Stalwart violinist Karl Unthan (7 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
22 May 2024

Music is a great power that can be compared to magic or a special element. And for those who want to completely immerse themselves in it, she is ready to give some concessions.

Karl Hermann Unthan was born on April 5, 1848 in Sommerfeld, East Prussia. Some sources say that he was almost strangled by the midwife who delivered him. But his father saved him. However, in the case of such special people, biographies are often embellished, so this information cannot be called reliable.

It was his father who encouraged young Carl to use his legs instead of his arms. Soon the boy was able to pick up various objects and write accurately. At the age of 20, Untan began learning to play the violin and quickly mastered the instrument, playing masterfully with his feet. The young man performed in concerts all over the world. Once he was even invited to play in front of Strauss himself in Vienna.

At the beginning of his career as a vaudeville performer, he performed in the same way as his colleagues who were missing limbs. He often performed various routine tasks, such as shuffling cards and smoking cigarettes. And, accordingly, he carried out these actions in a way incomprehensible to ordinary people, using only his legs. However, Untan's musical abilities eventually prevailed. And he became famous precisely as a real musician, despite his physiological peculiarities, rather than as a strange show artist.

During the First World War, Charles served as an inspiration to the soldiers. He visited hospitals and demonstrated his abilities to amputees, confirming that their lives were not over due to the loss of limbs. He even starred in a film demonstrating his lack of physical limitations. In 1925, Untan published an autobiography entitled Das Pediscript. Since Untan typed the book using only his feet, he decided to name it accordingly.

In 1928, at the age of 80, Karl Unthan passed away as a full-fledged and wealthy man. In 1935, his autobiography was republished in English under the title “The Armless Violinist,” and the world learned the story of an unusual musician for the second time.

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