What is the difference between fate and fudge
Harry Potter and the Influences of Nazi Germany
Today we dedicate ourselves to a topic that I have wanted to do something about for a long time. I often have the feeling that not everyone in the community is familiar with the parallels with the real world that certain characters, groups or events have. Therefore I would like to try to do a little "clarification" with this text block and thus even to provide a small analysis.
I want to make it clear beforehand that this article is not intended to attack anyone who is a fictional character hot thinks, even if I can't really understand it myself. But talked enough.
If you are not a fan of larger text blocks, we have prepared the whole thing for you in podcast form.
Once on YouTube
And once on Spotify
Voldemort and Adolf Hitler - if you take a closer look at the history of Harry Potter, you will quickly notice that Rowling deliberately created parallels between Tom Riddle and Hitler and his followers. I have looked at some essays, research papers and analyzes on this topic (and of course researched a large part myself) and would like to present you with a summary of the observations. You can find the names of the texts listed at the end. First and foremost, this is about the Harry Potter book series - but later on, Grindelwald from the Fantastic Beasts films will also be discussed a little bit.
Parallels between the magical and the real world
This somewhat large block of text tries to show the parallels between the magical and the real world in relation to the Death Eaters and National Socialist Germany.
Not only did Rowling himself compare Hitler and Voldemort very often, readers of the book series also discovered the similarities between Death Eaters and Nazis years before the last book. The book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in itself there seems to be a few more direct ones role models from the history of Nazi Germany, but we'll get to that later.
J.K. Rowling herself said that the two groups share a very similar worldview. She explained the expressions Pure blood, Half-blood and Muggle-born were shaped by people who are interested in these differences and who reflect the prejudices of these people.
Rowling also stated that when there is someone like Lucius Malfoy concerns, a Muggle-born just like that bad be like a Muggle yourself. So you would Harry Potter even just as half Consider wizards as his mother was of Muggle descent. This is exactly what has real reasons. With the Nazis it was about that at the time Aryan or jewish Blood and according to the propaganda of the Third Reich, a single Jewish grandfather was enough to get the blood to pollute – similar to the term mud bloodwhich was supposed to represent the impurity of the magical blood in the form of an insult.
The people Hitler and Voldemort can't be compared one to one - Voldemort, for example, had nothing of Hitler's political charisma or his speaking skills, which was more likely to hit Gellert Grindelwald to. While Hitler's speeches drove his audience into ecstasy, Voldemort avoided public appearances and acted from the shadows. Even if the similarities on a personal level are not necessarily serious, there are undeniable parallels between the ideologies of National Socialists and those of Death eater. The systems that the two camps wanted to set up have a few clear similarities, even if they are difficult to compare in terms of scope and measurability - Voldemort E.g. only had a year to implement his ideas and most of the time he thought it was more important to get a cooler wand.
On this subject, however, it must also be said that Hitler was not alone in world history with his atrocities. Despots like Josef Stalin could be counted, but it stands to reason that Rowling deliberately chose symbols and language that would remind her readers of Hitler, there in principle everyone should understand this. So she created a scenario in which it comes to different conceptions of power, hierarchies, good and bad as well as political movements - oh yes and magic.
But why Hitler, the Nazis, and other fascist movements are so good for J.K. Rowling as a comparison is obvious: yours Racial politics is the crux of the matter. Historians dub the Third Reich as Racial state and that fits exactly what the Pureblood extremists - to them too Dolores Umbridge heard, tried in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to build up.
Building this state wasn't all that difficult. Umbridge and their allies in Ministry of Magic simply took away the long-established prejudices of the Purebloods regarding magical gifts and expanded them somewhat.
Ideological views in society before Lord Voldemort
The magical society has such a thing as one division if it is after the Purebloods goes. There we have the purebloods with magical talent Purebloods, the Squibs (Squibs are not really muggles as they can see magical beings, including Hogwarts), Half-bloodswhich sounds derogatory, but in the Wizarding World apparently not meant in such a derogatory manner - otherwise Snape would never have called himself the name Half-blood prince and of course we still have them Muggle-bornsthat is also insulting as Mudbloods are designated. Following the story of J.K. Rowling listens carefully, then you come to the conclusion that it's almost all Half-bloods there are very few left pure blood families are left.
The descent and the associated categorization of people based on their magical ancestors is something perfectly normal in the magical world in which Harry lives and is used every day - except for Insult Mudblood. Harry hears all these terms in the books, but there are indications here and there that the opinion of these categories changed before his time.
In fact, we know there are some Extremists in the magical community who campaigned for the Ministry of Magic Muggle as Beasts classified rather than humans. The Black family e.g. and other traditional Purebloods, to which also the Malfoys belonged to, the wizards saw as a completely separate race that had nothing to do with humans. Nevertheless, at some point there must have been a high number of associations between purebreds, half-bloods and Muggle-borns, as there were a lot of half-bloods in Harry's time. This suggests that views like those of the Black family have gradually been abandoned by the other Purebloods. By the way, the Blacks' family motto translates as “always pure” - sounds rosy, doesn't it?
"Oh Harry, haven't you seen enough of this house to know what kind of wizards my family belonged to?" Sirius said irritably.
"Were - were your parents also Death Eaters?"
"No, no, but believe me, they thought Voldemort had the right ideas, they were all in favor of cleaning up the wizarding race, getting rid of the Muggle-borns and the pure-bloods in charge. They were not alone in this; before Voldemort showed his true colors there were quite a few people who thought he had the right idea of where to go. "
- Conversation between Harry and Sirius in Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix, The noble and even old house of the Blacks
Even public opinion about Squibs seems to have changed - in Harry's time it is unusual, but somehow "normal" to have Squibs among you. At the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour talk however Aunty Muriel and Elphias Doge that the existence of Squib children was covered up in the 19th century. At the time, these children were considered a dark family secret (Side note: Ariana Dumbledore has been claimed to have been a Squib, which is why she was hidden from the public.)
And such prejudices are nothing new in the real world either. You can roughly say that people are always trying to improve the community in which they live - unfortunately, there is often no thought here that what is good for one could be bad for another. For the majority of our generation, genocide is a terrible thing and, above all, simply unfair. Still believed during the second World War and des Holocaust not a few people suggested that ethnic cleansing of the Jews was a necessity that would ultimately benefit society as a whole.
And how Umbridge and Co. relative easy were able to build a kind of racial state based on prejudices, people in Germany also made use of prejudices against Jews - and anti-Semitism had existed in Germany for a long time Hitler. This used the long prevailing prejudices and incited the population against them.
The ideas of ethnic cleansing and hatred are consistent with those represented by the so-called villains in Rowling's universe. As mentioned earlier, wizards were considered tainted when their blood mixed with that of Muggles. J.K. Rowling shows us in her series the prejudice-related ideologies of two (possibly three) magicians who acted before Voldemort.
First, there is Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of Hogwarts.
As already said, the prejudices against Jews were not an invention of Hitler and his troops. Historian William L. Shirer even believed that the Nazis came to power because their movement was a "logical continuation of German history". Accordingly, Voldemort and Grindelwald were not the first to cheer on the superiority of their own race in the magical world.
Salazar Slytherin was born over a millennium before these two and had strong racist views. Unlike his 3 co-founders, he demanded that only pure-blood wizards be allowed to come to Hogwarts. After the other founders got in the way, an argument broke out and Slytherin left the castle - but not without leaving the Chamber of Secrets behind.
In this hall slumbered the deadly basilisk, which was to be used by Slytherin's heirs to rid the school of impurity and to kill the students who were not pure blood. Here you can see that Slytherin's view had already changed somewhat. If at the beginning he only wanted to deny the “unclean” education, later he wanted to deprive them of their right to life. A development that was also reflected in World War II: the Jewish people gradually lost all their rights until they were doomed to die.
historian John L. Snell pointed out in his book "The Nazi Revolution" that the missionaries of Christianity said "You have no right to live among us as Jews", the subsequent secular rulers made it "You have no right to live among us" and the Nazis blunted it: “You have no right to live”.
So one can clearly see that the idea “purity gives you the right to live” did not only exist in the magical world, but also in the real world.
Grindelwald (and Dumbledore)
Gellert Grindelwald had similar views, not necessarily centered around "the superiority of the pure blood," but the superiority of wizards as a race per se. When Albus Dumbledore was young, he joined Dumbledore's plan for a few months - something the wizard regretted until his death.
Together they pursued the ideology that magicians are in themselves normal Muggles be superior. Both men believed that because of their superior power, wizards had the right to rule. Here, however, the worldview of the two young magicians differed. While Gellert Grindelwald make slaves of muggles for the magical world and the Superfluous wanted to kill, Albus Dumbledore saw the natural superiority of wizards as a burden thanks to which wizards should use their powers to create a good world for all beings.
Grindelwalds Views also mirror Hitler's Thought that the Aryans were superior to the Jews. If Hitler and the National Socialists had their way, to be born a Jew meant that you were not a human being and that you would have forfeited your right to life.
As at the time of adolescents Grindelwald and Dumbledore the Ministry of Magic Pursuing a plan to remain in secret and not touch the Muggles, the two had bold plans to overthrow their government and establish their own system, which was shaped by the natural superiority of wizards.
And if you look at HOW the two had planned, you can see clear similarities here as well as to how Hitler wanted to gain power. They wanted to convince the public that their intentions would benefit society entirely. In order to get the masses on their side and to emphasize their good intentions again, the two even developed a slogan - "For the Greater Good", or in German "For the greater good".
„For the greater good“Grindelwald also carved Nurmengard at the entrance to his prison, where he put his opponents. This is a clear allusion to the National Socialist exclamation “Work makes you free”, which can be found at the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp, among other places.
This type of propaganda is also very similar to Hitler's. With slogans such as “Liberate Germany from the Jews”, Hitler wanted to convince the German people that “cleaning” society was the right thing to do. Indeed, he intended to be seen as the “savior” of Germany, not a racist mass murderer. Rowling also revealed that it was no coincidence that Grindelwald was also defeated in 1945.
Yet let's come back to Hitler and Voldemort. In her books, Rowling makes Voldemort her own version of Adolf Hitler. By showing readers how and why the Dark Lord became a dictator, she also explains what drives power-hungry despots like Hitler in general and how they can achieve their goals. Of course there are big differences between the two characters, but the parallels cannot be ignored.
How hatred developed from childhood
The environment in which a child grows up often has an impact on personality - in addition, children often have very clear reactions to certain circumstances.
Take Hitler for example: one of the reasons he hated the Jews was because he blamed them for his own poverty and bad life. He believed that they were responsible for Germany's defeat in World War I and the strict Versailles Treaty that resulted from it.
Neither Hitler nor Voldemort had a particularly happy childhood - Tom Riddle was born and raised in a Muggle orphanage - his belief that he was superior to the others made being there a torture. Hitler, on the other hand, was mistreated and as a child lived most of his life impoverished in a predominantly Jewish region.
It is obvious that these circumstances shaped their personalities as children and adolescents and shaped them into the men they later became and as whom they wanted to harm other beings. Voldemort's desire to wipe out the Muggles arose from his sense of superiority and the hatred he felt towards the Muggles in the orphanage. The thought that he himself was something special and much more powerful than others ensured that he himself did not think he was worthy of this superiority, but rather that he deserved power over them all. Voldemort, like Adolf Hitler, also researched family history, which only reinforced his prejudices against Muggles.
But we come to the exciting parallels that can be found in the personalities of the two.
Manipulation and conviction
Both Hitler and Voldemort acquired the "gift" of conviction in their childhood / youth and continued to develop it into adulthood.They used this ability at a young age to manipulate others into getting what they wanted. As crazy as it may sound: Hitler, for example, manipulated his mother as a child into pampering him properly, as can be read in Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth by Bradley F. Smith.
Voldemort, on the other hand, was extremely intelligent and manipulative as a child and could change his mood at the push of a button to get others to give him what he wanted. In addition, he used cruel magic against the other orphans so that they were afraid of him - the typical Voldemort way shows itself at a young age: playing out the emotions of others and controlling them through fear.
Still, Tom Riddle knew limits - when Albus Dumbledore visited him for the first time, he understood immediately that he couldn't play games with this man and so he had to quickly put on the mask of a polite boy so that this man would trust him. And Hitler also knew his limits. He had to endure the abuse by his father and after his failed Hitler putsch (see also Bierkeller putsch) he realized that the only way to power was democracy.
In addition to manipulation, another skill the two men had was the art of persuasion. It was easy for them to convince others of their supposedly good intentions. A skill that was very useful to both men in their pursuit of power.
For example, at the age of 22, Hitler persuaded his aunt to give him a large sum of money.
At about the same age, Tom Riddle convinced the old lady Hepzibah Smith to show him her most precious pieces, such as the Huffelpuff's goblet or the Slytherin medallion, which he stole after her murder and made horcruxes from them.
His charm was also able to elicit some secrets from Horace Slughorn about Horcruxes.
However, in order to come to power at all, both men had to obtain the support of certain people. Both could play well with each other's emotions to get their approval. Hitler directed collective anger in the direction of poverty and powerlessness - he was seen in part as the glimmer of hope that was to turn everything around.
Voldemort, on the other hand, played more with human fear. As a very powerful wizard he could easily kill (almost) anyone who contradicted his intentions - he also saw himself as invincible thanks to his Horcruxes.
Every one of his followers was afraid of the Dark Lord - not just of openly contradicting him. The mere thought of contradicting the dark lord made them fearful, as he could read their minds through Legilimacy.
Both men used these manipulative skills to achieve their main goal: to gain power. This topic is particularly emphasized in the books by the differences between Voldemort and Harry: Power is a dangerous thing that even the wise and compassionate Dumbledore does not seek, since he does not want to face the temptation to abuse this very power.
Dumbledore tells Harry:
“It's strange, Harry, but those who never aspired to power may be best placed to exercise it. Those who are forced to take the lead like you and then take the reins because they have to and, to their surprise, find that they are fine. "
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, King’s Cross
Rowling makes it clear here that it makes a difference whether you want to gain power for yourself or because you get it because it is necessary.
Harry, for example, was in his fifth year of commanding Dumbledore's army. Not because he really wanted to, but because others needed his help. Voldemort, on the other hand, sought absolute control over the magical world - not because he wanted to direct and guide it for the good of all, but only for his own benefit.
For this reason, Voldemort did not want to join the existing political system - he wanted to overthrow the government and set up a completely new system, with him at the helm.
Similar to Hitler. Although he was able to convince others that he only wanted the best for Germany, it is known that he was driven by his greed for power and his personal ambitions. He even claimed that it was God's plan to give him the power to murder those he considered "unworthy to live", as read in "Hitler and Nazi Germany" by Robert G. J. Waite.
As "heir to Slytherin" and "the greatest wizard who ever lived," Voldemort also believed that he was entitled to rule.
“Voldemort is, of course, like Hitler in a way. It is interesting to find out how superstitious these people are with all their might. That's part of their paranoia - the need to make themselves bigger than they really are. They love to talk about fate and destiny. I wanted Voldemort to have these paranoid qualities too. "
-J.K. Rowling in an interview
In fact, much of Voldemort's personality can be summed up by the meaning of his name.
That he changed his name from Tom Riddle to Lord Voldemort shows us a few things.
For one, it portrays him as the racist who is ashamed of his Muggle blood.
On the other hand, it clearly shows that he saw himself as a superior being that a normal name would not do justice to.
Third, his new name (which translates as "flight before death") reflects the fact that he had the power to conquer his greatest fear, death.
And last but not least, his name has a propaganda effect. The whole book series is about the fact that his name inspires fear and horror. The fear of him is so omnipresent that he only "You know who"From normal people and"Dark Lord“Is named by its followers.
For the story, to digress a little further, it is also incredibly important that Harry calls him by his weak and (real) name - and that just before Tom Riddle is defeated. Through this, Harry shows him in his final moments that he is indeed not a superior being, but a mortal human being.
But back to the topic: All of this showed us that the pursuit of power was "favorable" to both Voldemort and Hitler. Both had the “right” personalities and were in the right place at the right time. In addition, both tyrants encountered rather weak resistance. Voldemort benefited from the mistakes of Cornelius Fudge, the former Minister of Magic.
J.K. Rowling admitted that Fudge was on the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain based. During the time of the Second World War, he played down the threat posed by the Nazi regime for his own purposes, according to Rowling, and thereby allowed Hitler to invade Czechoslovakia.
In principle, Fudge reflects this philosophy: He is a rather weak personality who depends on their position and the privileges associated with it. In addition, he refused to believe in Voldemort's return, thereby indirectly helping him to come to power.
The "inferior" breed
During the Second World War, not only were differences made between Jews and non-Jews, there were also gradations within the Jewish race, depending on their origin - establishing a demarcation here at all shows racism and inequality.
As already mentioned, similar gradations were made in the Wizarding World. You were either a pure-blood, half-blood, or you were a Muggleborn.
The holocaust was the terrible one gradual extinction of the Jewish race.
At first it was “only” a matter of racist demarcation. After that, the Jews were denied their rights, whereupon they were sent to concentration camps, where they were then murdered.
As in the real world, after Voldemort's seizure of power, racist demarcation and the subsequent crippling of the rights of Muggle-borns began. For example, he had the “Registration Commission for Muggle-borns” set up, where all Muggle-borns should come for questioning.
The questioning should inevitably lead to arrest and later death. To illustrate this, here is a small excerpt from the questioning of a Muggle-born witch by Dolores Umbridge:
„Would you please tell us which witch or wizard you stole this wand? "
"E-stolen? I didn't steal it from anyone. I bought it when I was eleven years old. He - he - he has me select.!“
"No. No, I don't think so, Mrs. Cattermole. Wands only look for witches or wizards. You are not a witch. "
–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Muggle Ethnic Registration Commission
This interrogation clearly shows us that because of her ancestry, Mary Cattermole is not considered a witch in the eyes of the government - much like the Jews could not be human beings in the eyes of the anti-Semites.
During the Second World War, a few sympathizers also offered the Jews to claim that one was related to them, so that they could escape a fatal fate - similar to Ron Weasley, the Hermione Granger than his cousin wants to pretend so that she is not in danger.
The concentration campinto which the Jews were penned were full fear, suffering and helplessness.
In the magical world, one made use of these oppressive feelings in the “fight” against the Muggle-borns and used dementors against them.
In the third volume, Professor Lupine explains to Harry what the Dementors are, which gives the reader a hint about the desperation the victims had to go through:
„Dementors are some of the foulest creatures to walk the earth. They pollute the darkest, filthiest places, they exult in the midst of decay and despair, they suck peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them. If you get too close to a dementor, it will suck every good feeling, every happy memory out of you. If he can, the dementor will feed on you until you are nothing more than himself - soulless and evil. And you only have that worst experiences of your life. "
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Marauder's Map
It is no secret that many governments want to win public approval. In the course of time, many of them took advantage of the propaganda to convince the population that the right thing was being done.
For example, the Nazis alienated the swastika - that Swastika, which until then had been a symbol of happiness and well-being for a very long time.
In addition, they used the press to manipulate the thoughts and opinions of the public.
In the magical world, Lord Voldemort also started the propaganda machine. On the one hand, the famous statue in the atrium of the Ministry of Magic was modified so that a witch and a wizard sat on thrones - these thrones stood on Muggles: "Hundreds and hundreds of naked bodies, men, women and children, all with rather stupid, ugly faces, writhed and huddled together to carry the burden of the beautifully dressed wizards. "
Engraved on this monument was the saying "Magic is power". Anyone who has in mind this description of the pictures from the concentration camps with slogans such as “work makes you free” is absolutely right here.
Voldemort also controlled the press and wanted to convince the public through the Daily Prophet that Muggle-borns were not real wizards and had only stolen their magical powers. Through journalists like Rita Skeeter, he made the public doubt his enemies. So Harry was accused of having something to do with the murder of Albus Dumbledore and even Albus Dumbledore was accused of treason. His propaganda was intended to create confusion and doubt in people so that they would no longer be able to know who to trust.
In addition, numerous anti-Muggle leaflets were circulated under his leadership, which are strongly reminiscent of the anti-Semitic leaflets of the Third Reich.
But Rowling not only reflects the horrors of the Nazi era, she also shows that the extermination of the Jews did not take place without resistance.
There were not only attempts to prevent the genocide from within Germany, but also from various countries around the world, such as the French resistance, who tried to oppose ethnic cleansing.
And so J.K. Rowling the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore's army, the quibbler and Potterwatchto show that there are also people who stand up against the Death Eaters and their fascist delusions.
Rowling sends the message to the readers that every person, no matter what their blood status, how old they are or what personality they have, can make a difference and join the fight against injustice - no matter how hopeless the fight may be like. Rowling shows the reader that you have to fight for what you believe in and that you are stronger together. She underscores this by emphasizing the importance of courage and loyalty throughout her book series. This message is made clear again in the final battle, in which the students of all Hogwarts houses (Editor's note: Rowling reveals that Slytherins came back and fought, read in the Pottercast) fought together against Voldemort and his followers.
If you look carefully at all the similarities between the prejudices against Jews and Muggles (burly), between the lives and personalities of Voldemort and Hitler, as well as the political regimes of the two dictators, you have no other choice to see that JK Rowling consciously chose these connections and incorporated them into her story as a parable.
However, Rowling does not regularly press these things in our faces, which is why these parallels are probably not consciously perceived by all readers.
In addition, she builds in all these parallels, but takes the freedom to incorporate her own experiences, opinions and interpretations of things. In doing so, she wants to teach her readers a lesson on things like devotion, equality, love, and courage.
Especially in our time, in which the racism wants to anchor himself openly in everyday life again and shows his ugly grimace, it is particularly important that authors like J.K. Rowling want to understand the implications of these atrocities and instill a certain moral in their readers.
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