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New ‘Harry Potter’ Is a Holocaust Allegory

Or else it’s a Christ allegory

Ari M. Brostoff
July 17, 2009

Critics agree: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince—in which the offspring of mixed marriages between wizards and non-magical folk are tarred as “mudbloods”—is an allegory about racism with parallels in Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Barack Obama’s recent trip to Ghana. Oh, and the Holocaust. The Los Angeles Jewish Journal has some interviews it conducted with Potter producer David Heyman (who also produced Holocaust drama The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) to bring home the point. “Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters, are obsessed with the preservation of blood purity,” he says. “They’re not Nazis but they recall the politics and attitudes of Nazi Germany. And aesthetically—although it’s a cliché—the [Death Eater] Lucius Malfoy and his family are blond, like Hitler’s ideal of the quintessential Aryan.” Well, you see what you look for: Christianity Today reminds readers that “many see Harry, though far from perfect, as something of a Christ figure, while his nemesis, the Dark Lord Voldemort, clearly represents The Devil himself.”

Ari M. Brostoff is Culture Editor at Jewish Currents.