ANNIVERSARY: RATCATCHER’S DAY

THIS DAY IN GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY

On July 22, 1376, legend holds that the “Pied Piper,” a ratcatcher, led more than a hundred children out of their homes in Hamelin, Germany, never to be seen again.

Today, most historians and mythologists think the Pied Piper of Hamelin symbolizes the Ostsiedlung, or expansion of German settlement to the north and east. Thousands of young people emigrated out of the central German territory of Saxony (where Hamelin is located) to eastern regions such as Transylvania (now part of Romania), Pomerania (now part of Poland), Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic), and Prussia (now part of Germany).

Continue reading