Not much is known about the facts about his early life. It is known, however, that Erik Magnus Lensherr and his family were Gypsies, who was born outside Gdansk, Poland around 1928 during the Nazi regime. He and his family were sent ot the Auschwitz concentration camp. There, Magnus was the only member of his family to survive. It was there where he met Magda, a young Gypsy girl who worked as a prostitute to the Nazi soldiers and who became his wife. They escaped together, and managed to move east to Russia.
Young Magnus spent the following years making his way south through the Iron Curtain. During this time, he married Magda, and had a daughter, Anya. He moved from village to village, and fought to make a living. Once, when an employer refused Magnus his due pay, he attacked him unknowingly by making a crowbar fly at him. This is the first known time Magneto's powers surfaced. Later that day, the building in which he was living caught fire. He successfully rescued his wife, and when he went back for his daughter, the same employer Magneto attacked prevented him from going in. With the help of police, Magneto was beaten. When he heard his daughter's scream, he once again unknowingly attacked his oppressors, killing everybody on the scene but Magda. She was so horrified by what Magneto had done, and the accompanying allegations that he would use his powers to rule the world, that she ran away, not telling him she was once more pregnant.
Unsuccessful in his search for Magda, he went to Israel, where, ina psychiatric hospital near Haifa, he met his future friend and enemy, Charles Xavier. Together, they prevented a large cache of Nazi gold from falling into the hands of Baron Von Strucker and the HYDRA, revealing their powers to one another, and causing a rift to appear in their friendship. Magnus left with the gold, thinking that he might use it to serve his purposes better.
By the time Xavier founded the X-Men, Magneto had decided that the only way to safeguard mutants from persecution was for mutants to conquer human civilization. He recruited the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and became Magneto. Coincidentally, two of the original members of the Brotherhood turned out to be his son and daughter, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. But Magneto himself did not realise this till many more years later. Meanwhile, his plans never ceased to be foiled by the X-men. In the end, he created Avalon, a colony in space, to allow all mutants who wished to join him to have a chance to live their lives without the persecution they would have on Earth.