And not only that, it “purported to prove that the siblings were murderous bakers!“
According to this post on Atlas Obscura, a 1963 book entitled The Truth About Hansel and Gretel (Die Wahrheit über Hänsel und Gretel) claimed the famous fairy tale was based on the true story of “adult brother and sister bakers” who dispatched an ingenious rival (the witch) to steal her secret recipe for lebkuchen.
At the time, it caused a sensation in both the West and East German media. But of course, it turned out to be an elaborate literary hoax contrived by Hans Traxler, a children’s book author and cartoonist.
It’s a fun and fascinating read, so click here or on the link above to learn how Hans pulled it off.