Stone of hunger reappears in Europe amid drought and lights alert: ‘Period of misery’

Appearance of rocks means bad omen; ‘if you see me cry’ says one of the inscriptions which is located in the basin of the river Elbe

Reproduction/Website/BBC/Bernd Gross/CC-BY-SA-3.0_DEeurope hunger stone
“If you see me, cry” (“Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine”, in German), says the oldest Stone of Hunger

In addition to the high temperatures that reach the countries of Europethe continent also suffers from the drought of the rivers that have made items that were submerged reappear, such as a WWII bomb in the waters of the Po River, in Italy. Now, what has resurfaced are the Pedras da Fome flames, rocks that are located in the riverbeds and that only appear when the water level is low. They are common throughout Western Europe. However, its appearance, according to a report by the BBC News, is not seen with good eyes, as it is associated with an omen about a period of misery. The reason that an alert was raised in the region is because the appearance of these stones usually announces poverty and famine. The drought problems faced today are less than in the past due to logistical resources, however, before, the region that is now occupied by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary, was dependent on fertile lands along the banks of the rivers. to produce food, and the lack of water ruined crops and made it difficult or impossible to navigate the rivers, which was where food, supplies and coal arrived. As a result, the livelihood of families was threatened, and after the drought came hunger, which gave rise to the name hungersteine ​​(Stones of Hunger).

The Pedras da Fome are from the 15th and 19th century, and were marked by the populations that lived in the region. The notes are messages that talk about the catastrophes triggered by the lack of water and remember the difficulties suffered during the droughts. “If you see me, cry” (“Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine” in German), says one of the stones, which is also said to be the oldest found in the Elbe basin. It was written in 1616. This Pedra da Fome is one of the best known and most famous, this is because the inhabitants marked all the great droughts that the region faced. According to the BBC, a study published in 2013 by a Czech team, the years 1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892 and 1893 can be read in stone. They also appeared on other occasions throughout the 20th century, such as 1904, 1918, 1928, 1963, 2003, 2015 and 2018 – the last three dates have a shorter period due to the accentuation of climate change. “Life will bloom again when this stone disappears”, “Who once saw me cried. Anyone who sees me now will cry” and “If you see that stone again, you will cry. The water was low here in the year 1417”, are other inscriptions that can be read on the stones.

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