The long-lost tomb of Baroness Maria Sophia von Erthal, known as the “true Snow White”, has been found in a museum in the Diocese of Bamberg in southern Germany.
He grew up in a castle in Tauberbischofsheim near Lohr am Main in northern Bavaria and died in 1796 and is believed to have been modeled in Snow White by the Grimm brothers, according to BBC News.
Holger Kempkens, the museum’s director, said her life was a well-known story in the early 19th century. The Grimm brothers lived for a long time near Hanau, just 50 kilometers from Lohr am Main, and liked the stories they heard from people around them.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Snow White appeared in 1812 and became world famous with Walt Disney’s 1937 cartoon, although several other edits were made.
“There are indications, even though we cannot confirm these, that Sophia’s character is Snow White. If today, a film about a historical person is made, there will be some fictional elements in it. I believe that in this case too, they complemented it, “Kempkens remarked.
In the 1980s, a Lohr historian, Karlheinz Bartels, accounted for the similarities between Sophia’s life and those of the Grimm brothers.
Sophia’s father, Philipp Christoph von Erthal, was a noble man who remarried after the death of his first wife. Her stepmother was famous for her tyrannical nature and for her preference for her own children.
Lohr was one of the centers of glassware and mirrors. Sophia’s father owned the mirror factory and one of the local museums still proudly holds an Amour propre mirror. The fairy tale features a scary forest, once dark with plenty of robbers and dangerous beasts in the neighborhood of Lohr.
Snow White escapes through seven hills in the fairy tale and reaches the dwarfs’ quarters at the mine; There is an unused mine on the outskirts of Lohr which can be reached through seven hills. There were once dwarves and / or children working in the mine, wearing hoods to protect against falling stones.
Parts of the tale of the Grimm brothers, such as the glass coffin, the poisoned apple and the prince, were not inspired by Sophia. The Baroness’s life was not particularly happy: she was blind at a young age, never married and died at the age of 71 in a monastery.
According to Kempkens, the inscription on oval tombstone made of dark gray marble, which mentions Sophia as the noble heroine of Christianity, was covered with a layer of chalk that was carefully removed. The gravestone is also of historical importance, as women were rarely made their own gravestone at that time.
Sophia’s tomb was originally preserved in an old church in Bamberg, but it was demolished. The tombstone, decorated with only a few tiny white stars, was then displayed in a hospital founded by one of Sophia’s brothers. When a new clinic was opened in the area in the 1970s, the tombstone was removed and moved to a local family and then lost its trace. It was recently discovered from a Bamberg house whose new owner, who inherited the property, searched the tombstone on the Internet and donated it to the museum when he realized its significance.