an extent that within days the whimpering figure was to become an object of concern not only to the citizens of this prosperous provincial city but also to the entire population of Germany itself.
Shoemaker George Weichmann had been first to spot the dishevelled figure, but was unable to elicit much of a response from him. The boy merely muttered what seemed to be his name - Kaspar Hauser - and handed Weichmann a letter, clearly addressed to a certain Captain Wessenig, to whose nearby home the cobbler duly delivered him.
Here, seemingly weak from hunger, Kaspar was offered a hearty meal, although for some inexplicable reason, he refused it, accepting only plain bread and water which he downed with considerable relish.

The letter, when opened, proved to be equally enigmatic. Many years previosly - so it seemed - its sender had found the child lying on his doorstep and, though a man of limited means, had taken the infant in keeping him locked in a cellar for all of 13 years, without human contact of any kind. Quitd why there had been this need for secrecy was not explained. Circumstances were now such, however, that he could no longer afford to keep the boy and so he had seen fit to deliver him into safe hands.'If you do not want him', the letter proclaimed, 'it would be best that you hang him.'

Kaspar had spent his entire life in a dark, confined space, without any sense of time, oblivious to the existance of anyone else, even his jailer. Whenever he awoke, there was always a fresh shirt and bread and water by the bed to which he had been chained; but sometimes the water tasted rather bitter and had the effect of making him sleepy. One day, however, a figure appeared and he was dragged to the centre of Nuremberg where he was given the enigmatic letter and abandoned.

The mayor of Nuremberg, before whom Kaspar was brought, was very moved by his situation and found him a sympathetic soul. It was likely, he announced, that the poor boy had been the victim of some dreadful crime. Anyone with accurate information as to where he had come from would be duly rewarded. Accusations were plentiful, among them the statement that he was surely the illegitimate son of a member of the German royal family. Or had he, some wondered, come from a place way beyond our universe?
A certain Professor Daumer, teacher at a local school, was particularly intrigued by Kaspar; and, indeed, having offered a home to the boy, gradually became utterly captivated by him. Daumer kept a detailed account of the boy's development and character throughout the time he was with him, and was clearly convinced that he must have had supernatural origins of some kind.

Daumer had noticed that Kaspar, though uneducated, had some remarkable natural talents: he could identify objects in the dark and was able to locate hidden metal objects, but became intoxicated at the mere sniff of a glass of wine. Under the Professor's tuition he showed an eagerness to learn and a surprising intelligence and was quickly able to produce highly-skilled drawings and writing. Animals, without exception, always responded warmly to him, and even the most savage of dogs lovingly licked his hands.
On 17th October 1829, Daumer's sister noticed traces of blood leading down their cellar, and there found Kaspar, wounded and unconscious. He was bleeding from his temples, and when he came round he claimed to have been attacked and stabbed by a masked man in black cloak. Rumour now held that someone must have sent an assassin to get rid of the boy, presumably to prevent revelaction of his past history.
Given police protection, Kaspar next went to live with a local lady, Frau Behold, who turned out to be exceedingly cruel when he did not respond to her attempted seduction. Moving on to yet another family, he was now fast catching up at school, though of course in class of somewhat younger pupils. Socially, however, he remained very much a solitary figure, spending a great deal of time on his own and enjoying what were basically very simple pleasures.

Before too long, another letter, coming completely out of the blue, was to cause even greater curiosity, and not only because it enclosed the gift of a diamond ring. It came, apparently, from an anonymous 'friend' who was working on behalf of Kaspar at a distance. When the writer eventually visited, he was found to be a member of the British nobility. There were, he told Kaspar, amazing secrets to be told: but for the moment, Kaspar must simply trust that he had to remain silent until the moment was right. Soon he would return and tell him of his origins, Kaspar was promised. This was not to be, however, for the mysterious benefactor soon pesished in the most suspicious and mysterious circumstances.
In 1833, four years after the initial assassination attempt, Kasper was lured to a Nuremberg park by a stranger's promise that he would be taken to his mother. Here, he was attacked and brutally murdered. No one had witnessed the attack, nor could any weapon be found. But strangest of all, only Kaspar's footsteps could be seen in the December snow afterwards. So it transpired that Kaspar's secrets, of which he was to remain ignorant, were buried with him.

This page:

Help/FAQ | Terms | Imprint
Home People Pictures Videos Sites Blogs Chat