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German History in Documents and Images
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Child Eater (17th Century)
The image and accompanying text explain that disobedient children who do not come back inside will be snatched and eaten by this wicked character called the Child Eater [Kinderfresser]. He has wild, messy hair, a wide jaw, and large pockets in which to store the children he captures. He takes them home, rips them up, and eats them. At the end of the text the mother warns: “So if you do not want to be quiet right now, I will give you to him. Therefore be silent and still, come in the house, so that he will not find you crying outside.” Woodcut by Lorentz Schultes (c. 1600), 17th century.