How Harry Potter could have prevented the Third Reich and saved Nessie

In 1941 an Italian newspaper reported that the German bombing of Scotland was so heavy the Loch Ness Monster was killed by a direct hit. Was Nessie The Loch Ness Monster really Nellie the elephant?

By 1947 Europe was ruined and every concert hall was rubble. Apart from Edinburgh, a center of law not industry. So that summer, homeless orchestras and opera singers, from all over Europe were invited to Edinburgh’s first international festival, we wanted to provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit.

The Hub, Edinburgh's Lawnmarket
The Hub is the festival’s box office, a performance space & Edinburgh's tallest spire.

Europe lay broken due to the blood-lust and greed of a crazed bigot. But it all might have been different. Research from an Italian university suggests one of the ways you can prevent folks becoming intolerant jerks is to read Harry Potter.

After kids read the scene where Draco Malfoy calls Harry's friend Hermione a "filthy little Mudblood.", they begin to make parallels with reality, and show greater tolerance. Harry Potter is full of stigmatised groups, the muggles and the mudbloods, squibs, werewolves, Giants, Hitler in a cloak with a phoenix feather wand. The fantasy opens up people’s minds, because it’s goblins and house elves rather than white versus black. The Italians say the greatest magic of Harry Potter is reducing prejudice.

Today Edinburgh has the largest arts festival in the world. We had a huge head start, Europe’s dusty, ragged performers had nowhere else to go.