Circus Strassburger in Netherlands

Circus Strassburger
Strassburger-Orlando, Sundsvall, 1938
Strassburger-Orlando, Sundsvall, 1938
Last elephant left1963
Closed down1963
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Circus Strassburger is located at Hilversum, in , Netherlands

Comments / pictures

The family Strassburger had origin from Alsace (german Elsass) in present France. Strassburger were known for their liberty acts with up to hundred and twenty (!) horses divided over 3 rings and also for their Olympiads, chariot races.

1916: The circus, including tent, 63 horses and 3 elephants during tour in Norway, was sold to Lorenz Hagenbeck, and was renamed Circus Carl Hagenbeck - Stellingen.

1917: After WW1 Adolf Strassburger and his brother Leopold Strassburger started a new circus Strassburger in Germany. This circus later expanded to one of Europes largest circuses, which for some years toured with 2 different lines.

Adolfs son, Leopold Karl Strassburger, took over the circus and married his cousin, Leopolds (Adolfs brother) daughter Regina, and together with Reginas sister Elly and Karls brother Hans they brought the circus into one of the largest in Europe, travelling in two units.

Elephants at Strassburgers 1920.

1927 and 1929: One of the lines toured Sweden with a three-ring circus.

1933: Adolf Hitler became Reichskanzeler in Germany, and the Strassburgers had jewish origin.

1935: "Verordnung zu amtlichen Ariernachweisen" was established, where circus families should testify their arish origin. Adolf Strassburger decided to leave Germany, and sold his circus again, to Paul Busch.

1936: Karl Strassburger moved to Holland

1938: Toured Sweden with Henning orlando under the name Cirkus Orlando-Strassburger.

World war II and Circus Mikkenie-Strassburger

Karl Strassburger performed until into the German occupation of Holland in 1940, and even during the occupation as Circus Mikkenie, where Frans Mikkenie, a non-Jewish Dutch circus man, officially ran the circus.

After the war

The Strassburgers continued with Circus building Carré as their main playing ground after the war, becoming the Royal Dutch Circus when both Queen Wilhelmina and her daughter Juliana started frequenting the circus. Julianas husband Prince Bernhard (recently deceased) and his mother Princess Armgard were already avid circusfans that would not miss any performances of this great circus.

1952: 3 elephants on a photograph from Amsterdam.

Picture from Henry Strassburger and Jose Mullens marriage in 1952.

1953: Toured in Sweden again, in cooperation with Cirkus Mijares-Schreiber.

Death of Karl Strassburger

1953-05-07: During the Swedish tour, Karl Strassburger died by drowning in the town Trelleborg. Officially because of heart problems, but a Swedish doctor from Goethenburg, who made a health check one months before, wrote that the heart and blood pressure was good. The Swedish circus historian Alf Danielsson, writes that there was a general opinopn within the circus people that Karl Strassburg committed suicide.

Regina and Elly Strassburger

After Karl Strassburgs death, the sisters Regina and Elly Strassburger tok over the management of the circus.

1955 and 1955: Strassburger toured with Circus Scott in Sweden.

Their winter quarters were in Hilversum, Holland. Last of the wonderful Strassburgers performing was Wilhelmine Sophia Eleonora Elly Strassburger (1910-1988) who had ran the circus in its last years with her sister Regina (21.4.1967-15.10.2004). She was the daughter of Leopold Strassburger, a cousin of founder Hans, and Juliette Kosmayer Holzmuller. She married tiger trainer Harry Belli, in 1957.

1958: A. Strassburger at Circus Scott in Sweden 1958.

1960: Toured europe together with Circus Sarrasani.

In 1961, '62 and '63 (??, se down) the Circus Strassburger did not go on tour, but in those years Harry Belli went on tour in Holland as Circus Belli.

1963: The final performance of Circus Strassburger was in 1963 in Holland.

1964: Regina Strassburger died.

Harry Belli performed with Circus Belli until 1966, and performed on other circuses until 1975 and was famous for his tiger on a horse act.

Gisele, Karl and Reginas daughter, runs a leasure park in Stuckenbrock, near Bielefeld in Germany, where Elly spent her last days. Elly is buried in Hilversum, Holland.

References for records about Circus Strassburger

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2020). Circus Strassburger, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categoriescircus in Netherlands | Netherlands portal

This document was updated: 2020-10-30 07:03:11

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