Aside

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

This was another beautiful Holocaust story. I like the relationships between each of the characters: the stepmother giving the children German names to ensure their survival, Magda taking them in, Nelka’s care and Telek’s protection, the father’s love for his children, the stepmother’s ultimate sacrifice to protect her stepdaughter, Hansel’s need to act like a big brother to his older sister. All these things gave meaning to the story. I really liked the ending. Having found bread crumbs on the ground, Hansel thought back to when Magda had told him he was a fool for throwing away his bread,as he had just thrown his luck away. Although at that time, he had left breadcrumbs on the forest floor to make sure they could go back home again; but when he realized what he had done, he was mortified. Bread was not something you threw away! So at the end of the book, when Hansel found bread crumbs all over the soup kitchen, he followed it picking up each and every bit as he was determined that he would gather all the luck he had thrown away. The crumbs led him to his father who was helping out in the kitchen. So ultimately, Hansel had followed the breadcrumbs back home. 🙂

Quote

“There is much to love, and that love is what we are left with. When the bombs stop dropping, and the camps fall back to the earth and decay, and we are done killing each other, that is what we must hold. We can never let the world take our memories of love away, and if there are no memories, we must invent love all over again.”

― Louise Murphy, The True Story of Hansel and Gretel