GROTESQUE TALES

I have named my article with such a title because in this I am going to talk about cannibals; their intimidating and terrific act of eating another of one’s own species which is known as “Cannibalism”. In the past, the practice of the act of cannibalism by humans were not considered illegal or something as problematic. The Korowai tribes were among the few to be considered as human flesh eaters. Also the “Kindlifresser” or the “Child-Eater” that stands in the middle of Bern, Switzerland is an epitome of a cannibal.

Kindlifresserbrunnnen” is a German term for Child-Eater fountain which was created by Hans Gieng.

The  frightening sculpture of the famous “Kindlifresser” or the “Child-Eater” is one of the oldest fountains that  stands in the middle of the city of Bern, Switzerland in 1546 has no such significance and nobody is exactly sure or knows much why is it standing there. The statue is standing with a baby stuffed into its mouth, and a raggy bag full of three alarmed tots slung over its shoulder. This structure standing in the middle of the city gives goosebumps and a shivering feeling to the people residing and also to the tourists and visitors. It is completely a sign of vulgarity, tremendous hunger and greed for human blood and also symbolises a  satanic and an evil side of a being.

The  statue is standing on few theories. The first and foremost unfortunate possibility is that the statue of Kindlifresser was built as a sort to warn the Jewish community of Bern and the hat that he wears is similar to the yellow pointed Judenhut that the Jews were forced to wear at that time. Secondly, the terrifying  Greek Titan, Ogre is a depiction of Kronos who has one of the most arguably disturbing tales in Greek Mythology. Kronos eats all his god children to keep them away from taking over his throne.

Thirdly, Kindlifresser is supposed to be the older brother of the founder of Bern, Duke Berchtold. The jealousy of being overshadowed by his younger brother for so many years caused him to go mad sending him into a rage where in anger he collected and ate the town’s children. The final and the most plausible theory represents “Kindlifresser” as a fabled character where mother’s would scare and tell their children to behave and come inside and sit quietly orelse kindlifresser would come and eat them up.

During the 30 years war when famine ran rampant cannibalism was very much prevalent among the people. Children, captured soldiers and dead would go missing in the town being eaten by other people who were without grains, cattle, rats, cats , dogs and horses to eat anymore.

Kindlifresser may adopt none of the above theories and is simply a sort of boogie man from Switzerland’s Fastnacht or “Night of Fasting” festival which ia a way just to scare the children of Bern to ask them to behave  properly. The statue of the child-eater stood there for nearly 500 years and will be there hopefully for 500 years more to terrify the children of Bern.

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