The Kindlifresserbrunnen (Swiss German for Child Eater Fountain) is a fountain in the Old Town of Bern, Switzerland. The monument depicts a seemingly angry man (or perhaps an ogre) biting off a baby’s head, with a bag of terrified babies waiting for their turn to be eaten.
The Child Eater Fountain dates back to medieval times. It was created in 1546, but no one knows why. No fact sources mention who and why devours children in a quaint, beautiful Swiss town. There are multiple theories.
Baby eating hypotheses
- The ogre’s hat resembles a traditional Jewish hat, and could possibly depict antisemitic ritual murder libel. Historically Jews were accused by of murdering Christian children for ritual reasons.
- Another source speculates that it may be the Greek god Kronos eating his children. Kronos is also known for castrating his own father Uranus with a sickle (or scythe).
- One hypothesis claims the monument depicts Matthäus Schiner. He was a Bishop of Sion and a military commander in the 1500s. He led Swiss army to multiple unsuccessful battles against Italy.
As of 2019 we can’t be sure which theory is right.