The Story of Kaspar Hauser


On 28. May 1828 a boy of around 16 appeared in the Bavarian city of Nuremburg holding a letter in his hand. The lad was unable to speak, apart from three odd phrases which he repeated parrot-like, one of which was: "Want to be a soldier, as father was." The letter, addressed to the captain of the local infantry regiment, told a bizarre story. It appeared that the boy had been kept shut up in isolation in the dark for his entire life, had never learned to speak and knew nothing of the world.Although the boy initially seemed to have a mental age of around two or three, he turned out to be a quick learner with a good memory, and within a few months of living with a family in Nuremburg, he was able to communicate, read and write. The story he was able to tell of his early life was extraordinary. But if his arrival caused a stir... it was the bizarre manner of his death and the mystery which surrounded it which shocked the whole of Germany.