Magda Eisenhardt

magdalehnsherrfilmBack to X-Men: Apocalypse we meet the first new entry: when we see Magneto again, he’s in Poland, hiding from the authorities, and he goes by the false name Henryk Gurzsky. He also has a family, and his wife is Magda, a woman who doesn’t seem entirely unaware of her husband’s true nature and past. Magada is portrayed by Carolina Bartczak, and her presence confirms that the Mrs. Romanoff we’ve seen in Days of Future Past (and in Apocalypse as well) is not the movie version of Magda Lehnsherr. Magda doesn’t live much through the movie, and she has a much smaller impact on the overall story than her comicbook counterpart: let’s see together who the wife of the Master of Magnetism is.

Magda was a Romany girl, the daughter of a woman named Anya. Traveling with her mother, she arrived in NurembergGermany, in the 1930s, and she found a job as a janitor in a local school. The girl tried to avoid as much attention as she could, as the public opinion in Germany was beginning to turn against her people as well, besides the Jews, but beautiful as she was this was quite impossible, and a boy from the city, Max Eisenhardt, was smitten by her, and did everything he could to gain her attention. Magda was quite intrigued by her suitor, but things ended abruptly: in 1936 the Gypsies were all taken to Marzahn, a detention camp from which they were sorted to other camps. Magda and her mother Anya weren’t lucky, and they ended up in Auschwitz, where the older woman was almost immediately sent to the gas chambers. Left alone, in Auschwitz Magda met Max again: the boy had become a member of the Sonderkommando, and he did everything he could to keep her alive, giving her food secretly and protecting her from the officers’ attentions. When the Nazis decided to exterminate all the Romanys in the camp (the Zigeuernacht), Max managed to take Magda away from Auschwitz, to Buchenwald, where he himself had magdalehnsherrcomics1been transferred. Magda faced many risks nevertheless, and she was saved from a violent guard by Max, who hid her under a pile of corpses that the Sonderkommando was ordered to burn, and then sheltering her in his squad’s bungalow, again protecting her from his own coworkers. When a rebellion started in the death camp, Magda and Max used the opportunity to make their escape, and not trusting the advancing Russian Army (they knew that the Russians, wanting to erase any trace of the extermination camps, often killed the prisoners as well) they ran to the Carpathian Mountains, where they somehow survived for months despite their weakened and famished state. Day after day they recovered, and when they believed enough time had passed since their escape, they decided to move south: they stopped in a village, where Max found a job, and Magda could finally marry her man.

Finally, life smiled again on the two escapees, and they soon had a daughter, who Magda decided to call as her mother, Anya. In the meanwhile, Max was helped by a local to create a new identity for himself and his family, and he changed his name to Erik Lensherr, adopting the one of a deceased Gypsy: this way, he could live better among his wife’s people. Together, Magda, Erik and Anya moved to Vinnitsa, a city in Ukraine, wanting to start anew. Bad luck, however, was still haunting them: the family found a place to stay in an inn, and Max/Erik found a job as a carpenter, while Magda stayed with the baby. The woman had left the mountains just for her husband’s love, but she didn’t like it in the city, and she was disturbed by the way people kept staring at her. After just some days they had arrived in Vinnitsa, Magda went shopping, and when she returned to the inn she found it on fire… with Anya still inside. She rushed in, trying to climb the burning stairs to save her daughter, but to no avail: finally, Erik arrived, and he manifested his powers for the first time, protecting himself and Magda and bringing his wife to safety. Anya, however, was still in her room: Erik wanted to magdalehnsherrcomics2use again his newfound powers to save their baby girl, but in that moment the police arrived, led by Erik’s employer who had denounced him for being a mutant. The police attacked Erik, who couldn’t focus enough to save Anya, and the girl burnt alive in front of her parents. Magda was understandably shocked, but what came after was the final straw for her: Erik, enraged, unleashed all his power for the first time in his life, and slaughtered the policemen and his employer, wanting to avenge Anya’s death. Terrified by what her husband had become, Magda fled, and spent the following months on the run in Eastern Europe, trying to hide from Erik; in that time, she also found out she was pregnant again. Finally, near the end of her pregnancy, she found asylum in the Citadel of Science, a secret town on Wundagore Mountain inhabited by the High Evolutionary and his anthropomorphic animals: Bova the Midwife took care of her and helped her deliver two baby twins, Pietro and Wanda. Magda, however, knew that as long as she was alive, Erik (or rather the monster he had become) could find their children: she had to leave again, and this time for good, in order to protect her children from their father…

Magda Eisenhardt (later Magda Lehnsherr, maiden name unknown) is a good-hearted and peaceful woman, who only seeks a normal and tranquil life with the man she loves and her children. Her tragic life didn’t make her belief in love and kindness fade away, and she still wants peace with all her heart… and that’s why she doesn’t recognize as her husband the mutant mass-murderer Magneto.