The tale of Pied Piper was based on a true tragic event occurred in the 13th century. At that time 130 children in the city of Hamelin, Germany, vanished of unknown causes. The grieving parents then created a story that the children had been taken away by a man named Pied Piper. Here the history of this tale began.
The Original Version
The character of Pied Piper was first described in a painting on a glass window in the Hamelin Church made in 13th century. It featured the Pied Piper as a man dressed in colorful outfit followed by several
Within 200 years the story, told orally from one generation to the next, had been twisted an expanded. In the 16th century version, there was an effort to provide explanation why the Pied Piper wanted the children to leave the town with him.
The story said that rats had flooded the town. A man came to offer his service to get rid of the rats using his magic pipe in return of huge sum of money. That man was then called the Pied Piper as he dresses in clothes made of colorful patchwork. That man succeeded but the townspeople refused to pay so he again used his magic pipe to get rid of the children too.
There are several variations on what the Pied Piper did to the children afterward. One version said that the children were led into a river where they all drowned just like the rats. Other version said that the children were led into a cave and killed. Another more sanitized version said that instead of being killed the children were simply become invisible once they went inside the cave. One latest version said that
What really happen to the children of Hamelin?
Although there is little doubt that the tragic banishment of the children of Hamelin really did occurred on June 1284 according to some historical records, there is little consensus on what really happened to them. Some theories suggest that the children died during a natural catastrophe. The Pied Piper character could be seen as an angel of death. Other theories suggest that the children or young adult had joined military campaign. In this respect the Pied Piper can be seen as their recruiting agent.
Some other theories suggest that the children willingly migrated to build their own settlement during the colonization of Eastern Europe. This theory is supported by the fact that in 13th century Western Europe was densely populated. Thus, the motivation to look for opportunity in new land was high. In addition several villages in Eastern Europe have names resemble Hamelin. The Pied Piper in this theory is seen as the leader of this migration.
A more controversial theory stated that the children were sold to landowner to work in the Baltic. The selling of orphans or illegitimate children was not uncommon at that time. The Pied Piper in this respect is seen as a recruiting agent.
Of all the theories, the colonization theory is the most accepted, however the exact new settlement of Hamelin children in Eastern Europe is still debatable until today. Seems like the truth about the lost Hamelin children will still remain a mystery, at least until today.