In Nazi-occupied Poland, in 1944, young Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents upon entrance into the Auschwitz concentration camp. While he attempts to reach them, he causes a set of metal gates to bend toward him. This is the result of a mutant ability to create magnetic fields and control metal manifesting, but he is knocked out by the guards. In the not too distant future, U.S. Senator Robert Kelly attempts to pass a "Mutant Registration Act" in Congress, which would force mutants to reveal their identities and abilities. Present are Erik, now going by the name "Magneto", and his telepathic colleague Professor Charles Xavier. Xavier sees Lehnsherr in attendance and is concerned with how he will respond to the Registration Act.