While I am not sure about today, German children used to be brought up with a series of short moral tales collected in a book called Der Strewwelpeter.
Here are three of the most gruesome stories contained:
Die gar traurige Geschichte mit dem Feuerzeug (The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches) tells the story of a young girl named Pauline who is left home alone with her two cats. She spots a box of matches and decides to light one, ignoring the warnings of her pets, who remind her frantically that she should not touch them, as her mother has forbidden it. But Pauline is too delighted by the sight of the flame on the end of the match to hear them, and continues to play with it. Sure enough, her dress catches light, and the girl is engulfed in flames as her cats scream and look on in horror. The tale ends with the cats weeping over a pile of ash and a pair of little shoes.
Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher (The Story of the Thumb-Sucker), in which a mother warns her son not to suck his thumbs, warning that if he continues, the tailor will come and cut them off. However, when she goes out of the house he resumes his thumb sucking, until a roving tailor appears and cuts off his thumbs with giant scissors, leaving the boy standing alone with bare, bleeding stumps where the thumbs were.
"Die Geschichte vom Suppen-Kaspar" (The Story of the Soup-Kaspar) begins as Kaspar, a healthy, strong boy, proclaims that he will no longer eat his soup. This repeats for the next five days, and each day Kaspar grows thinner and thinner, until he finally dies, his uneaten bowl of soup on his grave.