At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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|"There are plenty of eye-witness accounts. Just because you're so narrow-minded you need to have everything shoved under your nose before you–"
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- "My brothers. My sisters. My friends. The great gift of your applause is not for me. No! It is for yourselves. You came here today because of a craving, and a knowledge that the old ways serve us no longer. You came because you crave something new. Something different. It is said that I hate les Non-magiques. The Muggle. The No-Maj. The Can't-Spells. I do not hate them; I do not. For I do not fight out of hatred. I believe that the Muggles are not lesser, but other. Not worthless, but of other value. Not disposable, but of different disposition. Magic blooms only in rare souls. It is granted to those who live for higher things. Oh, and what a world we could make for all humanity, we who live for truth, for freedom... and for love."
- —Gellert Grindelwald delivers a speech in the Lestrange Mausoleum[src]
Gellert Grindelwald’s Paris rally was a short but fateful skirmish during Grindelwald’s campaign of violence across Europe.
Between the years 1914 to 1918, the First World War had devastated the world, involving the entire Muggle world. Although wizarding governments around the world had declared neutrality in the conflict and ordered their constituents not to take part, thousands of wizards defied them and secretly aided Muggles fighting on both sides. The barbarity of the conflict traumatised the Muggles for years to follow, and even the wizards developed a dread that the destructive weapons that had been used during the war might one day be used against them.
Anti-Muggle sentiment rose in the years following the war, as did the fear of discovery. Some countries, such as the USA, had strict laws in place to prevent any fraternisation between wizardking and their No-Maj neighbours. The pure-blood supremacists of Europe also began to reassert their view that Muggles were inferior beings who deserved nothing but contempt, and that wizards needed to rise up and claim their right to rule.
In the 1920s, the powerful wizard Gellert Grindelwald began to openly campaign against the International Statute of Secrecy, arguing that magical beings needed to emerge from hiding and take over for the greater good of wizards and Muggles both. Ministries of Magic, Councils and Congresses of magic worldwide reacted against this news with severe retaliation against any transgressors, arresting people merely for coming into contact with Grindelwald. the revolutionary wizard and his followers retaliated to the manhunt against them by launching attacks on various targets across Europe. Although Grindelwald was briefly arrested by MACUSA after the Obscurus Incident of New York in 1926, he escaped a year later and fled back to Europe.
Arriving in Paris three months after his escape, Grindelwald gathered like-minded wizards to a rally in the Lestrange Mausoleum in the Père-Lachaise cemetery. Laying a trail of breadcrumbs for wizards to follow, he drew Leta Lestrange, Newt Scamander, Tina and Queenie Goldstein, and Yusuf Kama to his rally. However, the most important of Grindelwald's 'guests' was the Obscurial Credence Barebone, a wizard who had been abused by his adoptive mother for his magic and whose power was great enough to allow him to survive the attack of MACUSA's Aurors in New York. Most of all, Grindelwald hoped to convert Credence to his cause, as he needed his power to defeat the only wizard who represented a threat to his cause: Albus Dumbledore, his old friend.
Visions of the future
Using a mysterious skull artefact, he shared the vision of the future that he had had: another world war, far more destructive than the previous one had been. The gathered wizards witnessed the imprisonment of millions of people into concentration camps, the destruction of Muggle cities by destructive weapons such as war planes and tanks, and the use of the first atomic bomb. Once the vision had dissipated, Grindelwald identified the enemy they were facing not as the Muggles themselves but as the barbarity and lust for power that motivated them to wage against one another with ever greater means of destruction. And he questioned how long it would be before wizards themselves would be threatened by the destructiveness of those weapons, stoking the very fears that had plagued the wizarding world since the end of the First World War.
Arrival of the Aurors
Grindelwald martyred the girl, instructing his followers to return her to her family and spread the word that, in spite of the Ministries' claims, he and his allies were not the ones to spread the violence. The wizards who had attended the rally Disapparated, leaving Grindelwald and his acolytes alone in the Mausoleum with the Aurors.
Credence Barebone, who had attended Grindelwald's speech with his Maledictus companion Nagini, decided to join him to find out the truth about his identity, despite Nagini's protests. He crossed the circle of flames into Grindelwald's open arms, who whispered that everything he had done had been for Credence's sake.
At the same time, Queenie Goldstein, who had been conflicted about her loyalties due to her desire to marry the Muggle Jacob Kowalski and the stigma it carried in the wizarding world, had come to believe Grindelwald's cause was the only way to get what they wanted. She tearfully asked Jacob to join her but he refused, knowing Grindelwald's cause was not what it appeared to be. Heartbroken, Queenie turned her back on him and, despite his protests, crossed the circle. Although she screamed as she crossed and it appeared that she would be consumed, she made it through safely, joining Grindelwald and Disapparating to join his other followers.As more Aurors fell to Grindelwald's flames, unable to even leave the Mausoleum by Disapparating, several Aurors who had followed Theseus Scamander to Père-Lachaise joined Grindelwald.
The Dark wizard then turned his wrath on the Scamander brothers, questioning Newt whether Dumbledore would mourn for him when he was killed. As the brothers focused their combined power into a double spell to deflect the attacking blue flames and protect those behind them, Leta Lestrange, who had remained hidden until this moment appeared and ordered Grindelwald to cease his attack on her fiancé and her childhood friend. He complied, recognising Leta for who she was; the unloved and hated child of a despised family. He complimented her on her bravery despite the adversity she had faced in her entire life. He invited her to join him and she seemed to accept, taking his outstretched hand and appearing ready to follow him. As Grindelwald returned to the circle, she turned to the Scamander brothers and sadly professed her love for them both, one last time, before attacking the Dark wizard.
Grindelwald had predicted her attack and blocked it, but could not block her attack on Vinda Rosier, who failed to predict Leta would target her instead of her master. As she went flying through the air, she dropped the skull, which shattered on impact with the ground. The substances contained within the skull seemed to react to the enchanted flames, causing them to threaten the entire Mausoleum. As Theseus fought against the flames to reach his fiancée, Grindelwald slowly turned to her and, as punishment for her duplicity, directed the flames into her flesh, disintegrating her. The flames started to spread the whole Mausoleum, threatening everyone inside with death. Grindelwald and Rosier Disapparated, allowing the out of control spell to grow until it would be powerful enough to destroy the whole city. Newt pulled a struggling Theseus out of the Mausoleum, while Tina Goldstein saved Jacob and Yusuf Kama helped Nagini out.
Both Theseus and Newt tragically lost Leta Lestrange, which finally compelled Newt to openly join the fight against the most dangerous Dark Wizard of his age. The group travelled to Hogwarts Castle to meet with Dumbledore. There, Scamander presented the aforementioned vial, surmising that its blood pact was the reason Dumbledore could not face Grindelwald himself.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (First appearance)