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The Unknown History of Swastika, the Most Despised Symbol on Earth





Many of us associate the swastika with destruction, hatred, and cruelty, particularly when it became the symbol of evil and fear for the countless Jews who suffered and died during the Holocaust.

When Hitler became the leader of the propaganda for the National Socialist Party, he realized that they needed a powerful symbol to set it apart from rival parties.

In his autobiographical manifesto Mein Kampf, he stated that he wanted an insignia that would symbolize their struggle and be “effective as a large poster.” He searched for a design that would appeal to the masses.

He chose the swastika to represent racial purity


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It was placed over a red background to “win over the worker.”

Hitler wrote:

“We National Socialists regarded our flag as being the embodiment of our party programme. The red expressed the social thought underlying the movement. White the national thought. And the swastika signified the mission allotted to us—the struggle for the victory of Aryan mankind and at the same time the triumph of the ideal of creative work which is in itself and always will be anti-Semitic.”

The Aryan nomads of India reportedly use the swastika in the Second Millennium B.C. Hitler firmly believed that the symbol had been “eternally anti-Semitic.”

According to Nazi theories, the Aryans were the Germans’predecessors


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The swastika once epitomized strength, power, good luck, and the sun—the complete opposite of how we perceive it now.


Experts say that the swastika is of Sanskrit origin. P.R. Sarkar, a Sanskrit scholar, explained that the symbol means “su” or “good”, “asti” or “to be”, “ik” or “what will continue to exist”, and “a” stands for the feminine gender. Swastika denotes “good existence” although, its deeper meaning is “Permanent Victory”.


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History shows that older civilizations have used this symbol. In fact, the oldest swastika was discovered in Mezine, Ukraine. It was carved on an ivory figurine, which was approximately 12,000-years-old. They also found evidence of the insignia dating back to 4,000 B.C. They were etched on the pottery and coins used in ancient Troy.


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Some artifacts recovered from the ancient Druids, Celts, Native Americans, and Nordic tribes indicate that they too, adopted the symbol.


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Hindus and Buddhists in India and Asian countries such as China and Japan also used the swastika. They believed that it symbolized good fortune, prosperity, and eternity.


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The Chinese call the swastika “Wan” while the Japanese call it “Manji”. In Germany, they call it “Hakenkreuz”, in England “Fylfot”, in ancient Greece it’s either “Tetraskelion” or “Tetragammadion.”


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But the swastika’s meaning changes depending on how it is drawn.

A swastika, which faces the right, signifies life and good health


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The sauvastika, which faces the left, represents misfortune


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Ancient cultures commonly use symbols that have a double meaning. For instance…

The swastika personifies the Hindu god Vishnu and the sun


While the sauvastika personifies their goddess Kali and magic


Photo credit: Riaz Padamsee /flickr

Looking back at history, the swastika indeed had positive and beautiful connotations. It was only until Hitler officially adopted the red flag that terror and blood tainted the people’s perception of the symbol.

H/T: Learning Mind, Mental Floss, Holocaust-TRC-org


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