Young X-Men Magneto in the Holocaust

The Israeli “haaretz” newspaper is considered as the ‘newspaper for thinking people ‘. So I looked with some suspicion and disbelief at the headline “X-Men mutant survives the Holocaust in new Marvel Comics miniseries”. But if X-Men becomes Bon Ton for ‘Thinking People’, then Marvel Comics and the Holocaust is OK.
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Well the bare facts are that indeed Marvel Comics create a new story, I quote…  “Last week, in Philadelphia, Marvel Comics announced that Greg Pak, best known for writing such characters as Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk, would be penning a new miniseries in September called “Magneto: Testament.” see here.
Quoting directly from Marvel’s site:
“This coming September, writer Pak and artist Carmine Di Giandomenico invite X-fanatics on a rare journey way back to the Master of Magnetism’s adolescent days as a mutant magnate in training. In MAGNETO: TESTAMENT, that journey weaves its way through 1930s Germany where we find pre-teen Erik Magnus Lehnsherr struggling with a unique gift as well as a ubiquitous curse around him as a young Jewish boy in the middle of the Nazi stronghold.

Not your typical tale of a Marvel character developing his extraordinary powers, this five-issue series tackles the common anxieties of a teenager with the far more severe threat of anti-Semitism supported by martial law.

“Like so many classic Marvel characters, [Magneto] has to grapple with the typical problems of any scrawny outsider: family problems, schoolyard bullies, and first crushes,” Pak explains. “But every little conflict takes on a terrifying, new dimension as the scope and inexorable advance of the Nazi menace becomes clearer.” see here.

Anyway,the ‘Magneto: Testament’ miniseries has a prestigious precursor, Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust comics, Pulitzer winning prize ‘Maus’, a standard for any creative artist approaching the subject in its comics form.
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And a final word, from an unexpected site (for me), I quote this..as a ‘preview’…”Some disagreement remains among fans and perhaps among writers about whether Magneto is Jewish or Gypsy (Roma). Possibly he is both, with one of his parents being Jewish and the other being Roma. Currently opinion seems to be leaning in the direction of regarding Magneto as Jewish. Certainly the successful X-Men movie (2000) seemed to portray Magneto as Jewish, as the movie opened showing him as a youth being forced along with other Jews into a Nazi concentration camp. The first X-Men movie and its sequel, X2: X-Men United were both directed by Jewish film director Bryan Singer”….etcetera…Visit this site for a wealth of information on the religion of comics characters.

Source of pictures Marvel Comics.

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5 thoughts on “Young X-Men Magneto in the Holocaust

  1. It was in the first movie as well.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120903/

    That is most likely why Professor Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr aka Magneto finally split up over the issue as tactics.

    Although they still remained friends as indicated by Professor X visiting Magneto in prison and playing chess with him.

    Here is more on the different philosophies of the two characters.

    http://comics.ign.com/articles/705/705136p1.html

    Magneto grew up in a concentration camp. A Jew (or Gypsy, depending on who’s writing the book), Erik Magnus Lehnsherr was meant to die the moment he stepped into Auschwitz. He stood with his parents as they were shot and killed. He should have died, but the Nazi’s did not want to waste a bullet on such a weak boy. They threw him into the pit of the dead. Erik climbed out of the pit, crawling up the bodies of the dead. It bought him life in the camp, but little solace for the loss of his family.

    In the movie they made it more dramatic as the young Magneto made all the metal shake at the concentration camp which of course frightened the guards.

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  2. Hi Kim,

    Being myself a fan of the X-Men movies, I was surprised to find out about the their historical connections, as comics, with the Holocaust..

    Thanks for the comments.

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