HISTORY: Acrobat in Tirana Harem

otto witteIn 1913, circus acrobat, lion tamer, and magician Otto Witte noticed he bore a remarkable likeness to Albania’s future King. Witte hatched a plan. He set off for Tirana in a uniform bought from a fancy dress shop. On arrival he was mistaken for the real man and crowned King. For five jolly days he enjoyed the delights of the harem and the treasury, threw parties and even declared war with Montenegro before fleeing the country.

Well that is his account. There is no evidence it is anything but his own fantasy. But in Germany he had “former King of Albania” on his identity card, was called ‘His Majesty’ and was buried with ‘King of Albania’ in on his grave. Interviewed at 84 he retold his story, remaining philosophical:

I had hoped to bring happiness and peace to Albania. The population seemed to like me. Unfortunately my plan did not come off.


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This entry was posted on July 1, 2014 by in History and tagged , , , , .
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