Gretel Kora Freifrau von Brandt (née von Hahn) is the mother of the Von Brandt siblings and the wife of Erich von Brandt.


She has a calm, caring nature. In her youth, she played the piano but never got past the intermediate level, finding the lessons to be tedious and boring. She instilled in her children the value of music, hoping that they would accomplish more than she ever did.


Greta instead found more passion in the visual arts, and can be caught sketching at a park, or doing plein air painting in nature. She was born with synesthesia, particularly chromesthesia, and thus paints the 'colors' of music. She passed this genetic gift onto her daughter, Helene.

After being relocated to Danzig, Gretel found a job illustrating propaganda posters for the Nazis. However, little did the Nazis know that Gretel would secretly work for the German Resistance.

Gretel is a devout Christian and has a Princess Diana-like quality to her. Deeply compassionate, she is one of the many Protestants that protested against the Nazis and aided the persecuted. Yet despite her idealism and immense creative talent, Gretel is prone to bouts of depression. In fact, her dysthymia and cyclothymia are the catalysts for Vinzenz's passion for becoming a psychiatrist and searching for a permanent cure for the mentally ill.

Unfortunately, Greta lost her life aboard the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, just as she and her remaining family fleeted the atrocities of WWII.