The “Eskimotragödie is a sad story. The event caused 9 casualties at and after the February 18’th 1881. And some more severe injured persons. The event during a Carnival party took place during the Carnival season in Munich. In a place called Kil’s Kolosseum, the biggest event and beer hall in Munich at that time. The compound was sold after WWII. and turned into other commercial places like appartements, shopping malls
-and a coffee shop.
Which we had to visit after learning about the event. At the Kolosseumstraße.
We paid and left the nice place after we had a great cake. Directly after the waiter lighted the candles on the tables after it got dark. A nice place with artwork at the walls.
The multi-functional hall Kolosseum before had put up cabaret, dancing, boxing, and wrestling events with up to 4.000 spectators. And Carnival parties like the one mentioned. Staged by the Munich Art School.
Though it does not exist anymore, I came across two historical promotion posters in other inns or at the Oktoberfest Munich 2023 in the „Ochsenbraterei“.
The motto was “Eine Kneipreise um die Welt” (pup trip round the World; but might also refer to Priest and Healer Sebastian Kneipp who was getting popular at that time and turning the town of Wörrishofen into a Cure Town).
Several motto stages were set up in the hall to represent the different continents of the world. One was the “Antarctic”, and it was populated with people disguised as “Eskimos” (Inuit, Indigenous People from North America) and as Polar Bears in Iglus. Frying Hering over open candle fire. The fact, that neither Polar Bears nor Inuit are living in the Antarctic, was ignored but didn’t really matter that evening. On the list of safety measures were buckets filled with water in and behind the pasteboard Iglus.
During the event one of the Eskimos got in contact with the candle fryers and his costume explosively was caught on fire. More Eskimos and Polar-Bears came to the rescue and were caught on fire as well. Next ones to help were the Natives from the American sector who tried to use their long coats and blankets to extinguish the fire. The audience was helping too with the beer, water, and wine drinks on the tables. The raging fire was faster than the thought to come up: to use the water buckets. Probably the situation was not trained enough before. Fortunately, the present fire fighters could extinguish the fire within minutes. But a lot of Eskimos and Polar bears lost their life due to this event. The Music continued to play and only very few persons in the audience noticed the disaster. There was no panic. Many thought, it was part of the show.
The victims were brought to the “Allgemeine Krankenhaus” Munich (today Clinic of the University Munich), treated by many doctors (like Johann Nepomuk von Nußbaum) and nurses but 9 victims, artists or art students died within the next days.
Born/coming from different parts of Bavaria:
Constance at the Lake Constanze,
Seven of the victims were buried together in a grave in the “Alter Südfriedhof”.
Prince Luitpold Von Bayern (Wittelsbacher, 1881 not yet Prinzregent) joined the funeral March.
The “Alter Südfriedhof”, a historical treasure, accommodates many celebrities from Munich,
-also Doctor Johann Nepomuk von Nußbaum
Credit: Maps Icons ColIlection, https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com/
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