The Pied Piper of Weser School, Hameln, Germany

| April 30, 2008 | 0 Comments 

Mr Walker and I enjoyed a trip to Weser School, in Hameln.

I say Mr Walker and I because I thought it was appropriate that Mr Walker, my flute walking stick, should join me in my travels to Hameln, or Hamelin (in English) because it is so famous for the legend of the Pied Piper.

What is the truth behind the Pied Piper legend?

In reality, probably no one will ever actually really know.
The only thing that is really certain is that the loss of a number of children from the town on the 26th June 1284 is well documented.
From this the story quickly became known in the local area.  The legend gained popularity during the 15th and 16th centuries when hand bills were printed documenting the loss.
The legend was again popularised with the publishing of Robert Browning’s poem. But, even the poem is filled with inaccuracies ( Browning says July) and is made up of some of the different stories circulating at the time Some people have suggested have suggested that the children left after being temepted away to join a children’s crusade to the Holyland.
However, the date does not match any of the known dates of any crusade. The other question that has been raised is that of what is meant by “children”?
In the period concerned people did not recognise such a group as teenagers and it is well documented that people did travel around the area offering young people plots of land and a new start in life if they would move east; therefore this is a reasonable suggestion.
Also, groups of people with German ethnic origins are quite common throughout most east european countries and so the suggestion of a lost tribe in Rumania, as suggested in Browning’s poem, is not beyond belief.
So the truth is not known but the legend can be equated with the British legend of Robin Hood.
And, the local people are proud of their legend too. The Piper is one of the town’s emblems and bread “rats” are a common souvenir in the local bread shops, and if you visit the town you may be lucky enough to see one of the guides leading a tour dressed in the famous costume. One of the guides is a special friend of the school and regularly visits.
You may also be lucky and hear the play in English as the local British community take it in turn to stage the play. The Hochzeit’s House also contains a carousel which shows a re-enactment of the story.

The superb image above also features in the offical website of Hameln.

We got some superb and epic ideas out of today’s wanderings.

You might also like to have a look at the Pied Piper story…

Hear Eleanor Bron read verse 7 of Robert Browning’s ‘The Pied Piper Of Hamelin’ HERE

There are some good ideas for work linked with the poem HERE and, units linked to the story  HERE

A background to the story and other related tales can be found HERE

Some superb, additional background can be found HERE

What a day! The children certainly led me a merry dance, the rats! 🙂

In fact, this was one of the most enjoyable and legendary days so far! Well done to Tony Chester, head teacher Mr Allison, the staff and children of Weser school for some excellent writing and imagination.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

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