Why the Germans Stole the Swastika

Why the Germans Stole the Swastika

Why the Germans Stole the Swastika

Why the Germans Stole the SwastikaFor most people, swastikas represent hatred and the horrific genocide on the Jewish people and a blood reckoning proxy and symbolic demagogue for people of color.  What many people may not know is the swastika did not evolve from Nazi Party, and further demonstrates that white nationalist parties are unacquainted with history—extending to the affairs of the world.

The 12,000 year old name, “swastika”, comes the Sanskrit word svasti (sv = well; asti = is), meaning good fortune, luck and well-being. In Buddhism, the swastika signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the Buddha’s footprints and the Buddha’s heart. The swastika is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images. It is also the first of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha. The swastika has also often been used to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts. In China and Japan, the Buddhist swastika was seen as a symbol of plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life. 1)Religion Facts, Just the Facts on Religion, Swastika http://www.religionfacts.com/swastika  The traditional meaning is at odds with the definition Nazis and white supremacist use and choose to believe: singularity of one race, impermanence of anything well or good, scarcity, and  of course, the shortening of other’s life.

The world respected the swastika before Heinrich Schliemann introduced it to Nazi Germany. It is alleged that when Schliemann saw swastika-like decorations on pottery fragments in all archaeological levels at Troy, he felt it was seen as evidence of racial continuity and proof that the inhabitants of the site had been Aryan all along. Yes, sounds demented. As the swastika became more and more intertwined with German nationalism, Adolf Hitler’s influence grew—and he adopted the hooked cross as the Nazi party symbol in 1920.

Steven Heller, author of The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption? and Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State believes Hitler was attracted to it because it was being used in other nationalist and racialist groups. Heller went on to say, “I think he also understood instinctually that there had to be a symbol as powerful as the hammer and sickle, which was their nearest enemy.”

To further enshrine the swastika as a symbol of Nazi power, Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s minister of propaganda) issued a decree on May 19, 1933 that prevented unauthorized commercial use of the Hakenkreuz or “hooked cross.” 2)The Man Who Brought the Swastika to Germany, and How the Nazis Stole It

According to Holocaust Teacher Resource Center, The Swastika: A Sign of Good Luck Becomes a Symbol of Evil, they too believe, Hitler had a convenient but spurious reason for choosing the  Hakenkreuz because “…in Nazi theory, the Aryans were the Germans ancestors, and Hitler concluded that the swastika had been “eternally anti-Semitic.”

 “To identify himself with the rest of the universe is to see it as part of yourself.  We no longer see divisions.  All is one, and the same fire of life breathes through us all.  Walk in that man’s shoes because that man is you.”  ~ Scott Dollar, Perspective & Empathy: Quite Possibly the Meaning of Life.

The Swastika Flag’s use as the National Flag was a symbol of the acceleration of the Nazi’s anti-Semitic agenda which included the September 15, 1936, “Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor.” These laws revoked the Jews’ citizenship in the Reich. Jews could not vote, marry Aryans, or employ “in domestic service, female subjects of German or kindred blood who are under the age of 45 years.”

Most of the Jewish community has healed but the remembrance of brutality, inhumanness, and division will never be long-forgotten.  In the wake of the Trump Administration and from the perspective of American Jewish historian David Myer, 3)Jewish Historians Tell Us What to Expect in 2017 he feels Trump’s presidency evokes some of darkest chapters like, “the 1930s and 1940s, when race-baiting and xenophobia were at a high point, when loyal Japanese Americans were interned in camps, and when virulent anti-Semites like Father Charles Coughlin railed against Jews to millions of radio listeners,” by no means discounting slavery and Jim Crow. In the January 2017 article by Philip Eil, Myers went on to say that he hoped his “…fear is exaggerated, that Trump’s flirtations with the “alt-right” will cease and his opportunistic bigotry will be quelled. Alas, his appointments to date offer no solace in this direction.”

In a world of supremacy groups  endeavoring and campaigning to resurrect old history, just how do we heal? The Southern Poverty Law Center has a guide that sets out 10 principles for fighting hate: we must act, unite, support the victims, do our homework, create an alternative, speak up, lobby our leaders, look long range, teach tolerance, and most importantly, we must dig deeper.



References   [ + ]

1. Religion Facts, Just the Facts on Religion, Swastika http://www.religionfacts.com/swastika
2. The Man Who Brought the Swastika to Germany, and How the Nazis Stole It
3. Jewish Historians Tell Us What to Expect in 2017

About Quianna Canada

Quianna Canada is an anti-police brutality activist, author, and opinion writer living in the United States.
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