Kaspar Hauser

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Kaspar Hauser
Hauser Kreul.jpg
Hauser, 1830
Born(1812-04-30)30 April 1812
Died17 December 1833(1833-12-17) (aged 21)
Cause of deathStab wound

Kaspar Hauser (30 April 1812 – 17 December 1833) was a German youth who claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Hauser's claims, and his subsequent death by stabbing, sparked much debate and controversy. Theories propounded at the time identified him as a member of the grand ducal House of Baden, hidden away because of royal intrigue. These opinions may or may not have been documented by later investigations.[1] Other theories proposed that Hauser had been a fraud.


First appearance[edit]

On 26 May 1828, a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. He carried a letter with him addressed to the captain of the 4th squadron of the 6th cavalry regiment, Captain von Wessenig. Its heading read: Von der Bäierischen Gränz / daß Orte ist unbenant / 1828 ("From the Bavarian border / The place is unnamed / 1828"). The anonymous author said that the boy was given into his custody as an infant on 7 October 1812 and that he instructed him in reading, writing and the Christian religion, but never let him "take a single step out of my house". The letter stated that the boy would now like to be a cavalryman "as his father was" and invited the captain either to take him in or to hang him.

There was another short letter enclosed purporting to be from his mother to his prior caretaker. It stated that his name was Kaspar, that he was born on 30 April 1812 and that his father, a cavalryman of the 6th regiment, was dead. In fact this letter was found to have been written by the same hand as the other one (whose line "he writes my handwriting exactly as I do" led later analysts to assume that Kaspar Hauser himself wrote both of them).[2]

A shoemaker named Weickmann took the boy to the house of Captain von Wessenig, where he would repeat only the words "I want to be a cavalryman, as my father was" and "Horse! Horse!" Further demands elicited only tears or the obstinate proclamation of "Don't know." He was taken to a police station, where he would write a name: Kaspar Hauser. He showed that he was familiar with money, could say some prayers and read a little, but he answered few questions and his vocabulary appeared to be rather limited.[3] Because he provided no account of himself, he was imprisoned as a vagabond.[4]

He spent the following two months in Luginsland Tower in Nuremberg Castle in the care of a jailer named Andreas Hiltel. Despite what many later accounts would say, he was in good physical condition and could walk well; for example, he climbed over 90 steps to his room. He was of a "healthy facial complexion"[5] and approximately 16 years old, but appeared to be intellectually impaired. Mayor Binder, however, claimed that the boy had an excellent memory and was learning quickly. Various curious people visited him to his apparent delight. He refused all food except bread and water.

Statue of Kaspar, old city centre, Ansbach, Germany

Hauser's account of life in a dungeon[edit]

At first, it was assumed that Hauser was a half-wild child from the forests. During the course of many conversations with Mayor Binder, Hauser told a different version of his past life, which he later wrote down in more detail.[6] According to the story, Hauser had as long as he could remember spent his life in solitary confinement in a darkened cell. He gave the cell's dimensions as approximately two metres long, one metre wide and one and a half high, with only a straw bed to sleep on and, for toys, two horses and a dog carved out of wood.

Hauser claimed that he found rye bread and water next to his bed each morning. At times, the water would taste bitter and drinking it would cause him to sleep more deeply than usual. On such occasions, upon awakening, his straw had been changed and his hair and nails cut. Hauser claimed that the first human being he had ever met was a man who visited him not long before his release. The man took great care not to reveal his face to him. This man taught him to write his own name by leading his hand. After learning to stand and walk, Hauser was brought to Nuremberg. The stranger allegedly taught him to say the phrase "I want to be a cavalryman, as my father was" (in Old Bavarian dialect), but Hauser claimed that he did not understand what the words meant.

This tale aroused great curiosity and made Hauser an object of international attention. Rumours arose that he was of princely parentage, possibly of Baden origin, but there were also allegations that he was an impostor.

Pencil drawing by Kaspar Hauser, 1829

Further life in Nuremberg[edit]

Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach, president of the Bavarian court of appeals, began to investigate the case. Hauser was formally adopted by the town of Nuremberg and money was donated for his upkeep and education.[7] He was given into the care of Friedrich Daumer, a schoolmaster and speculative philosopher, who taught him various subjects and who thereby discovered his talent for drawing. He appeared to flourish in this environment. Daumer also subjected him to homeopathy and magnetic experiments. As Feuerbach told the story, "When Professor Daumer held the north pole [of a magnet] towards him, Kaspar put his hand to the pit of his stomach, and, drawing his waistcoat in an outward direction, said that it drew him thus; and that a current of air seemed to proceed from him. The south pole affected him less powerfully; and he said that it blew upon him."[8]

The wound[edit]

On 17 October 1829, Hauser did not come to the Lunch, but was found in the cellar of Daumer's house bleeding from a newly cut wound on the forehead. He asserted that while sitting on the privy, he had been attacked and hurt by a hooded man who also threatened him with the words: "You still have to die ere you leave the city of Nuremberg." Hauser related he recognised the speaker as the man who had brought him to Nuremberg. As was obvious, from his blood trail, Hauser at first fled to the first floor where his room was, but then, rather than moving on to find his caretakers, had gone downstairs and climbed through a trap door into the cellar. Alarmed officials called for a police escort and transferred him to the care of Johann Biberbach, a municipal authority. The alleged attack on Hauser also fueled rumours about his possible ancestry from Hungary, England or the House of Baden.

Doubters of Hauser's story are of the opinion that he had self-inflicted the wound with a razor, which he then took back to his room before going to the cellar.[9] He might have done so to arouse pity and thus escape chiding for a recent quarrel with Daumer, who had come to believe that the boy had a tendency to lie.[10]

The pistol accident[edit]

On 3 April 1830, a pistol shot went off in Hauser's room at the Biberbachs' house. His escort hurriedly entered the room and found him bleeding from a wound to the right side of his head. Hauser soon revived and stated that he climbed on a chair to get some books, the chair had fallen, and then, while trying to find a handhold, he had by mistake torn down the pistol hanging on the wall and caused the shot to go off. There are doubts whether the superficial wound was actually caused by the shot. Some authors associate the incident with a preceding quarrel in which, again, Hauser had been reproached for lying.[11] Whatever the case, the occurrence led the municipal authorities to come to another decision on Hauser, whose initially good relationship with the Biberbach family had soured. In May 1830, he was transferred to the house of Baron von Tucher.[12] The baron also would later complain about Hauser's exorbitant vanity and lies. Mrs. Biberbach commented on his "horrendous mendacity" and "art of dissimulation" and called him "full of vanity and spite".[13]

Lord Stanhope[edit]

A British nobleman, Lord Stanhope, took an interest in Hauser and gained custody of him late in 1831. He spent a great deal of money attempting to clarify Hauser's origin. In particular, he paid for two visits to Hungary hoping to jog the boy's memory, as Hauser seemed to remember some Hungarian words and had once declared that the Hungarian Countess Maytheny was his mother. Hauser failed to recognise any buildings or monuments in Hungary. A Hungarian nobleman who had met Hauser later told Stanhope that he and his son had a good laugh when they recollected the strange boy and his histrionic behaviour.[14] Stanhope later wrote that the complete failure of these inquiries led him to doubt Hauser's credibility. In December 1831, he transferred Hauser to Ansbach, to the care of a schoolmaster named Johann Georg Meyer, and in January 1832, Stanhope left Hauser for good. Stanhope continued to pay for Hauser's living expenses but never made good on his promise that he would take him to England. After Hauser's death, Stanhope published a book in which he presented all known evidence against Hauser, taking it as his "duty openly to confess that I had been deceived."[15] Followers of Hauser suspect Stanhope of ulterior motives and connections to the House of Baden, but academic historiography defends him as a philanthropist, a pious man and a seeker of truth.[16]

Life and death in Ansbach[edit]

Schoolmaster Meyer, a strict and pedantic man, disliked Hauser's excuses and apparent lies. Their relationship was thus strained. In late 1832, Hauser was employed as a copyist in the local law office. Still hoping that Stanhope would take him to England, Hauser was dissatisfied with his situation, which deteriorated further when his patron, Anselm von Feuerbach, died in May 1833. This was a grievous loss to him.[17] Other authors point out that Feuerbach, by the end of his life, had lost faith in Hauser. He had written a note, to be found in his legacy, which read, "Caspar Hauser is a smart scheming codger, a rogue, a good-for-nothing that ought to be killed."[18] However, there is no indication that Feuerbach, already seriously ill, let Hauser feel this change of opinion.

On 9 December 1833, Hauser had a serious argument with Meyer. Lord Stanhope was expected to visit Ansbach at Christmas and Meyer stated that he did not know how he would face him.

Fatal stab wound[edit]

A photograph of the note, in mirror writing. Contrast enhanced. The original has been missing since 1945.

Five days later, on 14 December 1833, Hauser came home with a deep wound in his left breast. By his account, he had been lured to the Ansbach Court Garden, where a stranger stabbed him while giving him a bag. When policeman Herrlein searched the Court Garden, he found a small violet purse containing a pencilled note in Spiegelschrift (mirror writing). The message read, in German:

"Hauser will be able to tell you quite precisely how I look and from where I am. To save Hauser the effort, I want to tell you myself from where I come _ _ . I come from from _ _ _ the Bavarian border _ _ On the river _ _ _ _ _ I will even tell you the name: M. L. Ö."

Hauser died of the wound on 17 December 1833.

Inconsistencies in Hauser's account led the Ansbach court of enquiry to suspect that he had stabbed himself and then invented a tale about being attacked. The note in the purse that was found in the Court Garden contained a spelling error and a grammatical error, both of which were typical for Hauser, who, on his deathbed, muttered incoherently about "writing with pencil". Although Hauser was eager that the purse be found, he did not ask for its contents. The note itself was folded into a specific triangular form, in the way in which Hauser would fold his letters, according to Mrs. Meyer. Forensic examiners agreed that the wound might indeed be self-inflicted. Many authors[19] believe that he had wounded himself in a bid to revive public interest in his story and to persuade Stanhope to fulfill his promise to take him to England, but that he had injured himself more deeply than planned.[20]


Hic jacet
Casparus Hauser
sui temporis
ignota nativitas
occulta mors

Hauser was buried in the Stadtfriedhof (city cemetery) in Ansbach, where his headstone reads, in Latin, "Here lies Kaspar Hauser, riddle of his time. His birth was unknown, his death mysterious. 1833."[21] A monument to him was later erected in the Court Garden which reads Hic occultus occulto occisus est, meaning "Here lies a mysterious one who was killed in a mysterious manner."

Medical opinions[edit]

Dr. Heidenreich, a physician present at the autopsy, claimed that the brain of Kaspar Hauser was notable for small cortical size and its few non-distinct cortical gyri, indicative to some that he suffered from cortical atrophy or, as G. Hesse argued, from epilepsy.[22] Heidenreich may have been influenced by his phrenological ideas when examining Hauser's brain.[23] Dr. Albert, who conducted the autopsy and wrote the official report, found no anomalies in Hauser's brain.

A 1928 medical study[24] supported the view that Hauser had self-inflicted the wound and accidentally stabbed himself too deeply. A 2005 forensic analysis argued that it seems "unlikely that the stab to the chest was inflicted exclusively for the purpose of self-damage, but both a suicidal stab and a homicidal act (assassination) cannot be definitely ruled out."[25]

Psychological viewpoints[edit]

Hauser's various accounts of the story of his incarceration include several contradictions.[26] In 1970, psychiatrist Karl Leonhard stated that "[i]f he had been living since childhood under the conditions he describes, he would not have developed beyond the condition of an idiot; indeed he would not have remained alive long. His tale is so full of absurdities that it is astonishing that it was ever believed and is even today still believed by many people."[27]

Karl Leonhard rejected the views of both Heidenreich and Hesse. He contended that "Kaspar Hauser was, as other authors already opined, a pathological swindler. In addition to his hysterical make-up he probably had the persistence of a paranoid personality since he was able to play his role so imperturbably. From many reports on his behaviour one can recognise the hysterical as well as the paranoid trend of his personality."[27]

"Hereditary prince" theory[edit]


The Countess of Hochberg
The Grand Duchess Stéphanie

According to contemporary rumours, probably current as early as 1829, that Kaspar Hauser was, in fact the hereditary prince of Baden, who was born 29 September 1812. According to history, the prince died on 16 October 1812. It was alleged that he had been switched with a dying infant, only to subsequently surface 16 years later as Hauser. In that case, Hauser's parents would have been Charles, Grand Duke of Baden and Stéphanie de Beauharnais, cousin by marriage and adopted daughter of Napoleon. As Charles had no surviving male progeny, his successor was his uncle Louis, who was later succeeded by his half-brother, Leopold. Leopold's mother, the Countess of Hochberg, was the alleged culprit for the plot. The Countess was supposed to have disguised herself as a ghost, the "White Lady", when kidnapping the prince. Her motive, evidently, would have been to secure the succession for her sons.

Following Hauser's death, it was further claimed that he was murdered, again to hide his supposed true identity.[citation needed]

Evidence uncovered in the 1870s[edit]

In 1876, Otto Mittelstädt presented evidence against this theory, in the form of official documents concerning the prince's emergency baptism, autopsy and burial.[28] In his Historical Mysteries, Andrew Lang summarises the results: "It is true that the Grand Duchess was too ill to be permitted to see her dead baby, in 1812, but the baby's father, grandmother, and aunt, with the ten Court physicians, the nurses and others, must have seen it, in death, and it is too absurd to suppose, on no authority, that they were all parties to the White Lady's plot."[29] Historian Fritz Trautz went so far as to write that, "The silly fairytale, which to this day moves many pens and has found much belief, was fully disproved in Otto Mittelstädt's book."[30] Letters of the Grand Duke's mother, published in 1951, give detailed accounts of the child's birth, illness and death, which would disprove the theory of switched babies.[31]

Differing DNA analyses[edit]

In November 1996, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported an attempt to genetically match a blood sample from underwear thought to have been Hauser's. This analysis was made in laboratories of Forensic Science Service in Birmingham and in the LMU Institute of Legal Medicine at the University of Munich. Comparisons with descendants of the princely family proved that the blood examined could not have come from the hereditary prince of Baden.[32][33]

In 2002, the Institute for Forensic Medicine of the University of Münster analyzed hair and body cells from locks of hair and items of clothing that also belonged to Kaspar Hauser. The analysts took from the items used in the test six different DNA samples, all of which turned out to be identical. All, however, differed substantially from the blood sample examined in 1996, the authenticity of which was therefore questioned. The new DNA samples were compared to a DNA segment from Astrid von Medinger, a descendant in the female line of Stéphanie de Beauharnais. The sequences were not identical, but the deviation observed is not large enough to exclude a relationship as the difference could be caused by a mutation. (The mitochondrial DNA which was examined is passed only through the female line and thus cannot change except through mutation.) On the other hand, the relatively high similarity by no means proves the alleged relationship, as the "Hauser samples" showed a pattern amongst the German population.[34]

The House of Baden does not allow any medical examination of the remains of Stéphanie de Beauharnais or of the child that was buried as her son in the family vault at the Pforzheimer Schlosskirche.

Cultural references[edit]

Kaspar Hauser fits into the contemporary European image of the "wolf child" (despite the fact that he almost certainly was not one), and he became possibly the best-known example of the genre. As a result, his story inspired numerous works.


Works centering on Hauser[edit]

Kaspar Hauser inspired the French poet Paul Verlaine to write the poem "Gaspard Hauser chante", in which he sees himself as Gaspard, published in his book Sagesse (1880).

Perhaps the most influential fictional treatment of Kasper Hauser was Jakob Wassermann's 1908 novel Caspar Hauser oder Die Trägheit des Herzens (Caspar Hauser or the Inertia of the Heart), which was largely responsible for its popularity in Germany.

In 1913, Georg Trakl wrote the poem "Kaspar Hauser Lied" ("Kaspar Hauser Song").[35] It alludes to the works by Verlaine and Wassermann, and has been called the "most striking" expression of a literary trope in which Kaspar Hauser "stood for the natural, poetic genius lost in a strange world, lacking a home, a sense of origin and attachment, and fearing a violent but uncertain future."[36]

Martin Heidegger cited this poem in his essay on poetry and language, Unterwegs zur Sprache.[37]

In 1963, Marianne Hauser gave a fictional account of Kaspar Hauser's life in her novel Prince Ishmael.

In 1967, the Austrian playwright Peter Handke published his play Kaspar.

In 1994 the English poet David Constantine explored the story and its personae in Caspar Hauser: A Poem in Nine Cantos.[38]

Canadian artist Diane Obomsawin tells the story of Kaspar Hauser in her 2007 graphic novel Kaspar and later adapted it into an animated short film of the same title in 2012.[39]

Incidental mentions[edit]

Kaspar Hauser is referred to in Herman Melville's unfinished novella Billy Budd (begun in 1886), as well as in his novels, both Pierre: or, The Ambiguities and The Confidence-Man. He is also referenced in the Hans Christian Andersen story "Beauty of Form and Beauty of Mind" or "Beautiful".

Kaspar Hauser was mentioned in a work of 1897 by Leo Tolstoy entitled What Is Art? (chap. 5).

The French novelist Georges Perec identified strongly with the orphan Kaspar,[40] as depicted in Paul Verlaine's poem,[41] and centered several of his works on characters named Gaspard,[40] referencing the name as Verlaine wrote it in his poem. His first novel, which he believed lost, but was found and published after his death under the title "Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere,"[42] was originally titled "Gaspard" and then "Gaspard not Dead".[43] In W, or the Memory of Childhood, Perec alternates autobiographical memories with a retelling of a story he invented as a teenager, centered on a character again named Gaspard.[44] His "MICRO-TRADUCTIONS, 15 variations discrètes sur un poème connu,"(1973)[45] is a work entirely composed of creative variations on Verlaine's poem. And in his most famous work, Life: A User's Manual, Perec again uses the character Gaspard Winkler as a central figure in the story.[46]

In the mid-20th century, Kaspar Hauser was referred to in several works of science fiction or fantasy literature: Eric Frank Russell, in his 1943 novel Sinister Barrier, described Kaspar Hauser as a person who originated from a non-human laboratory. Fredric Brown, in his 1949 short story "Come and Go Mad", offered another theory about Kaspar Hauser. In Henry Kuttner's 1954 "The Portal in the Picture", the author suggests Hauser is from Malesco, a parallel world where science is treated as a religion and its secrets are hidden from the ordinary citizen. Robert A. Heinlein, in his 1963 Glory Road, refers to "Kaspar Hausers" as an analogue to persons popping in and out of metaphysical planes. Harlan Ellison, in his 1967 story "The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World", suggested that Hauser had been plucked out of time and later murdered by a female sadist named Juliette.

Edward D. Hoch's "The Man From Nowhere," first published in the June 1956 issue of Famous Detective Stories, makes reference to Hauser. Paul Auster, in his 1985 novel City of Glass, compares the situation of one of its characters to that of Kaspar Hauser.

Kaspar Hauser is also referred to in Jonathan Lethem's 1997 novel As She Climbed Across the Table, Katherine Neville's novel The Magic Circle (1998), in Steven Millhauser's short story "Kaspar Hauser Speaks" (published in The Knife Thrower and Other Stories, 1998), in Ted Chiang's short story "The Evolution of Human Science" (originally published as "Catching Crumbs from the Table" in the journal Nature, 2000), Jeffrey Eugenides's novel Middlesex (2002), Maggie Nelson's poem "Kaspar Hauser" (2003, itself a probable reference to the Werner Herzog film), and Lucie Brock-Broido's poem "Self-Portrait as Kaspar Hauser" (published in Trouble in Mind, 2004). He is also referred to in Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked (2009) and Emma Donoghue's Room. He is mentioned in Edward Carey's novel The Swallowed Man (2020). Kaspar Hauser serves as the namesake and inspiration for a character in Dan Abnett's Horus Heresy novel Prospero Burns (2010). The protagonist, "Kasper Hawser", shares a similar mysterious origin and childhood as attributed to Hauser, including his only toy being a wooden horse.[47]

Film and television[edit]

Productions centering on Hauser[edit]

In 1974, the German filmmaker Werner Herzog made Hauser's story into the film, Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle ("Every Man for Himself and God Against All"). In English, the film was either known by that translation, or by the title The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser. The film includes the main known features of Hauser's life, though it omits most of his changes of location and career. It does not question his veracity.

In 1993, the German-Austrian co-production Kaspar Hauser – Verbrechen am Seelenleben eines Menschen ("Kaspar Hauser – Crimes against a man's soul"), directed by Peter de Sehr, espoused the "Prince of Baden" theory.

La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser (2012, Davide Manuli) is a surreal drama based on "the legend" of Kaspar Hauser. In this modern western-like re-interpretation featuring Vincent Gallo, a music-obsessive Kaspar washes up on a Mediterranean beach, where half a dozen protagonists try to make sense of who he is.

Incidental appearances or mentions[edit]

Michael Landon played Casper Hauser in an episode of the television series Telephone Time in 1956.

In the 1966 film Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist Guy Montag discreetly puts a copy of a book entitled Gaspard Hauser into his bag before the rest of the books in that residence are torched.

In the TV series Smallville's season 1 episode "Stray" (2002), Martha Kent's car accidentally hits a boy who claims to have no memories of who he was or where he came from, except his name. Chloe refers to the boy as a "modern-day Kaspar Hauser".

In the Japanese horror movie Marebito (2004), the protagonist Masuoka refers to a girl he found chained up underground as his "little Kaspar Hauser".


In music Kaspar Hauser was the subject of an "Epitaph for Kaspar Hauser" (1997) by the composer Claus Kühnl, a "meditation on a day in the life of Kaspar Hauser towards the end of his prison term" for an organist, a registrant and two ad hoc Player.

Kaspar Hauser's story has inspired numerous musical references. There have been at least two operas named Kaspar Hauser, a 2007 work by American composer Elizabeth Swados and a 2010 work by British composer Rory Boyle.

Subterranea, a 1997 concept album by British progressive rock band IQ (1997), was loosely inspired by Hauser's story. Italian artists Reinhold Giovanett and Josef Oberhollenzer put out a CD titled Kaspar Hauser in 1999.

Numerous bands and musicians have released songs titled "Kaspar Hauser", including the German band Dschinghis Khan, the Detroit band Trial, and the Sun City Girls. Colonian-dialect rock band BAP and German singer-songwriter Reinhard Mey[48] have released songs called "Kaspar". French singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki put out a song titled "Gaspard", based on Paul Verlaine's poem. Suzanne Vega included "Wooden Horse (Caspar Hauser's Song)" on her 1987 album Solitude Standing.

In 1984, Polish poet and musician Grzegorz Ciechowski has written a song titled "Kaspar Hauser", which is a part of long play Obywatel G.C.

Kaspar Hauser was taken as the name of an alternative rock band based in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the early 1980s, as well as an experimental musician from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. Haüser is the name of an independent recording artist/songwriter from Northern Ireland who has released several EPs since 2001 and is currently recording new material scheduled for release in late 2012.The Hauser Project is a musical project created in 2011 whose name was inspired by Kaspar Hauser.

In 1994, Birgit Scherzer, then director and choreographer of the Saarbrücken Staatstheater Ballet in Germany, used the Hauser story as the basis for a ballet Kaspar Hauser which she presented at the Saarbrücken Staatstheater.[49]

In 2012, the American mathcore band Exotic Animal Petting Zoo included a song titled "Kaspar Hauser Could See the Stars in the Daytime" in its second album Tree of Tongues.

Also in 2012, the American indie rock band Glocca Morra included a song called "Kaspar Hauser Lied" in their EP "An Obscure Moon Lighting an Obscure World".

In 2013, The Swedish singer-songwriter Håkan Hellström made a reference to Kaspar Hauser in the song "Fri till slut" (Finally free) on his album Det kommer aldrig va över för mig.

In 2015, Scottish-born singer-songwriter Momus referenced "the loneliness Kaspar Hauser" in his song System of Usher, the second track on his album Turpsycore.

The German gothic metal band Pyogenesis released a song called "Every Man For Himself...And God Against All" on their 2017 album A Kingdom to Disappear based on the story of Kaspar Hauser and the film of the same name.


In his later years, Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach took a deep interest in the fate of Kaspar Hauser. He was the first to publish a critical summary of the ascertained facts, under the title of Kaspar Hauser, ein Beispiel eines Verbrechens am Seelenleben (1832).

There was a January 1861 Atlantic Monthly unsigned article on Kaspar Hauser. Circulated among the American intellectual establishment of the time, it provides a sense of perspective on many of the issues firing the debate about "Who Was Kaspar Hauser?" which continues to this day.

A brief discussion of Kaspar Hauser appears in the "Physiology" chapter of the editions of Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health (published 1875–1910).

Anthroposophists have written several books on Kaspar Hauser. One in particular, a detailed work by Peter Tradowsky, addresses the mysteries surrounding Kaspar Hauser's life from the anthroposophical point of view. His analysis delves into the occult significance of the individuality he sees as incarnated in Kaspar Hauser.

In 1996 Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson wrote Lost Prince: The Unsolved Mystery of Kaspar Hauser (1996).[50]

Medical writers have referred to psychosocial short stature as "Kaspar Hauser syndrome."[51]

In a "Kaspar Hauser experiment", an animal is reared isolated from members of its own species, in an attempt at determining which behaviors are innate.[52]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ d Heydenreuter: König Ludwig I. und der Fall Kaspar Hauser, in: Staat und Verwaltung in Bayern. Festschrift für Wilhelm Volkert zum 75. Geburtstag. Ed. by Konrad Ackermann and Alois Schmid, Munich 2003, pp. 465–476, here p. 465.
  2. ^ Ivo Striedinger: Neues Schrifttum über Kaspar Hauser, in: Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte, 6. Vol., 1933, pp. 415–484, here p. 452
  3. ^ Ivo Striedinger: Hauser Kaspar, der „rätselhafte Findling“, in: Lebensläufe aus Franken, III. Vol., 1929, pp. 199–215; here pp. 199–200
  4. ^ Bondeson (2004), 77
  5. ^ police description, dated 7 July 1828; see e.g. Jochen Hörisch (ed.): Ich möchte ein solcher werden wie...: Materialien zur Sprachlosigkeit des Kaspar Hauser, Suhrkamp 1979, pp. 33–34 [1]
  6. ^ Ivo Striedinger 1927, pp. 200–201; for the primary sources, see e. g. Jochen Hörisch 1979 [2]
  7. ^ Bondeson (2004), 80
  8. ^ Anselm von Feuerbach: Caspar Hauser, translated by Gotfried Linberg, Allen and Ticknor 1832, p. 132
  9. ^ Fritz Trautz: Zum Problem der Persönlichkeitsdeutung: Anläßlich das Kaspar-Hauser-Buches von Jean Mistler, in: Francia 2, 1974, pp. 715–731, here pp. 717–718
  10. ^ Ivo Striedinger 1927, p. 201 and p. 206
  11. ^ Fritz Trautz 1974, pp. 718–719
  12. ^ Jean Mistler: Gaspard Hauser, un drame de la personnalité, Fayard 1971, pp. 170–171
  13. ^ Walther Schreibmüller 1991, p. 53
  14. ^ Bondeson (2004), 88–9
  15. ^ Philip Henry Earl Stanhope (1836). Tracts Relating to Caspar Hauser. Hodson. p. 45.
  16. ^ Ivo Striedinger: 1933, pp. 424–429; Walther Schreibmüller 1991, pp. 46–47
  17. ^ Fritz Trautz 1974, p. 721
  18. ^ Ivo Striedinger 1933, p. 449
  19. ^ A. Lang, Striedinger, Leonhard, Mistler, Trautz, Schreibmüller, and others
  20. ^ For a detailed discussion of the evidence, see: Walther Schreibmüller: Bilanz einer 150jährigen Kaspar Hauser-Forschung, in: Genealogisches Jahrbuch 31, 1991, pp. 43–84, here pp. 63–80
  21. ^ "Kaspar Hauser (1812-1833) - Find a Grave Memorial".
  22. ^ Günter Hesse: Die Krankheit Kaspar Hausers, in: Münchner Medizinische Wochenschrift, 109. Vol. 1967, pp. 156–163
  23. ^ Peter Josef Keuler: Der Findling Kaspar Hauser als medizinisches Phänomen. Eine medizinhistorische Analyse der überlieferten Quellen, Bochum, Univ.Diss., 1997, pp. 17, 32 and 112
  24. ^ Erwin Bruglocher: Über Kaspar Hausers Todesart. Ärztliche Studie. Ansbach, Brügel 1928
  25. ^ Risse M, Bartsch C, Dreyer T, Weiler G (July–August 2005). "The death of Kaspar Hauser (17 Dec 1833)--assassination, suicide or self-inflicted injury?". Archiv für Kriminologie (in German). Verlag Schmidt-Romhild. 216 (1–2): 43–53. ISSN 0003-9225. PMID 16134400.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  26. ^ For an analysis of these, see Reinhard Heydenreuter: Hermann und der Fall Kaspar Hauser, in: Manfred Pix (ed.): Friedrich Benedikt Wilhelm von Hermann (1795–1868). Ein Genie im Dienste der bayerischen Könige. Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft im Aufbruch, Stuttgart 1999, pp. 523–539, here pp. 525–530
  27. ^ a b Karl Leonhard: Kaspar Hauser und die moderne Kenntnis des Hospitalismus, in: Confinia Psychiatrica 13, 1970, pp. 213–229, here p. 229
  28. ^ Otto Mittelstädt, Kaspar Hauser und sein badisches Prinzenthum, Heidelberg 1876.
  29. ^ Andrew Lang, Historical Mysteries, 1905
  30. ^ Fritz Trautz 1974, p. 723
  31. ^ Adalbert Prinz von Bayern: Königin Caroline von Bayern und Kaspar Hauser, in: Der Zwiebelturm 1951, pp. 102–107 and 121–128.
  32. ^ Der Spiegel 48 (25 November 1996), pp. 254–273.
  33. ^ Weichhold GM, Bark JE, Korte W, Eisenmenger W, Sullivan KM (1998). "DNA analysis in the case of Kaspar Hauser". International Journal of Legal Medicine. Springer. 111 (6): 287–91. doi:10.1007/s004140050173. ISSN 0937-9827. PMID 9826086. S2CID 22288883.
  34. ^ Bernd Brinkmann, Neuester Stand der Forschung der Gerichtsmedizin und Pathologie der Universität Münster. Preface to: Anselm von Feuerbach, Kaspar Hauser, Reprint-Verlag Leipzig 2006
  35. ^ "Kaspar Hauser Lied". German Literature. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  36. ^ Horton, Scott (28 July 2007). "A Note on Trakl's 'Song of Kaspar Hauser'". Harper's. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  37. ^ Heidegger, Martin (1975). Unterwegs zur Sprache. Gesamtausgabe. 12. Vittorio Klosterman. ISBN 9783465027645.
  38. ^ Reprinted in D. Constantine, Collected Poems (Tarset, Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 2004), pp. 143–216.
  39. ^ Obomsawin, Diane. "Kaspar". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  40. ^ a b David Bellos (1993). Georges Perec: A Life in Words : a Biography. D.R. Godine. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-87923-980-0.
  41. ^ David Bellos (1993). Georges Perec: A Life in Words : a Biography. D.R. Godine. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-87923-980-0.
  42. ^ Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere.
  43. ^ "Georges Perec's Lost Novel". 8 April 2015.
  44. ^ Rubin (2014). "Georges Perec, Lost and Found in the Void: The Memoirs of an Indirect Witness". Journal of Modern Literature. 37 (3): 111. doi:10.2979/jmodelite.37.3.111. S2CID 162298575.
  45. ^ Magné, Bernard (10 April 2000). "Perlaine et Verec : à propos des Micro-Traductions de Georges Perec". Semen. Revue de Sémio-Linguistique des Textes et Discours (12).
  46. ^ Auster, Paul (15 November 1987). "The Bartlebooth Follies". The New York Times.
  47. ^ Abnett, Dan (2011). Prospero burns: the wolves unleashed (mass market paperback). Horus Heresy [book series]. 15. Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts (1st UK ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. "§ Dramatis personæ" (front matter), pp. 177, 341. ISBN 978-1-84416-776-0.
  48. ^ Dynweb Establishment. "Songtext Kaspar von Reinhard Mey". Lyrix.at. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  49. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 September 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  50. ^ Landau, B. J. (1998). "Lost Prince. The Unsolved Mystery of Kaspar Hauser. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Translator and Introduction.: New York: The Free Press, 1996. 254 pp". Psychoanalytic Quarterly. 67 (2): 333–335. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  51. ^ Money, John (July 1992). The Kaspar Hauser Syndrome of "Psychosocial Dwarfism": Deficient Statural, Intellectual, and Social Growth Induced by Child Abuse. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0-87975-754-0.
  52. ^ "Kaspar Hauser experiment - Oxford Reference".


  • Bondeson, Jan (2005). The Great Pretenders: The True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries. ISBN 978-0-39332-644-4.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]