Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter and the Final Solution

Having just finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (no spoilers here, I promise—though if you haven’t read it yet, what you waiting for?) I was struck by the obvious parallelisms that JK Rowling paints between the Dark Forces of Harry Potter’s World and Nazism.

First of all, one of the major themes in this book is racism; or more specifically pure bloodlines. For those who don’t know, the World of Harry Potter is delineated as follows:
•Wizards (pure bloods)
•Half Bloods (Wizards born to mixed Muggle/Wizard parent)
•Squibs (non wizards born to Wizard coupling)
•Mudbloods (Derogatory name for wizards born to two non-wizard parents)
•Muggles (Non Wizard humans)
Others (other magical species including goblins, centaurs giants, etc.)

I’ll try not to make this too complicated, but basically the “bad guys” led by Voldemort and his cronies want to reestablish Pure Blood control over both the Wizarding World and over the Muggle Community. [A secret agreement was signed in the 17th century whereby wizards agreed to go into hiding—the Dark Forces want not only to come out of hiding but to rule over the Muggles].

What this means for muggles like us is undoubtedly a lifetime of servitude, similar to what Hitler had envisaged for the Slavs.

There is an implicit connection made in the Harry Potter series between JK Rowling’s world and Nazism. Dumbledore defeated the evil (and German sounding) wizard Grindelwald (pronounced Grindelvald) in 1945, according to the official timeline.

Grindelwald was one of the founders of the Pure Blood movement. Bulgarian Quidditch player Krum relates of Grindelwald’s racially motivated extermination campaign, which saw his Romanian grandfather killed.

The Books frequently reference the fact that Grindelwald, a European wizard, controlled most of the Wizarding World (Europe) but couldn’t penetrate Britain. Shades of WWII.

Further, Grindelwald was educated in a European School for Wizards called Durmstrang, an obvious play on the German cultural movement Sturm und Drang.

Grindelwald kept his opponents imprisoned in a place called Nurmengad (can you say Nuremberg, boys and girls?). Grindelwald himself was imprisoned here after his fall. (Shades of Rudolf Hess?).

Fast forward to the present. In the latest book (OK, I’m giving something away that happens VERY early on, and is not a huge spoiler OK?), Voldermort and his Death Eaters have taken control of the Wizarding Community. The Establishment has fallen, and Good Wizards everywhere are panicking.

Immediately, some rather ominous things happen. The new rulers immediately declare war on Muggleborns (Mudbloods). They are called “usurpers of magical powers,” and forced to register with the Muggleborn Registration Commission, where they are “rounded up” to quote Lupin. They are brought to a Kangaroo Court where unless they can prove close relations to a wizard they are carted away and imprisoned.

Only true wizards (pure or half bloods) are allowed to attend Hogwarts. Propaganda Pamphlets are produced instructing wizards on “Mudbloods and the Dangers they pose to a Peaceful Society.”

Like the Nazis’ fascination with Aryan blood, the Death Eaters have a fascination with proving their “loyal” bloodline, but, like the Nazis, few are real purebloods. [Hitler, Goring, Goebells and Hess were hardly prime examples of the Aryan race, were they?] At one time, Harry threatens a Death Eater: “Would you like me to have your family tree examined?” The implication is that the Death Eater would fail such a close scrutiny of his bloodline.

While no direct references to Nazism and the Holocaust are present, the implications are obvious. Muggleborn registration is the first step. If Harry and his friends do not defeat Voldermort and his Death Eaters, surely transit camps and extermination is the logical “final solution” to the Muggleborn problem.

And for us Muggles….if Harry can’t fulfill the prophecy, a lifetime of servitude to our new Lords and Masters awaits us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I love this!