Circus Sarrasani in Germany

Circus Sarrasani


Owner 1902-1934: Hans Stosch-Sarrasani Sr.
1934-1941: Hans Stosch-Sarrasani Jr.
1941: Trude Stosch-Sarrasani
1956-1993: Fritz Mey
1980-2000: Ingrid Stosch-Sarrasani
2000-2016: André Sarrasani
First elephant arrived1902
Last elephant left1944
Closed down1945
Place Dresden
Country Germany
Website Website

Directors: Gabor Némedy (assistant director)
: Ingrid Wimmer (assistant director)

Key People: Otto Sailer-Jackson (animal trainer)
: Jacky Althoff (animal trainer)
-: Ingrid Wimmer (artist)
-: Carl Petoletti (animal trainer)
1913-1914: Sandor Kleinbarth (animal trainer)
1913-1914: Elise Kleinbarth (artist)
1923-1924: Louis Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Julius Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Rosa Lorch (animal trainer)
1923-1925: Johanna Meyer (artist)
1923-1925: Rosa Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Jeanette Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Arthur Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Helene Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Eugen Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Adolph Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Felix Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Hedwig Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Rudolf Lorch (artist)
1923-1925: Alice Lorch (artist)
1926: Cliff Aeros (artist)
1927: Käthe Althoff (artist)
1927-: Sophie Althoff (artist)
1956-1957: Hedwig Brandt (partner)


Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants
: Rudi Belli
(elephant trainer)
: Franz Kraml
(elephant trainer)
1921-1921: Wilhelm Philadelphia
(chief elephant trainer)
-1944: Fritz Oehme
(elephant trainer)

Elephant keepers
Record history
History of updates2023-09-21

Latest document update2023-09-21 14:24:41
Relevant literature
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Circus Sarrasani, in Dresden, Germany , was founded in 1902 and the first elephant arrived in 1902. The last elephant left in 1944. Circus Sarrasani closed down in 1945.

Comments / pictures1902: Circus was founded by Hans Stosch (artist name Giovanni Sarrasani) in Dresden.
1902: In the same year he bought his first elephant, an Asian elephant trained to ride on a bicycle, from Hagenbecks.Sarrasani later bought 7 elephants from director Pinkert at Leipzig Zoo (Source: Rudolf Kludsky).
Circus Sarrasani in Germany Germany
1910: 9 elephants swim in river Elbe at Dresden.
1914: Sarrasani bought Circus Henry
1917: An elephant was shot on the circus, and served at restaurant Bärenschenke, Webergasse 27-29 in Dresden.
1921-04-28: Rosa, the cow elephant, crushed the trainer Wilhelm Philadelphia to death on the wall of her box at the Sarrasani Circus in 1921
1926: Sarrasani had 22 elephants.

Circus Sarrasani in Germany GermanySarrasanis elephants in Frankfurt, 1927.
Circus Sarrasani in Germany GermanyFoot care of the Sarrasani elephants in the 30s.

1930: Fritz Oehme was a famous elephant trainer of the circus Sarrasani during the thirties.
1932-01-13: S train wagon with three elephants was set to fire, and the three elephants got lethal burn wounds and died shortly thereafter.
1934-09-21: Hans Stosch-Sarrasani died on tour in Sao Paolo.
1934-09-21: Hans Stosch-Sarrasani jun. (1897 – 1941) took over the circus.
1941: Trude Stosch-Sarrasani (1913 – 2009) took over the circus, after her husband died in Southamerica.
1942: 12 elephants, according to a poster advertisment, during tour in Berlin.
1944: 11 elephants, 1 hippo and 1 school horse went to National Circus Gebr. Knie from the Sarrasani together with Fritz Oehme trainer. Names: The 11 elephant bought by Knie from Sarrasani were: Menta, Tony, Rani, Herta, Punchy, Claudia, Maundy, Contess, Mary, Tarka and Frieda.

Sarrasani sent all of their elephants (13 or 14) to Circus Knie during the Second World War for fear of losing them to enemy bombing. They, of course, were right as their permanent building and winter quarters in Dresden was raised to the ground. Gerd Siemonite told me he saw the show in the building as a small boy and went back in the morning and the building was completely destroyed. They laid the dead human bodies out on the elephant boards because the elephants weren’t there. The only animal that survived was the hippo, which was in its tank underneath the building. Rolf Knie Snr. wrote a very good book about the Knie elephants and it talks about their origins.

Jim Clubb, UK.

1956: Fritz Mey (1904 – 1993) and Hedwig Stosch-Brandt restarted Circus Sarrasani in Mannheim.

Circus Sarrasani in Germany GermanyCircus Sarrasani in 1963.

1980 - 2000: Ingrid Stosch-Sarrasani had the leadership.
2000: André Sarrasani (*1972), son of Fritz Mey and Ingrid Wimmer, and adopted by Ingrid Stosch-Sarrasani, took over the circus.

References for records about Circus Sarrasani

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Circus Sarrasani, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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