Renz, Therese

BORN 10 Apr 1859, Brussel - DIED 26 Sep 1938, Berlin
BIRTH NAME Stark, Therese
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Alter Domfriedhof der St.-Hedwigs-Gemeinde, Liesenstrasse 8 (Feld 7)

Therese Renz was the daughter of circus owner Wilhelm Stark and equestrian Lisa Wunderlich. She grew up in the circus until her father and her mother separated. She was takencare of by an aunt who ran a shop in Wandsberg. After she saw a performance of the circus Renz she was convinced that her future lay in the circus and she was allowed to join the Wulff Circus. There she was trained extensively. She started working as an art rider in 1873 and toured with the Wulff circus before she left it to join the Renz circus.

She started an affair with director Ernst Renz' nephew Robert Renz (1843-1897). Both were dismissed after it was discovered because love affairs within the circus were forbidden. They joined the Circus Herzog and married on 3 February 1883. They had a son, Hugo. In 1893 she rejoined the Renz circus. She toured in Europe with her husband and her mother and in 1904 she went to the USA, where she performed at the Hippodrome in New work for fourteen months.

After her mother, her husband and her son all died she considered retirement, but she founded her own circus in Belgium. She trained her animals herself. During the First World War her circus went bankrupt. She started again with African Elephants, but she had financial problems and one of them died and she was forced to sell the other to the circus Knie. In 1923 she returned as a rider in Vienna at the Circus Busch and for more than ten years she continued her career. She died in 1938 in Berlin and was buried at the cemetery where her husband had been buried in 1897.


The grave of Therese Renz at the St. Hedwig-Friedhof I, Berlin.
Picture by androom (27 Mar 2007)


• Hammer, Klaus, Historische Friedhöfe & Grabmäler in Berlin, Stattbuch Verlag, Berlin, 1994
• Mende, Hans-Jürgen, Lexicon Berliner Grabstätten, Haude & Spener, 2006
Therese Renz – Wikipedia

Renzi, Eva

Published: 27 Mar 2021
Last update: 27 Jan 2022