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The German Obsession with Fairy Tales

  • Jack Zipes

Abstract

It is not by chance that the cover of the August 11, 1984 issue of The Economist portrayed a large, green-shaded picture of Hansel and Gretel with a beckoning witch under the caption, “West Germany’s Greens Meet the Wicked World.” Inside the magazine a special correspondent began his report:

Once upon a time (in the late 1960s), a hostile stepmother (West Germany’s Christian Democrats) and a kindly but weak father (the Social Democrats) decided that they had no room for children who thought for themselves. So they abandoned Hansel and Gretel (rebellious young West Germans) in a dense wood. Far from perishing, as their parents had expected, Hansel and Gretel became Greens. They quaked at the forest’s nuclear terrors and cherished its trees. Soon they spied a glittering gingerbread house at the Bundestag in a clearing. Being hungry, they ran inside. This was their first big test. For the house belonged to the wicked witch of the establishment.1

Keywords

Fairy Tale German People Folk Tale Literary Institution German Writer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    In Jack Zipes, The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood (South Hadley MA: Bergin & Garvey, 1983), 256.Google Scholar
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© Jack Zipes 2002

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  • Jack Zipes

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