Friday, December 17, 2010

Vintage Frankfurt Zoo

Courtesy of Josip Marcan

I want to thank my friend Josip for these wonderful bit's of Frankfurt history. The photo of Prof. Dr. Grzimek and staff is priceless to me, especially the pre political correct "vintage zoo advertising" of a roaring, log wielding Gargantua/King Kong coming hard with death and destruction, as well as another look at Josip in his "bare chested Charles Atlas" day's. If you can read German, you will note in the newpaper article that Prof. Dr. Grzimek endorsed the training of animals for their physical and mental well being in captivity. Actually, the great man, Bernard Grzimek died on March 13, 1987 falling asleep while watching a circus performance with some children. I remember it today, because Charly Baumann told me the next day after, when he received the news from Germany.

If Marco Kirsten(you should be able to double click it) or another "cabbage head" has a moment, I would appreciate a translation of the above newpaper article. I use the term "cabbage head" with tongue in cheek and with respect. It is a term that I learned years ago from a well known circus animal act producer from Illinois who will remain anonymous(if you have been dead for the last 100 years), unless I slip up and reveal him. When this anonymous person would get "miffed/perturbed/upset" at his wonderful German wife for something, this anonymous person would call her a " stubborn cabbage head," and she would have to quietly and patiently remind him that "don't you mean kraut head, John?" To which this anonymous person would reply, "yes Herta dear, but you knew who I was talking to anyway, so it's not important." LOL God, the wonder memories we aquire in a life time.


Marco said...

Wade, just looked through it and a translation shouldn't be a problem. In a nutshell it talks about the importance of training animals in captivity to keep them entertained and occupied. The article states that animal training is not cruelty but rather a necessity for the well-being of animals in captivity. It mentions Mr Eck as the elephant trainer, Mr Lohse with the chimps, and your favorite Croatian animal trainer at the feline house and his past experience at German and Yugoslavian circuses. On a personal note, Mr. Grzimek was a great man and true animal lover. He truly loved the circus (he actually died at Circus Althoff-Williams during the show) and put most of his efforts into trying to conserve the animals' natural habitat. I remember the reruns of his TV show and that my Grandmother had a collection of his books in her "library". Wish we had people with his authority, influence, integrity and energy today.

Anonymous said...

Marco might know this but in 1942 Prof. Grzimek did actuly perform with a group of tigers at circus Sarrasani, his stage name was Mister X


Wade G. Burck said...

That is correct. Do you know how long he did the act, and why he choose the name Mr. X to perform under?

Wade G. Burck said...

Thank you for the translation. It is appreciated. He truly pulled of the part of a "Hollywood Zoo Director" with grace and dignity, with a bit of "Showbiz" on the side. Does anyone remember the time Grzimek ran a "fake" advertising campaign to get people in the gate, by telling them that Frankfurt was getting a White Elephant at the Zoo?
Wade Burck