proteus_lives: (Default)
[personal profile] proteus_lives posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Greetings True Believers.

I was inspired to re-post the mini-series Magneto: Testament. It is an intelligent and well-done story of Magneto's boyhood, meeting Magda and suffering at the at the hands of the Nazis.

These posts will be probably not be safe for work because of the frank description of the Nazis treatment of the Jews and Gypsies and of the camps.

This series is an important part of understanding Magneto as a character in my opinion.






Love that cover.

Young Max Eisenhardt and his family are loyal and happy German Jews but then the Nazis come to power and the world begins to change.

Max attends a school which has a Gypsy family cleaning the grounds. He has a crush on the daughter, Magda. He makes her a necklace and tries to get her attention on a day of athletic games. His blonde classmates sneer about "trash loving trash". His Nazi headmaster shows the feelings of Nazi Germany.



But Max wins one event, the javelin throw. Perhaps it's natural talent or the fact Max is using a metal spear. He family has always remarked on his "affinity" for metalwork.

His classmates could spit nails but Max is beaming. The last Jewish teacher tries to warn Max but he doesn't listen. There is a gathering at the center of town and he sees Magda there.



Soldiers drag a man to the center of the crowd, Max realizes it's his uncle Erich.





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Laws

Max's father refuses to believe how bad things have gotten. He fought bravely for Germany in WWI and believe things will get better. He claims that they can't take his medals or the medal Max won away from them. His family is thinking of fleeing the country.

Max returns to school and the headmaster claims the javelin he used was defective and makes Max throw again, with a heavier spear. Magda is watching and Max heaves with all his might. It goes far and Max smiles at Magda, she's wearing the necklace he made.

Max is expelled for being "cheating Jewish scum". The Jewish teacher is taken away at the same time. Max goes to leave but his classmates are waiting.





Max and his father take a trip to see the father's old commanding officer whom life he saved in the war. He's a government man now and maybe he can help the family.

The arrive in Berlin in time for the 1936 Olympic games. The father is excited that they are taking the anti-Jewish signs down.

They go to a government office and wait all day and manage to catch the "old friend" on his way home. He tries to speak to him but soldiers tell him to leave. They beat him and drag him into the office. Max waits on the steps.



They leave Berlin to the sight of the anti-Jewish signs going back up. The father still insists that things will be alright.


Magda's fate is uncertain.



1938. Things get worse. Max digs through trash looking for coins. He has a "talent" for finding them. His old classmates see him, mock him and flick money at him. He fights them and runs.

His family wants to go to Poland and stay of cousins of a family friend. The father still resists.

Kristallnacht.

German citizens and soldiers rampage through Max's neighborhood. Looting, burning and killing. The family hides in a graveyard and decides to flee to Poland, thinking there will be safety there.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht

1939, the family makes it to Poland but the Nazis have arrived as well.



Max watches the cavalry go down the road. Nazi tanks come back up it.

He says to his father, "Poppa...it's worse."

Stay tuned for part 2.

Date: 2011-03-09 05:46 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
This is the story that made him Jewish again, right?

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Date: 2011-03-09 06:22 am (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
I hated Kristallnacht so bad, from when I was a kid til now.

The art is... weird in some parts. With the eyes.
But where it isn't, I love it. It's great and expressive and just so appealing to me.

Date: 2011-03-09 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
This is good storytelling and artwork and all, but it's not THIS part of Magneto's origin that really interests me - it's the later parts. It's not that I'm poo-pooing the impact a boyhood in Nazi Germany has on a person, but frankly, we've seen all this before. No matter how brutal and shocking his experiences at the hands of the Nazis are, it's well-covered ground - I'm more interested in the stuff that is uniquely his.

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Date: 2011-03-09 07:15 am (UTC)
aulayan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aulayan
I mostly agree with you.

I think this is a good start, a very good start. But the stuff that comes later. His friendship with Xavier, the falling out between them. Everything else that brings him into the mindset he's in (It's not just the holocaust, it's his whole life) I...I want to see that. By a very very good writer.

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Date: 2011-03-09 09:45 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: "Magneto Was Right" (magneto was right)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I agree that there are other parts of Magneto's long history that are very underwritten (e.g. the time with Magda, Nazi-hunting in South America) but at the time Claremont brought in this background it was new and startling in superhero comics. I do think this part of the backstory needs to be solid, and this is a good way to do it.

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Date: 2011-03-09 07:13 pm (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
We all grew up on the stereotypes of World War II. The reality is more brutal, more complex, and more fascinating than the stereotypes. I'm glad to see more of that reality appearing in stories.

But I also want to see more of his life after that, yes. I was just thinking yesterday I wanted to see a story of him after M-Day after he had left Genosha, when he was a human wandering the earth, but from what glimpses we got of him still trying to help mutants and former mutants deal with the new reality.

Date: 2011-03-09 07:27 pm (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
There is one page written in first person where Max talks about what he did in the camp that encapsulates Magento's character better than anything else that's been written about him to date. One sentence explains .... well, everything.

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Date: 2011-03-09 07:15 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
They beat him up with their medals? I cast cast-iron can be heavy... but still a long way to got for "SYMBOLISM!!!!"

I remember reading the book "The Wave" that only a small percentage of Germany were Nazis at the time, but were too scared or underestimated them until it was too late...

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Date: 2011-03-09 12:42 pm (UTC)
valtyr: (mohawk storm)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
I remember reading the book "The Wave" that only a small percentage of Germany were Nazis at the time, but were too scared or underestimated them until it was too late...

It depends on how you're defining 'being a Nazi'. Plenty of Germans were fine with Jews being slightly oppressed, but were horrified by the genocide. Not to mention that the Nazis didn't run solely on a platform of 'Jews suck' but were more of a national and racial pride thing, in the days before national and racial pride were seen to be deeply creepy.

Like in the Milgram experiment, a dominant person with an evil agenda can led a whole lot of unsure people down the road to Hell.

Date: 2011-03-09 06:58 pm (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
Define "being Nazi". After Hitler came to power a series of laws were passed that everyone who worked in a certain profession (teachers, pilots, postmen, etc.) had to belong to the Nazi party. Many people became "token Nazis" to keep their jobs. Ironically, many of those who refused to join the Party went into one of the few occupations where you didn't have to be a Nazi -- the German Army. This was one of many reasons for the acrimony between the Party and the GA.

Date: 2011-03-09 04:11 pm (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
I liked this series, the subject matter was horrible but it was well researched so it was morbidly interesting.

Certainly handled the Holocaust better than the movie 'the Devil's Arithmetic' in which a young Jewish woman in 21st Century America is taught to be more respectful of her heritage by getting sent back in time to Poland in the 1940s, where she is interned and eventually gassed to death.

I was pondering, was Xavier ever mentioned to be Jewish? I remember reading that he met Max/Eric in Israel, and I wondered if he wandered there the same way that Max might have done, post-WW2.

Date: 2011-03-09 06:36 pm (UTC)
recognitions: (Default)
From: [personal profile] recognitions
Now I'm wondering if Mags ever expressed an opinion on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Also, I'm still not clear on the evolution of his name. Why did he end up calling himself Erik? Or Magnus, for that matter.

Date: 2011-03-09 07:08 pm (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
At the end of this story, when Max and Magda run away from the camp and head for the hills, it's not clear to them if there are any other Gypsies left alive anywhere. They have reason to believe she literally might be the last Rom in Europe. It's not spelled out, but under those circumstances I can see her asking Max to take a Gypsy name to help keep her people alive.

Date: 2011-03-09 07:17 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Even with this tragic history, I never *quite* got how Magneto was willing to justify killing innocent people for his goals. The harshest example was FATAL ATTRACTIONS, where he caused a worldwide EMP that (off-panel) killed thousands of people. That was really Magneto at his worst, as Xorn-as-Magneto doesn't "count" or something.

No matter how "impressed" Magneto is with Cyclops current actions, at least Cyclops never sent X-Force after innocent people who were "persecuting mutants" just by being alive.

Date: 2011-03-09 07:30 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
He came around to use the same logic as the Nazi's did. He can justify what he did because he ones he harmed were only flatscans, not REAL people, like mutants, and it was flatscans who had killed his family and his daughter.

Date: 2011-03-09 11:09 pm (UTC)
turtlefu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] turtlefu
Isn't that the point though?
I remember reading that when the Magyars were given control of Hungary from the Austrian government, they proceeded to oppress all of the non-Magyar minorities in Hungary despite being an oppressed minority within the Austrian empire.
Being oppressed doesn't stop you from oppressing others.

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Date: 2011-03-09 11:11 pm (UTC)
valtyr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
I don't know; I felt that after living through such a genocide, it was believable he'd go to terrible lengths to try to prevent another such.

I mean from his perspective, the innocent flatscans were the innocent German people, who were cool with a bit of oppression of the Jews, and thus allowed the slide to the Holocaust.

Date: 2011-03-09 07:22 pm (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
I approached this story with a great deal of trepidation, as both a die-hard Mags fan and a history nut. I was very impressed with how historically accurate it was, to the point where I occasionally got deja vu while reading it, i.e. "Wait a minute, I've read the first-hand account the writer pulled that incident from!" Apparently they went to almost insane lengths in their quest for historical accuracy, including re-drawing pages at the last minute over architectural details.

Date: 2011-03-09 11:11 pm (UTC)
turtlefu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] turtlefu
I find the idea that Max's family are the only Jews around anywhere utterly ridiculous. He's the ONLY Jew in his entire school? Several million were killed in this genocide, they must have come from somewhere. I do not accept the idea that the Jewish peoples were a rarity within Germany. They were a minority, but a fairly sizable one.

Date: 2011-03-09 11:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredneil.livejournal.com
Three million came from Poland. Just over 200,000 came from Germany.

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Date: 2011-03-10 01:32 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
Really? The myth of Polish Lancers? That makes the whole exercise seem poorly researched and calls into question how much effort was really made, here.

Poland's military did have cavalary (a small amount) in 1939. And they did field them. But not with lances...they carried anti-tank guns. The only time they charged into battle was on the first day of the war, with sabres against infantry. Keeping in mind that such a tactic worked just a few years earlier , it wasn't a terrible tactic.

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