Schlitzi is the most famous fool of the 20th century

Schlitzi is the most famous fool of the 20th century
Schlitzi is the most famous fool of the 20th century
Anonim

Schlitzi, the most famous fool of the 20th century, suffered from a disease called microcephaly.

microcephaly

His name is Schlitzi Surtis or simply Schlitz. His real name, perhaps, was Simon Metz. Nobody knows for certain about this, just as it is unknown where he was from and who his parents were. It is believed that Schlitzi was born on September 10, 1901 in New York, although some sources claimed that his homeland is Mexico. Today it is known that this is not true - the legend of Mexican origin was invented in order to present him before the performances as "the last of the Aztecs." Schlitzi, like many freaks of the time, performed in the circus. Probably, he was bought or simply taken from his biological parents, information about which has not been preserved.

Schlitzi had an incurable congenital malformation - he was born with microcephaly, in which the growth of the skull, and with it the brain, stops in the baby while still in the womb. Because of which microcephaly have a very small brain volume and an underdeveloped skull, most often they are a little more than a meter tall. Schlitz, too, was clearly not a tall guy, his height was 122 cm, he suffered from myopia, moderate or severe mental retardation, and, according to some sources, urinary incontinence. From which, according to some sources, he was often dressed in Hawaiian colorful clothes called "muu-muu", reminiscent of a woman's loose-fitting dress (this type of clothing allegedly simplified its care). However, the people who knew him never mentioned that Schlitzi suffered from incontinence until old age, in addition, under the "dress" he often could see puckered trousers, so the opinion about this is probably wrong.

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Most likely, Schlitzi wore effeminate clothes because he was often represented as a woman or androgyne - for the greater mysticism of his image. In general, Schlitzi, like many other freaks, was presented as "people-pinheads" or "missing links of evolution." Schlitzi has also been shown to the public under the aforementioned name "The Last of the Aztecs", "Monkey Girl" or simply "What is this?" He performed in circus arenas along with other microcephalics, people with extra limbs, midgets and bearded women, but it was he who was remembered by the audience for his smile and cheerful laughter that never left his face. The life of the freaks of the circus can hardly be called happy, so Schlitzi can be called a real "ray of light in the dark kingdom." Schlitz's level of intellectual development was comparable to that of a 3-4-year-old child, he could speak single words, a few simple phrases and, nevertheless, could perform various simple actions. It was believed that he was able to understand most of what he was told, had a quick reaction and had a great ability to imitate. Everyone who knew Schlitz described him as a sweet, lively and sociable person.

It is believed that the approximate number of births of microcephaly is about 8 people per 5000 newborns. It is believed that children with microcephaly appear, first of all, in mothers who used hard alcohol or, for example, cocaine during pregnancy. Microcephaly is incurable, patients with this disease are doomed to live by utter fools, but at the same time they are benign, affectionate and friendly. These little people with small heads were always boldly taken out into the streets and introduced to others, because they are simply unable to offend or frighten someone.

Throughout his long life, Schlitzie managed to perform on the arenas of all famous US circuses at the beginning of the last century.However, Schlitz made a truly famous role in the film of American filmmaker Tod Browning "Freaks" ("Freaks", 1932), where Schlitz played himself. Schlitzi played in some other films, for example, in the horror episode "Island of Lost Souls" (1933), but only "Freaks" brought him great success.

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Schlitz's "owners" were constantly changing, he wandered from one person to another, but in 1936 the monkey trainer George Surtis became Schlitz's legal guardian. Until his death in 1960, Surtis carefully looked after the little Slot, but after Surtis's death, the little and already elderly man had to be sent to an insane asylum in Los Angeles.

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Being in the madhouse, Schlitz stopped smiling, he was constantly sad about the circus - he really missed the fun carnivals, performances, circus friends and public attention. But soon he was lucky. At the hospital, he was recognized by the sword swallower Bill Unks, who set out to return him to the circus. The doctors readily agreed that their patient would be better off in the circus arena than in the ward of the insane asylum, so Schlitzi returned to the arena and joined the troupe of Unks, whose employer was showman Sam Alexander.

Schlitzi was probably happy - he returned to his former glory and adoration of the public. He was often seen in city parks in Los Angeles, where he walked with his curator and fed buns to pigeons and ducks. And as soon as a few people gathered around the smiling fool with a bow on his head, a cheerful performance immediately began. This was until the very death of Schlitzi, when, at the age of 70, he died of bronchial pneumonia in September 1971. His grave in California remained unnamed for many years, until in 2009 Schitz fans managed to raise some money for a decent headstone.

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After his death, the already famous Schlitzie became a legend at all. Many souvenirs have been issued in honor of him, many paintings have been written.

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