Schlitzie Girl – That’s How The Person Was Called At The Circus: Who Was That Man And What Was His Fate Later?

 Schlitzie Girl – That’s How The Person Was Called At The Circus: Who Was That Man And What Was His Fate Later?

Looking at this person in the picture, it’s clear that he evokes a range of strong emotions. Some might find an evil smile forming on their faces, others might feel sympathy or pity, some could burst into laughter, and a few might even feel a touch of fear. Each of us experiences some intense reaction. It’s hard to remain indifferent or just walk by. That’s why I decided to write about this truly unique individual.

Dubbed the “Last of the Aztecs,” “Ape Man,” and “Bearded Girl,” this man was presented in the circus with various sensational titles to captivate the audience’s interest. People craved excitement and entertainment, prompting the host to craft new, enthralling legends each time. However, behind these grandiose stories was the real star of the circus, a man people paid good money to see. Beneath the circus facade was a kind and sincere individual with a challenging life story. So, who was this man? Let’s unveil his story.

First and foremost, the person in the photos is a man. The braid with a bow and the women’s clothing he often wore during performances were part of his circus persona. The true history of this man is cloaked in mystery. Details about his parents, his birth name, and exact birth date are unknown. One account suggests his name was Simon Metz, born in September 1901.

It’s likely his parents abandoned him due to his unusual appearance, leading him to the circus, where he found acceptance. For the audience, he was a curiosity, but to the circus troupe, he was family. Simon had a rare condition called microcephaly, which caused his distinctive appearance and the developmental level of a three-year-old, necessitating constant care. His surrogate father, animal trainer George Curtis, adopted him and cared for him as his own child.

In the circus, Simon was given the name Schlitzi. This name was probably chosen intentionally, as he was often presented as a girl. Taking on the surname of his new father, he became Schlitzi Curtis. Schlitzi stood at just 48 Inches tall and had disproportionate body parts due to his condition. He became a circus star in the 1920s and gained further fame with his role in the 1932 film “Freaks,” where he played himself. The film was bold and at times harsh, causing significant controversy and leading to its ban for 30 years.

In 1965, George Curtis passed away, leaving Schlitzi without a guardian. Struggling to find his place in society, he ended up in a mental institution, where he became withdrawn. Fortunately, he met Bill Unks, a sword swallower from the circus, in the hospital. They formed a friendship, and Bill eventually took Schlitzi out of the institution under his personal care, bringing him back to the circus.

Schlitzi Curtis continued performing in the circus until 1968. The circus was not just his workplace but also his home, where he found genuine friendships. Schlitzi passed away in 1971, having left a lasting emotional impact on everyone around him.

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