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Kaspar Hauser the Hidden Prince Artist of Life

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 Kaspar appeared on this day May 26th in 1828


Kaspar Hauser was born on September 29, Michaelmas day in the year 1812 in Karlsruhe. Like Raphael,  who was born and died on Good Friday, we have another spiritual signature in the birth of Kaspar.  "Who am I? Where do I come from? Where is my Father? Where is my Mother?" these questions from Kaspar form the riddles of his mysterious biography.

Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg on May 26, 1828 was barely able to talk or walk. The boy had been held captive in a dungeon his entire life and nobody could discover who he was or where he had come from. 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.

According to contemporary rumors, probably current as early as 1829, Kaspar Hauser was the hereditary prince of Baden who was born 29 September 1812, and who, according to known history, died 16 October 1812. It was alleged that this prince was switched with a dying baby and subsequently surfaced 16 years later as Kaspar Hauser in Nuremberg.

In this case, his parents would have been Charles, Grand Duke of Baden and Stephanie de Beauharnais,  cousin by marriage and adopted daughter of Napoleon. Because 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 of the boy's captivity. 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. After Hauser's death, it was claimed further that he was murdered, again because of his being the prince.

" Professor Daumer, whom one must hold in the highest esteem, observed this case very thoroughly. It was the case of that human being, so enigmatic for many people, who was once placed into this city in a mysterious way, and who in just as mysterious a way met his death in Ansbach. An author, in order to indicate the mystery of his life, wrote that as he was carried out to burial the sun was setting on the one horizon and the moon was rising on the other. I speak, as you know, of Caspar Hauser. If you disregard all the pros and cons that have been asserted, if you look only at what has been fully verified, you will know that this foundling — who was one day simply there in the street, and who since he did not know whence he came, was called the Child of Europe — could neither read nor write when he was found. At an age of twenty years he possessed nothing of what is gained through the intellect but he had a remarkable memory. As they began to instruct him, as logic entered his soul, his memory disappeared. This transition in consciousness was accompanied by something else.

He possessed at first an incredible, an entirely inborn truthfulness and it was precisely in this truthfulness that he went more and more astray. The more he nibbled, so to say, at intellectuality, the more it vanished. There would be many things to study were we to enter deeply into this human soul which had been artificially held back. It is not difficult for the student of Spiritual Science to credit the popular tradition, so unacceptable to the learned people of to-day, which relates that while Caspar Hauser still knew nothing, while he still had no idea that there were beings besides himself of different form, he exercised a remarkable effect upon quite savage creatures. Savage animals humbled themselves and became mild, something streamed from him that made such beasts gentle, although they savagely attacked anyone else. We could in fact penetrate deeply into the soul of this remarkable personality, so enigmatic to many, and you would see how things that cannot be explained from ordinary life are led back through Spiritual Science to spiritual facts. " Rudolf Steiner

Kaspar Hauser's genuine show of concern for others could be quite touching, through some of the expressions he used. Daumer, for instance, gives an example of this in the following sayings of his from October 1828; "He does not like to think about the he was imprisoned because he can imagine the fear that his captor must have experienced. The latter must have constantly wished for his death, which did not come about, and thus he believed that the unknown person must have lived in the greatest anxiety until he got rid of him, a fact which was painful to him when he thought about it." Daumer remarks about this: "Such expressions had not come to Kaspar Hauser through his education or any sort of acquired culture, nor was it through the outcome to him purely and independently in all their originality out of the unclouded human nature, which life in the world caused him to fall away from.""

Kaspar Hauser left his diary and what many people don't know is he was a remarkable artist. Here are some of his remarkable drawings and paintings showing his way of "seeing the world."

Caspar Hauser Artwork: Das Kind von Europa: German book published in 1995


Kaspar has a premonition of death he relates in the following dream.

"One night on the 2d of April I had a dream as if in reality I had seen a man with a white cloth hanging around his body,  with bare hands and feet and he looked wonderfully beautiful. Then he stretched out a hand to me with something that looked like a garland. Then he said that I should take it; then I wanted to take it; then he said that in two weeks you must die. Then I replied, I do not want to die yet because I have not been on earth very long and did not take take the garland--when he replied to me, so much the better. Then he stood for awhile before me and as I did not take teh garland, he walked backwards towards the table, I got up and as I approached it began to shine wonderfully.  Then I took it and went toward my bed--as I approached it began to shine more and more strongly (the garland); then I said; I will die, then he was gone. I wanted to get into bed, then I woke up." (Kaspar Hauser; the Holy Fool and the path of Sacrifice)

The mystery of Kaspar Hauser is one to be lived with. On December 13, 1833 Kaspar Hauser was lured outside to meet a man who claimed he had a purse from Kaspar's mother and this promised to Kaspar that he could meet his mother. This innocent young man at the age of 21 was knifed four times and dragged himself home, where he died on December the 17th, completing the verse, "Not my will but thy will be done."

Rudolf Steiner says of this young man that had he lived and not been kidnapped, he would have united Europe overcoming the forces of darkness and birthing a higher Chrisitanity. That the conspirators were able to keep him prisoner so he was neither alive or dead, they kept Kaspar from crossing the threshold where he could not be bound by them. Nonetheless, Kaspar profoundly affected the world, in Europe everyone knows his name.

On May 20th 1833, Kaspar Hauser was confirmed. Peter Tradowsky states,

“The most respected families of the district, in whose hearts feelings of compassion were aroused for the pitiable young man, surrounded him and his guardians and advisers who accompanied him on his journey to the overcrowded Chapel (a Chapel of the Swan-Knights) .... a prayer was sung in four parts by the choir: "Prepare in me O Lord a heart that's pure and give to me a new and steadfast spirit; cast me from thy presence not aside, nor take Thy Holy Ghost away from me."

During the singing Hauser knelt on a prayer stool before the altar. The moment, however, when he knelt, the emotion with which he spoke the above words in the silence had an unusual effect on the whole congregation. Every lip moved quietly in response; all hearts prayed with him and for him. “

If you want to purchase an book filled with art and love for Kaspar Hauser my recommendation is: Kaspar Hauser the Holy Fool & the Path of Sacrifice with text by Johannes Steuck and artwork by Greg Tricker.


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