The History of the Swastika

Karina De La Torre 1-Benda

Introduction

The swastika was a very popular symbol used in the mid 19th century. It was used by many cultures all around the world, including China,India and Japan. It is most commonly known as being used for the Nazis flag, created by Hitler himself. It played an very important part in the Nazis propaganda. The swastika, known as Mein Kampf, represented the struggle of the Aryan people.

About The Swastika

The swastika has been used for over 3,000 years and has had such a positive meaning,as in "good-luck" and "well-being". The swastika has been found on coins and pottery in the ancient city of Troy. It was used by many different cultures all around the world like China,India,Japan, and Southern Europe. The swastika comes from the Sanskrit, "su" meaning "good" "asti" meaning "to be" and "ka" as the suffix. The swastika is a symbol that represents life,sun,power,strength,and good luck. This symbol has been used by Buddhist, Hindus, and Janis for thousands of years. It has been assumed to be an Indian sign. The early western travelers from Asia liked the positive meaning and its ancient associations and started to use it back home. In the 20th century the swastika was beginning to be looked at as good luck. Then after Hitler decided to use the swastika for his Nazi flag, the symbol changed to mean violence,hate,death, and antisemitism.


Many people from the Nationalist Movement adopted the swastika after world War 1. The symbol was related with the idea of being in a "racially pure state". The swastika was a noticeable symbol for the Nazis propaganda, and was used for arm band,medals,election posters, and badges for the military. The swastika was also used in many other organizations. When Adolf Hitler designed the flag on August 7,1920, he described it as " In red we see the social idea of the movement, in white the nationalistic idea, and in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man and by the same taken victory of the idea of creative work, which as such always be antisemitic." The Nazi flag with the red background, white circle and black swastika became on of the most hated symbol of the 20th century.


Th swastika was also used by the American Military during World War 1. it could be seen on RAF planes as late as 1939. Most of the symbols started to stop in the late 1930's when the Nazi party began to take over Germany.

The reason the Nazi party wanted to adopt the swastika is mainly because the Nazis began to notice that the Sanskrit language was similar to their own. Then that is when the Nazis came to the conclusion that the Germans and the Indians must have had shared a history together.


"For the Jewish people the swastika is a symbol of fear, of suppression, and of extermination. It;s a symbol that we will never be able to change, if they the swastika on gravestones or synagogues,it puts a fear into us. Surely it should not happen again",stated 93 year old Freddie Knoller, a Holocaust survivor.

The swastika was banned in Germany at the end of the war and when Germany tried to encourage an EU-wide ban in 2007, they were unsuccessful.

Other Facts to Know

  1. The swastika is one of the oldest and most universal religious symbol used in the world
  2. The swastika is a solar symbol, representing the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water
  3. The swastika can either be seen as clockwise or anticlockwise
  4. It has been found in ancient caves drawn in France, and India
  5. It has been used throughout Asia and Europe, and even In the Atlantic
  6. The swastika has been used by the Native American Indians for thousands of years
  7. Coca-Cola used the swastika during the 20th century
The True History & Story of The Swastika Symbol.

Sources


Campion Kiev, Mukti Jain. "How the World Loved the Swastika- until Hitler Stole It." BBC News Magazine 23 Oct. 2014. BBC News Magazine. Web. 31 Jan. 2016. <http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29644591>.

"History of the Swastika." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Washington,DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. USHMM. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007453>.

Levine, Jason. "The Nazi Party: The Swastika."., 2016. Web. 29 Jan. 2016. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Swastika.html>.

A Parade of SS. Digital image. Nazi Swastika Pictures and Images. Web. 30 Jan. 2016. <http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/nazi-swastika?sort=mostpopular&excludenudity=true&mhediatype=photography&phrase=nazi%20swastika>.

Rosenberg, Jennifer. "What Is the History of the Swastika?" About.com Education., 14 July 2015. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://history1900s.about.com/cs/swastika/a/swastikahistory.htm>.

The True History & Story of the Swastika Symbol. Dir. Deepak Maurya. N.p., 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4PRRS2NGRc>.

Wood, Angela. "Popular Support." Holocaust: The Events and Their Impact on Real People. New York, NY: DK, 2007. 34. Print.

"The Swastika." The Swastika. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://www.factsbehindfaith.com/heaven_on_earth/notes/note.aspx?intNoteID=65>.

Conclusion

The swastika was a major symbol used during the Holocaust, and it is probably the most common symbol referred to when you think about Hitler and the Nazis. The thing that i have learned is that the swastika does not have a negative meaning to it. Even though swastika has never fully recovered from being used by Adolf Hitler. Many people still think of the swastika as being referred to as a hate, and murder symbol. The swastika should not be remembered as what Hitler and the Nazis wanted you to believe. It should be remembered as its true meaning, the meaning of life and good luck.

Links For More Information

http://reclaimtheswastika.com/history/ : The website has many facts and information on the swastika. It gives you information on how and where the swastika was used. This website also gives you background information on the swastika and different images of the swastika being used n different cultures. It tells you ow the swastika is misused and the meaning behind the symbol.


http://norse-mythology.org/symbols/swastika-ancient-origins-modern-misuse/ : This website includes history on the swastika, and it also includes the different ways the swastika has been misused. On this website written by Dan McCoy, he has many references from his book The Love of Destiny.