The Grimm brothers left an astounding legacy. From well-known stories like Snow White to lesser-known tales, here are Deutsche Welle’s favorite Grimm stories – and some things you may not have known about them.
1. Hansel and Gretel
This story was recorded by Dortchen Wild, a storyteller who married Wilhelm Grimm. As it turns out, the theme of leaving children in the woods was quite popular in European folktales. A French story, “Le Petit Poucet” from 1967, starts out almost identically, while Madame d’Aulnoy’s “Finette Cendron” mentions three princesses who get lost in the woods and find their way to an ogre’s house.
A miller’s daughter is locked in a castle and forced to spin straw into gold. Fortunately, Rumpelstiltskin comes to her rescue, spinning straw into gold in return for her valuables. In the end, it doesn’t quite work out for Rumpelstiltskin, who suffers the unusual death of being “split in two.” The famous name comes from the German word “Rumpelstiltz,” a type of goblin found in German mythology.
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