In the Harry Potter series, Albus Dumbledore is known as a brilliant mind, a mentor to Harry and an overall supporter for all that is good and great. He is also viewed the same way in the Harry Potter fandom. I was also in the ‘Dumbledore can do no evil’ camp firmly until I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
To my horror, that view was firmly shattered only to never return.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, there is a chapter called The Life and Les of Albus Dumbledore. In this chapter, we are given a letter written from Albus Dumbledore to Gellert Grindelwald, the Dark Lord that came before He-Whose-Nickname-Must-Be-Hyphenated and the one whom, according to his chocolate frog card, he had defeated.
The letter, which I will give below puts an entirely different perspective on the seemingly benevolent Headmaster of Hogwarts.
Your point about Wizard dominance being FOR THE MUGGLES’ OWN GOOD — this, I think, is the crucial point. Yes, we have been given power and yes, that power gives us the right to rule, but it also gives us responsibilities over the ruled. We must stress this point, it will be the foundation stone upon which we build. Where we are opposed, as we surely will be, this must be the basis of all our counterarguments. We seize control FOR THE GREATER GOOD. And from this it follows that where we meet resistance, we must use only the force that is necessary and no more. (This was your mistake at Durmstrang! But I do not complain, because if you had not been expelled, we would never have met.)
Albus – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowilng
Now, this letter is horrifying by itself. It completely destroys the image projected by the earlier books – that Dumbledore had always been a supporter of the non magical. Apparently, it was not the case, as he plotted domination over muggles and muggle raised alongside one of the most twisted maniacs in all of HP universe history.
The deeper implications are far more horrifying than that. Apparently, Grindelwald didn’t know how to proceed with his agenda of world domination if the line “This was your mistake at Durmstrang!” was accurate. Also, this whole letter became the Dark Lord’s inspiration as we see that after this article Hermione remarks that “For the Greater Good” was Grindelwald’s slogan and was apparently on the entrance of Nurmengard (the prison Grindelwald built for his enemies).
Now, this would be bad enough if we didn’t remember the horrors that Gellert Grindelwald did. For those unaware, Gellert Grindelwald wasn’t just your run of the mill Dark Lord. In the HP universe, he was the reason for the entire World War II with Hitler as his front on the muggle side.
That’s right, Albus Dumbledore was the inspiration for a war that had claimed the lives of a whopping over 60 million people (according to wikipedia) . To put it in perspective, it is about the same number as the population of Tokyo and Jakarta combined (according to this site). Also, this war gave us concentration camps, atomic bombs and other horrors that people have nightmares about. In my book, this makes any efforts of atonement Dumbledore attempted in later life completely cheap and meaningless. How does one atone for the lives WWII stole, for those lost in Auschwitz and camps similar to it? I am quite astonished that Harry even trusts Dumbledore after that. Didn’t he have some sort of history class after that or did they not study WWII at school?
I am further astonished by the frankly weak argument Hermione states in that very chapter:
“He changed, Harry, he changed! It’s as simple as that! Maybe he did believe these things when he was seventeen, but the whole of the rest of his life was devoted to fighting the Dark Arts! Dumbledore was the one who stopped Grindelwald, the one who always voted for Muggle protection and Muggle-born rights, who fought You-Know-Who from the start, and who died trying to bring him down!” — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowilng
The only thing I have to say to that is “Nice try, Hermione, but no dice.” I am frankly revolted at how Hermione was willing to brush off the horrendous acts that Dumbledore was responsible for and frankly, I am sick and tired of that attitude.
Albus Dumbledore fans, I beg of you wake up!
Albus Dumbledore is no hero!
Sure, he might dish out sage advice like it is his precious lemon drops, but the evidence is undoubtable!
And to anyone willing to follow Hermione’s example I have one thing to say to you: “I hope you enjoy your swim in denial.” Just please realize the magnitude of Dumbledore’s actions and don’t try to brush it off as a “youthful mistake”. Getting drunk in prom is a youthful mistake. Getting a silly tattoo is a youthful mistake. Writing letters that promote muggle subjugation “for the muggles’ own good” is NOT and NEVER WILL BE a youthful mistake.
Please understand, I didn’t intend to write this article as a Dubledore bashing article. I intended to change the minds of all of those clueless people who still think that Dumbledore is the personification of good.