Trolle Rhodin Sr.

From the list of elephant persons Family: Rhodin

Trolle Rhodin Sr.
Olof  Rhodin
Trolle Rhodin
Personal details

Spouse(s) 1954 - 1997 Ingeborg Rhodin

Country Sweden

Title director 1965
Location at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in United States

Title owner 1948-1964
Location at Circus Caravan in Sweden

Title owner 1948-1964
Location at Zoo Circus in Sweden

Title director -1997
Location at Circus Brazil Jack in Sweden

Olof  Gautier
Poster from Trolle Rhodins Winther Circus in Globen, Stockholm, 1989
Biography details

Olof Trollhaimen Rhodin Sr., circus director in Sweden

Born 1917-12-07 in Sweden dead 1997-09-17 in Sweden , son of director Brazil Jack and assistant director Iris Rhodin .

Owner of 2 elephants

1: Birka (owner from 1945 to 1956) 2: Safari (owner from 1945 to 1956)

Trolle Rhodin bought a disfunct circus from Henning Orlando, and founded 1941 Zoo Circus in Malmö in Sweden, later added by Circus Caravan.

Trolle Rhodin Sr.Trolle Rhodin riding a horse in 1940

In July 1943 phosporus bombs fell on Hamburg, and Hagenbecks Tierpark was more or less destroyed in 90 minutes. 400 animals lost their lifes. Hagenbecks Circus in Hamburg decided to send their elephants to Malmö, where they could be housed in the winter quarters of family Rhodin.

The elephants came 1944 with their trainer Hugo Schmitt, and toured Sweden with Zoo Circus. Hugo Schmitt was trained by Hagenbecks famous chief elephant trainer Wilhelm Philadelphia.

Trolle Rhodin Sr.Trolle Rhodin riding one of Hagenbecks elephants during the tour in Sweden.

On that tour was also Trolles stable master Theodor Kruse, father to Gösta Kruse, who learned elephant training from Hugo Schmitt, and later becamed a famous elephant trainer in Europe, first touring with Trolles elephants, Safari and Birka, until 1951 when he took over the elephants at Bertram Mills Circus, and later Circus Pinder in Paris, Safari and Birka was sold by Trolle to Zoo Dresden in 1956.

Meanwhile, Hagenbecks negotiated with John Ringling North, owner of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baileys Circus (RBBB) in America, also called The Greatest Show on Earth, and Ringling bought the Hagenbeck elephants, on condition that Hugo Schmitt came with them.

Hugo Schmitt went with the elephants to U.S.A. in 1947 and the five elephants Icky, Karnaudi, Minjak (captive-born), Mutu and Sabu arrived at Ringlings in 20 June 1947. Now Hugo Schmitt was responsible for Ringlings previous 38 elephants, plus the 5 ones he brought from Sweden. Together with Hugo and the elephants, came also Lulu Gautier as Schmitts assistant.

Trolle Rhodin married Ingeborg Gautier in 1954, sister to Lulu Gautier. Trolle now had valuable contacts within RBBB. It was maybe Trolles relation with RBBB that gave him the opportunity to lease the Chipperfield elephants after their RBBB europe tour. During this time, he also decided to join Ringling as their general manager and he brought large parts of his circus Caravan with him to the United States. In November 1964 five of the Chipperfield elephants were taken to Bremerhafen, in order to be transported to the US, bought and imported by Ringling in U.S.A. which now had a new owner; John Ringling North had sold the circus to Irwin Field for $8 millions.

Among the acts Trolle brought over in 1965 was the Hungarian juggler Fudi whose act was on Ringling for several years. Fudi later returned as a performance director and later again as boss clown. But more important, Trolle negotiated with Gunther Gebel-Williams in Germany, and inspired him toe join RBBB in 1968, with the entire Circus Williams from Cologne.

Gunther (GGW) became RBBBs largest star ever, and is considered as the the most famous circus star ever.

Later Rhodins returned to sweden and refounded Circus Brazil Jack in Malmö.

Trolle Rhodin Sr.Dunja with Trolle Rhodin, Baltiska Hallen in Malmö, Sweden


Total: 3 children

  1. Trolle Rhodin Jr.. Born: 1954.
  2. Carlo Rhodin. Born: 1956-07-28.
  3. Diana Rhodin. Born: 1957-11-07.


Siblings through the father Brazil Jack (1871-09-28 -- 1952-11-07):

  1. Teddy Rhodin Born 1919-02-28 Dead: † 2004-07-25

Trolle Rhodin Sr. s ancestral Ahnentafel:


Trolle Rhodin Sr.
Born: 1917-12-07

Carl Rhodin

Born: 1871-09-28

Paternal Grandfather:

Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Paternal Grandmother:

Paternal Great-grandfather::
Paternal Great-grandmother:

Iris Möller

Born: 1897

Maternal Grandfather:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). director Olof Trollhaimen Rhodin Sr. in Sweden. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 16 June 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

Links about Diana Rhodin

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Categories director | circus | Circus Brazil Jack | Rhodin family | Born 1917 | Dead 1997 | People from Sweden

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