Ludwig Swoboda

From the list of elephant persons Family: Swoboda

Ludwig Swoboda
Ludwig  Swoboda
Ludwig Swoboda with elephant Pepi, 1930
Personal details

Spouse(s) 1912 - 1952 Therese Swoboda

Country Austria

Title owner 1904-1952
Location at Circus Medrano-Swoboda in Austria

Biography details

Ludwig "Lajos" Swoboda , circus director in Austria

Born 1881-12-09 in Austria dead 1952-05-21 in Greece .

Ludwig Swoboda (1881-1952), was born on December 9, 1881 in Dürnbach, Burgenland, in what was then the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Dürnbach became part of Austria in 1918). His parents were of Czechoslovakian descent and although they didn’t come from a circus family, they owned a small circus that traveled in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They always called Ludwig, who was born in the family’s horse-drawn living wagon, Lajos—the Hungarian equivalent of his German name.

Ludwig Swoboda married Therese Karfiol (1893-1971) on January 16, 1912 in Vienna. Therese was fifth-generation of an old family of comedians and entertainers, allied to the Czech Berosini circus family; she was an equestrienne and she knew the circus business in and out. Therese would be instrumental in the management and development of her husband’s circus.

Ludwig Swoboda passed away on May 21, 1952, at age seventy-one, while the circus was touring in Greece. His daughter Reserl had preceded him on October 1, 1951. Wanda, Anita, Hella and Tulli took over the management of the circus with their mother, Therese. It returned briefly to Austria in 1954, and, for the 1955-56 season, the Swobodas decided to visit West Germany. Circus Medrano at the time toured with a large Italian big top, fifty meters in diameter, 114 wagons and caravans, 180 employees and artists, and a vast menagerie: it was not a small affair. Unfortunately, in spite of a nine-week stay in Berlin that was apparently very successful, the tour proved a financial disaster, and Circus Medrano went bankrupt.

While Zirkus Lajos, and then Circus Medrano, prospered, Ludwig and Therese Swoboda produced six children, all girls. The elder, Therese, (known as Reserl) was born August 19, 1911. She married the juggler Rob Carry (Robert Hiebner) in 1938, and together they had two sons, Robert (known as Peter, born October 6, 1940) and Alfred (born July 10, 1942). Their second daughter, Wanda was born August 28, 1913; she married the Italian equestrian and clown Davide Belley, with whom she had three children, Silvia (born May 23, 1941), Renate (May 23, 1942), and Wanda (born March 6, 1946). Her sister, Stefanie, was born September 25, 1914; she married in 1938 the icarist Nicolas (Kola) Karpi. Sadly, Stefanie died in Berlin on February 20, 1941, after having given birth to twins. The fourth sister, Anita, was born September 9, 1918, and married the Italian painter Vincenze Monti. Then, Helene Swoboda, known as Hella, was born March 31, 1920. She also married an Italian, Renato Medini, a versatile circus performer and jack-of-all-trades, on September 26, 1946. Together Renato and Hella Medini had two children, Clarissa (born December 24, 1950) and Mario (born December 17, 1951). Finally, the last of the six sisters, Krimhilde (known as Tulli) was born July 17, 1935. She married an American, of whom little has been recorded.
Dominique Jando, Circus Medrano-Swoboda


Total: 6 children

  1. Therese Swoboda. Born: 1911-08-19. Dead: † 1971-03-24
  2. Wanda Swoboda. Born: 1913-08-28.
  3. Stefanie Swoboda. Born: 1914-09-25. Dead: † 1941-02-20
  4. Anita Swoboda. Born: 1918-09-09. Dead: † ?
  5. Hella Medini. Born: 1920-03-31. Dead: † 2015-01-00
  6. Krimhilde Swoboda. Born: 1935-07-17.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). director Ludwig "Lajos" Swoboda in Austria. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 22 July 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

Links about Krimhilde Swoboda

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Categories director | circus | Circus Medrano-Swoboda | Swoboda family | Born 1881 | Dead 1952 | People from Austria

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