VIOLETTA
About 100km outside of Hamburg, in the north German town of Bremen-Hemelingen, in 1907 was born little Aloisia Wagner.  A perfect baby in every respect except for one little thing - the Säugling was completely limbless!
   Undaunted by this trick of nature, Mr. and Mrs. Wagner raised their daughter to be self-sufficient as much as was possible, to count her blessings and to never expect nor accept pity from others.
    Somewhere along the way, perhaps when she was age 15, Aloisa decided to enter the show business and adopted the stage name "Rosa Violetta" (later shortened to simply "Violetta").
    Have tasted of success in her native land and continent, the half-lady, at the behest of American showman Sam Gumpertz, decided to make her mark in the U.S., arriving at the port of Ellis Island in 1924, age 17, with her step-brother/manager Karl Groebecker.
    The port authorites, however, would have none of it for one of their duties was to see to it that no one was to be admitted into the country who was likely to go on welfare.
    When the authorities learned that the "crippled immigrant" was a "circus freak", scheduled to appear with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, all was well and the limbless beauty was admitted without further to-do.
photo courtesy "Dr. Bob"