Czech Republic

Conjoined twins denied food and water for 8 days after birth due to superstition

January 20, 1878
Skrejšov, Bohemia (modern day Czech Republic)
Conjoined twins Rosa and Josefa Blažek are born and, following the advice of a local folk healer, are denied food and water for 8 days; their survival is decided to be a divine message they were meant to live

After their unlikely survival as newborns, Rosa and Josefa, who were joined at their lower vertebrae, began their professional careers as an attraction in their teenage years. As public interest faded, Rosa became pregnant, though she did not name the father of the child. The idea of the twins having a child fascinated the public, as did the seeming scandalous idea of an unavoidable ménage à trois. As Rosa’s son Franz grew older, he joined his mother and aunt as part of their act as “The Son of Two Mothers.”

In 1922, Rosa fell ill. She was able to overcome the illness but Josefa then became sick as well and quickly deteriorated. On March 30, 1922, Josefa died and Rosa followed 12 minutes later.

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