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German History in Documents and Images
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Popular Festival at Cannstadt in the Fall of 1835 – The Story of Kaspar Hauser (1835)
First celebrated in 1818, the "Cannstatter Volksfest" (commonly called the “Cannstatter Wasen”) is still one of Germany's largest popular festivals. The annual celebration is held near Cannstadt (or Cannstatt), now part of Stuttgart. In the lithograph below, a fairground troupe entertains visitors to the 1835 festival with their version of the tale of Kaspar Hauser (c. 1812-1833), the figure featured on their placard. A mysterious, inarticulate foundling, Hauser was regarded by many as the abandoned offspring of royalty. Though never proven beyond doubt, this hypothesis was fueled by three attempts on Hauser's life. Two failed; the third caused his death in 1833. Pen-and-ink lithograph by unknown artist, 1835.