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Swastika: origin and history

The Swastika

It is the symbol used to identify certain group of people by which a sign once invented and known as a sign of wellbeing but later on the group used it and become a hatred symbol in certain communities; the group or party is known as Nazis led by dictator Adolph Hitler.

The symbol, of South Asian origin, existed for millennia as a sign of good fortune and wellbeing. By the early 20th century, Western cultures too were embracing the swastika. It became a popular emblem on hockey jerseys; Canada was home to both the Windsor Swastikas in Nova Scotia and the Fernie Swastikas in B.C. both of the teams disbanded before the Second World War. In 1906, a northern Ontario town was named Swastika, which the provincial government tried renaming during the Second World War; it mounted a new sign for the town of “Winston,” as in Churchill. But residents resisted, installing a new Swastika sign with the message: “To hell with Hitler, we came up with our name first.” The name hasn’t changed to this day.

The community, now part of Kirkland Lake, Ont., is a social outlier with regard to the swastika. Today, you can’t utter the words “Nazi” or “Hitler” or “the Holocaust” in the West without conjuring images of the hooked cross, and vice versa.

None of these efforts has taken hold. “Symbols take on cultural meaning based on their social context,” says Christopher Todd Beer. “When Hitler’s Third Reich used the swastika, it became embedded in our collective memory to mean white supremacy. In the Western world,” he continues, “there’s not enough memory of the swastika as a symbol with any other meanings for anyone to reclaim it and have it be widely accepted.” (McIntyre, Catherine.)

As Hitler was the chancellor of German, and his followers had the political party or community which they named it As Nazi.

The swastika was his instrument, and not solely the mark of his political party: It was his personal emblem–the surrogate of the man and the ideology. Arguably, like any symbol, it is only as good or bad as the ideas it represents. But as the icon of Nazism, the swastika was transformed from a neutral vessel into something heinously criminal itself.

When Adolph Hitler, the frustrated artist, was placed in charge of propaganda for the fledgling National Socialist Party in 1920, he realized that the party needed a vivid symbol to distinguish it from rival groups. He sought a design, therefore, that would attract the masses. Hitler selected the swastika as the emblem of racial purity displayed on a red background “to win over the worker”

Hitler had a convenient but spurious reason for choosing the Hakenkreuz or hooked cross. It had been used by the Aryan nomads of India in the Second Millennium B.C. In Nazi theory, the Aryans were the Germans ancestors, and Hitler concluded that the swastika had been “eternally anti-Semitic.”

“The hooked cross” wrote American correspondent William Shirer “seemed to beckon to action the insecure lower-middle classes which had been floundering in the uncertainty of the first chaotic postwar years.” The swastika flag had a suggestive sense of power and direction. It embodied all of the Nazi concepts within simple symbol. As Adolph Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “In red we see the social idea of the movement, in white the Nationalist idea, and in the swastika the vision of” the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man.”

As Nazis goal were to punish the innocent Jew people, the people got very scared once they see the symbol anywhere and it reflected hatred between certain kind of groups.

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.”

Jews found themselves excluded from schools, libraries, theaters, and public transportation facilities- Passports were stamped with the word “Jew.” Name changes were disallowed, but Jewish men had to add the middle name “Israel” Jewish women the name “Sarah.” Jewish wills that offended the “sound judgement of the people” could be legally voided. Furthermore, Jewish businesses were taken away from their owners and placed in the hands of German “trustees.”

The Bremen Incident led the Nazi’s to raise their banner of hatred as a national symbol while making the Jews into “second class subjects” of Germany. The Jews were then treated as the untermenschen Hitler believed they were. (The Swastika: page 14-15)

The Mein Kampf is one of the books where Hitler said some words about the symbol; Mein Kampf means my fight in English.

In Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler wrote this:

“I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika. (Heidtmann, Horst. “Swastika.”)

The group now is banned in several places including their place of origin Germany. But we can find such kind of people a lot in America and they don’t have that power as they used to be.

And for the symbol of swastika, it can be seen a lot in America rather than any other countries because of the freedom rights and protection, they think they could be safe for them.

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