Wizard
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Rudolph Spielman

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"It’s time for him to answer for his crimes in Europe."
-- Rudolph Spielman, Auror who tried and failed to take custody of Grindelwald (CG)

In 1927, Auror Rudolph Spielman arrived at MACUSA Headquarters in New York City to take charge of prisoner Gellert Grindelwald so he could be brought back to Europe to answer for his crimes there. As Spielman and other Aurors were escorting the prisoner in a Thestral-drawn carriage across the Hudson River, Grindelwald managed to escape with the help of the traitor Abernathy and a vicious baby Chupacabra named Antonio, who jumped out of an empty wand box and stuck his fangs into Spielman’s neck.

Although tossed into the Atlantic Ocean, Spielman managed to catch a wand and perform a Slowing Charm to keep himself from falling into the water. He turned up later at a London Ministry of Magic hearing for Newt Scamander, who wanted to travel internationally again in spite of a ban after his last ill-fated trip to New York. Spielman himself explained that the ban would be lifted, but only if Newt joined his brother Theseus and the other Aurors in trying to stop Grindelwald.

Skills

Quick-thinking and silent spells.

Other canon notes and references

The CG script describes Spielman as "Germanic" in speech, hinting that he might be from Germany or Austria, but his actual home country is not given. However, Grindelwald's fortress, Nurmengard is definitely in Austria, as was the "Eagle's Nest" fortress of Adolph Hitler.

Rudolph Spielman
Gender Male
Dates circa 1927
Species / Race Wizard
Blood Status Unknown
Distinguishing Features Germanic speech, perhaps from Germay, Austria or the Alps region
School
Affiliations Aurors
Profession Auror
First Introduced CG

Commentary

Etymology

Spielmann is a German name which means "jester."

An Austrian Jewish chessmaster named Rudolf Spielmann could be a source of the name Spielman. Son of a newspaper man in Vienna, he suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime during WWII, losing several family members to the concentration camps. Spielman fled to Sweden where he wrote a never-published book, Memories of a Chess Master, and tried desperately to get passage to the United States or elsewhere, but to no avail. He was found dead in his apartment in August 1942, after apparently starving himself to death. But some of his chess quotes from newspaper columns live on, such as "A good sacrifice is one that is not necessarily sound but leaves your opponent dazed and confused," and "Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine."

The name "Spielman" could also be a sly hat-tip by JKR to famous Jewish-American director Steven Spielberg, who has used his fortune to set up the Shoah Foundation which records video testimony of all groups who were persecuted by Hitler during World War Two.

 

Notes

According to "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Movie Magic" by Jody Revensen, Spielman "has an ebony wand with an ivory handle and an inlaid silver design.

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: creature-induced injuries crime

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Sources