Jewish History Soundbites

Iron Yid: The Story of Zishe Breitbart

December 20, 2021

Zishe or Siegmund Breitbart (1893-1925) was a circus strongman, and a Jewish folk hero of his day. Having grown up in an observant home in Strykov in Poland, his remarkable strength eventually led him to the Busch circus in Germany, where he toured the world, bending iron, and holding incredible weights on his chest, among other feats of strength. 

To the Jewish masses of Eastern Europe, he was a superhero. He was proud of his Jewish identity and never shied away even in the face of anti-Semitism. His generosity to Jewish causes knew no bounds, and he continued to affiliate with his community. At age 32, at the height of his fame, a work accident led to an infection and he passed away in Berlin in 1925. 


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