In 1941, eight-year-old Hannibal Lecter lives in Lecter Castle in Lithuania. The German Operation Barbarossa of the Soviet Union turns the Baltic region into part of the bloodiest front line of World War II. Lecter, his younger sister Mischa Lecter, and their parents travel to the family's hunting lodge in the woods to elude the advancing German troops. After three years, the Nazis are finally driven out of the countries soon to be occupied by the Soviet Union. During their retreat, however, they destroy a Soviet tank that had stopped at the Lecter family's lodge looking for water. The explosion kills everyone but Lecter and Mischa. They survive in the cottage until five former Lithuanian militiamen, led by a Nazi collaborator named Vladis Grutas, storm and loot it. Finding no other food in the bitterly cold Baltic winter, the men look menacingly at Lecter and Mischa.