The Baby Eating Statue of Bern


(aMyth) Completed in 1546, the “Kindlifresserbrunnen” is a fountain in Bern, Switzerland. Translated, the name means “Fountain of the Eater of Little Children”. For nearly 500 years the fountain has been a reminder for the children of Bern to behave, in particular around Switzerland’s Fastnacht, or ”Night of Fasting” festival, during the week after ash Wednesday. One is his mouth, one tied to his belt, and more to be consumed in a bag by his side.

cm-40051-050d0edf95e462Of course, there are other theories – The Baby Eating Statue could be a caricature of the jealous older brother of Duke Berchtold, who founded Bern in 1211. Perhaps he represented the Titan Kronos, (also the father of Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera) who ate his other children so they could never take his throne. Zeus, obviously won his battle with his father as evidenced in films like Wrath of the Titans.

Theory number four was that he represented the Jews, who also wore pointy hats at that time. This is the least unlikely scenario, as it neither served well as a ‘keep away’ sign for the Jewish people, nor in any way clearly a reference to “blood libel” – a ridiculous accusation that people of the Jewish faith of eating Christian babies and using the blood of other Christians to make matzo.


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