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 in Dresden, .
Rosa, the cow elephant, crushed the trainer Wilhelm Philadelphia
to death on the wall of her box at the Sarrasani Circus in 1921
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.