The True Story of Hansel and Gretel turns all the elements of the familiar fairy tale into a chilling account of the German occupation of Poland during World War II.
In a desperate move to stay one step ahead of Nazi pursuers, a Jewish couple abandons their children in the frozen woodlands. Hansel and Gretel are the most German-sounding names they can think so they urge the boy and girl to forget their heritage and use the new names at all times. It’s all the advice they have time to offer before fleeing for their lives.
A reclusive woods-woman is the story’s “witch” who shelters the children while a brutal Nazi regime takes command of the neighboring village. At the mercy of the invading Nazis the Poles face horrors beyond anything even the Brothers Grimm ever imagined. It’s one of the most graphic and surreal stories I’ve ever read and one I'm sure I'll never forget.