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Holy Swastika For Hindus
This thread is the discussing the swastika and all the news about
Madan you are aware that bbc is not always right. It is common for people to claim that the swastika is only a hindu symbol and that therefore Hitler was using a hindu symbol. While the indo-europeans did not call it the Swastika it is also an ancient indo-european symbol. northvegr.org has a book about the swastika and I cannot speak for exactness of the book concerning hindu meanings it does talk about the european use. Here is a link to Savitri Devi's book The Lightning and The Sun http://savitridevi.org/lightning-contents.html it should clear lies about nazism. Here is another link to a hindu author on the subject concerning common roots of Indo-aryan and the Indo-european tribes of Europe. Actually I believe that India is the true light in the world. If it were not for India then true Aryan culture would have died thanks to judeo-christianity. Racism and hate have nothing to do with National Socialism. Again this is a marxist term used to belittle to the other party. If the Golden age is ever to come it must first start in the hearts of men. We must not be decieved by those who are agents of the kali yuga. The Swastika is also a european solar symbol.

(Hindu)Origins of the swastika (Millinias before Nazis), Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, BBC World News Edition


The Nazis hijacked the symbol from its Hindu origins.
The EU has been urged to ban the swastika because of its Nazi associations with hate and racism. But the symbol was around long before Adolf Hitler.
The swastika is a cross with its arms bent at right angles to either the right or left. In geometric terms, it is known as an irregular icosagon or 20-sided polygon.

The word is derived from the Sanskrit "svastika" and means "good to be". In Indo-European culture it was a mark made on people or objects to give them good luck.

It has been around for thousands of years, particularly as a Hindu symbol in the holy texts, to mean luck, Brahma or samsara (rebirth). It can be clockwise or anti-clockwise and the way it points in all four directions suggests stability. Sometimes it features a dot between each arm.

Prince Harry's Nazi fancy dress uniform sparked anger
Nowadays it is commonly seen in Indian artwork and current and ancient Hindu architecture, and in the ruins of the ancient city of Troy. It has also been used in Buddhism and Jainism, plus other Asian, European and Native American cultures.

The British author Rudyard Kipling, who was strongly influenced by Indian culture, had a swastika on the dust jackets of all his books until the rise of Nazism made this inappropriate. It was also a symbol used by the scouts in Britain, although it was taken off Robert Baden-Powell's 1922 Medal of Merit after complaints in the 1930s.

The Finnish Air Force also used it as its official symbol in World War II, and it still appears on medals, but it had no connection with the Nazi use.

It is rarely seen on its own in Western architecture, but a design of interlocking swastikas is part of the design of the floor of the cathedral of Amiens, France.

Nazi's hooked cross

Swastika is also a small mining town in northern Ontario, Canada, about 580 kilometres north of Toronto. Attempts by the government of Ontario to change the town's name during World War II were rejected by residents.

But it is its association with the National Socialist German Workers Party in the 1930s which is etched on the minds of Western society. Before Hitler, it was used in about 1870 by the Austrian Pan-German followers of Schoenerer, an Austrian anti-Semitic politician.

Its Nazi use was linked to the belief in the Aryan cultural descent of the German people. They considered the early Aryans of India to be the prototypical white invaders and hijacked the sign as a symbol of the Aryan master race.

The Nazi party formally adopted the swastika - what they called the Hakenkreuz, the hooked cross - in 1920. This was used on the party's flag (above), badge, and armband.

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote: "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."

Note by Madan:
There could be several reasons why Prince Harry wore the Swastika symbol. As an actor, for shocking his elders, like teenagers frequently do, etc. He is probably too young to express his true reasons. He should be given help to properly express his true reasons.

To: The European Union

German MEPs are calling the EU to ban the Swastika in Europe. The Swastika is already banned in Germany and some are trying to make this a Europe wide law. This is in light of Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform in January 2005. Most people associate the symbol with the Nazis but it is also a Hindu symbol. It has been a Hindu symbol of luck for over 5000 years, so why should it be banned because the Nazis used it and abused it in the early 20th Century. The word Swastika comes from Sanskrit meaning any lucky or auspicious object. For Hindus this symbol is used to ward off evil spirits and is present in shrines, on doorsteps and in temples. It is the second most important symbols for Hindus after the Om. It is also regarded sacred to Buddhists and Jains. There are approximately 1 billion Hindus in the world. This is the third largest religion (14% of the world). There are many Hindus in Europe which will be affected. There are approximately 1 million Hindus in the UK, 164,000 in The Netherlands, 120,000 in France and 82,000 in Germany. This is a petition to save a five thousand year symbol. This is the same as saying that the EU is going to ban the cross for Christians or the star and crescent for Muslims. Mr Kallidai says "It's like saying the Ku Klux Klan burn crosses so therefore let's ban the use of crosses worldwide." I believe that the EU has gone into this blindly. Even though the symbol was used unfortunately by a dictatorship it is still a sacred symbol. Please Sign this petition to save the Hindu Swastika.


PETITION: http://www.petitiononline.com/Swastika/petition.html

Rajaram's press release on banning the swastika

Statement to the media


German initiative to ban the swastika is a meaningless
gesture that leaves untouched the greater evil of Nazi
era academic race theories.

N.S. Rajaram

In a fit of self-righteousness, Germany, which holds
the rotating presidency of the European Union, has
announced that it will make Holocaust denial
punishable in the member states of the EU, including a
ban on Nazi symbols like the swastika. Unfortunately,
the Honorable Justice Minister, who has come out with
the proposal has got both his history and his
priorities wrong. If he is serious about banning the
evil of racism, he should leave the Indian sacred
symbol alone and ban the teaching of Nazi era race
theories that continue to flourish in Western academia
in various guises.

It is important to note that Hitler and the Nazis
appropriated their ideas and symbols from European
mythology, not India. Hitler's Aryans worshipped
Apollo and Odin, not Vedic deities like Indra and
Varuna. His so-called swastika was not really the
swastika, but 'Hakenkreuz' or the hooked cross, which
has no counterpart in India. It appeared in Germany
for the first time when General von Luttwitz's
notorious Erhardt Brigade marched into Berlin from
Lithuania in support of the abortive Kapp Putsch of
1920. The Erhardt Brigade was one of several
freebooting private armies during the chaotic years
following Germany's defeat in World War I. They had
the covert support of the Wehrmacht (Army

The Honorable Minister should also note that that the
notion of the Aryan race was nowhere as important in
India as it came to be in Europe. In the whole the Rig
Veda, in all of its ten books, the word Arya appears
only about forty times. In contrast, Hitler's Mein
Kampf uses the term Arya and Aryan many times more.
Hitler did not invent it. The idea of Aryans as a
superior race was already in the air— in Europe, not
India. Swastika had nothing to do with it, but racism

But far more serious is the Honorable Minister's
ignorance of the persistence of Nazi era race theories
in Western academia. The fall of the Third Reich did
not put an end to academic race theories that formed
the core of its ideology. While avoiding overtly
racial terms, scholars in disciplines like
Indo-European Studies continue to uphold
scientifically discredited and historically disgraced
theories built around the Aryan myth.

Some academics have resorted to media campaigns and
political lobbying to save their theories and the
discipline from natural extinction— a tactic that came
to the fore when California education authorities
attempted to remove these theories from their school
curriculum. <span style='color:red'>A singular feature of this neo-racist
scholarship is the replacement of anti-Semitism by
Of particular concern to the German Government should
be the lead being taken by some scholars of German
origin in perpetuating these justly disgraced Nazi era
ideas. In this context, I would like to draw the
Honorable Minister's attention to the activities of
the Harvard based German linguist Michael Witzel, who
led the lobbying campaign to save the Aryan theories
from being axed from California schools. If Germany
and the EU are serious about correcting historical
wrongs, they should eradicate the ideas that gave rise
to this hateful ideology and not engage in cosmetics
like banning a harmless symbol.

<img src='http://sakhoi.tripod.com/0fbf4770.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Post 2:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It is common for people to claim that the swastika is only a hindu symbol and that therefore Hitler was using a hindu symbol. While the indo-europeans did not call it the Swastika it is also an ancient indo-european symbol. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Swastika is a Hindu, Buddhist and Jain symbol.

In northern Europe, their traditional Solar Disk is shaped with curving edges and looks rather different from the Dharmic symbol of India. Generally, text books state that Hitler copied it from the Norwegian carrier (that Norwegian airways no longer bore the symbol after hitler had taken it for his party or after WWII, of course). I don't know whether the Norwegian carrier had designed it stylishly with cornered edges which would make it more like our symbol, or whether, when nazism took over the northern European symbol from whatever source (some Asatru today claim it was stolen from their reconstructionists), the nazis made the traditionally curved 'corners' of the European solar disc into sharp corners.

According to a book on this very simple to invent shape (which is known as the Swastika among Hindus, Jains and Buddhists), it is also found in the oldest synagogues in the Middle-East and in Eastern-Europe and the same shape was a sacred symbol to a number of North American native American communities. I think it was the Lakota, Nakota and/or Dakota communities. They have since relinquished this symbol because of the evil that Hitler put it to. This information could also be found on wackypedia - at least, it could be found there 3 years ago.

There is no call to think this symbol has anything to do with 'the Indo-Europeans', when it was ancient among native Americans in North America and found on the floor or wall tiles of very old synagogues.

<b>EDIT:</b> I see much of this is already in the acharya's post of a BBC article (post #3). Is it Finnish Airlines, not Norwegian? Maybe I got Scandinavian airlines mixed up. Didn't know some old churches also had the symbol etched somewhere. Maybe these were buildings constructed from left-overs of pagan shrines or of synagogues? After all, many old churches were.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Savitri Devi's book The Lightning and The Sun http://savitridevi.org/lightning-contents.html it should clear lies about nazism<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> http://koenraadelst.voi.org/articles/fasci...avitriDevi.html
Savitri Devi was a nazi who was only interested in India and Hinduism because she thought it had something to do with Oryans/Indo-Europeans. If she had lived today, she wouldn't touch us with a pole. Not a reliable character.
Ban of swastika not in EU Holocaust ban

30 January 2007

Brussels (dpa) - Current European Union president Germany said that it was not planning to criminalize the display of Nazi insignia such as the swastika.

The move comes after Hindu groups throughout Europe protested against reported plans for such a ban, arguing that the swastika had been part of their religious symbols for nearly 5,000 years before the Nazis appropriated it.

Germany, which currently runs the agenda-setting EU presidency, wants to use its term at the bloc's helmet to push through new rules which would make denying the Holocaust a crime in the 27 EU member states.

However, the planned legislation "will not seek to prohibit specific symbols such as swastikas," the German EU presidency said in a statement.

Citing its "particular historic responsibility," Germany said it wanted the bloc's member states to adopt the proposed legislation as soon as possible.

The planned rules seek to criminalize racist declarations that are an incitement to violence against a specific person or group. The aim of the proposal is to harmonize national legal systems in their approach to combating racism and xenophobia.

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini last week welcomed the German proposal, saying that while freedom of expression was part of Europe's values and traditions, its democratic societies also allowed to fight racist speech through penal law.

However, he also said earlier this month that it should be up to national governments to decide on the length of jail sentences for people inciting racism and xenophobia.

While being unanimous in their condemnation of those who deny the Holocaust, EU leaders are split over whether to criminalize such acts.

Germany views a common EU law as a moral obligation, but countries like Britain, Italy and Denmark have resisted common rules as a violation of civil liberties.

Two years ago, Luxembourg tried to use its EU presidency to push through legislation to unify legal standards for Holocaust denial, but was blocked by Italy on the grounds that the proposed rules breached freedom of speech.

The Luxembourg blueprint, which Germany is studying with a view towards copying it, says that racist declarations or Holocaust denial would not be prosecuted if they were expressed in a way that did not incite hatred against an individual or group of people.

Laws against denying the Holocaust already exist in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain.


Subject: German news

Can anyone tell me why Heinrich Himmler and Savitri Devi were such great fans of Eastern occult ?? Those two were the chief ideologues of the Nazi regime. As far as I can tell the word 'Arya' was always associated with nobility in the Indian context and not any particular race. Infact even Ravana with his Brahmin heritage was an 'Arya' and not a 'Dravidian'.

When & why did Maxmueller spin all this into something associated with race and had the 'swastika' symbol adopted for a Germanic White Nationalist movement ?? This has always confused me. What might have been the real motive behind such association. Esp Russians not being considered at par with other Indo-Europeans by the NSist is also very sinister from that POV.

In this he was aided by the Maxmuller created Aryan Invasion Theory(AIT) which posited to the German nation a distinct identity.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

In Europe there was a search for occult during the 18th and 19th century. They came to the Theosophical society, Madras.

Heinrich Himmler – the German Reichführer and the head of the SS – had a clear intention to create a secret Order where Prussian ethics were combined with those of the old Knighthood Orders, like the Teutonic Order (there are journal-films showing German Nazi-soldiers dressed like old knights in armor, with swords, spears and riding horses, doing parades on the streets of Berlin). Some say he could not obtain it, since the “Orders of Catholicism were openly opposed by the radical wing of National Socialism”(1), but the parades I mentioned above tell us otherwise. He also wanted to create his own secret society, without any influence from the traditional ones, who were already top controlled. He was into the Nordic heritage and its symbolism, like the Thule society, but didn’t want any influence from THAT society either. In other words, he wanted to construct a society that was entirely his own creation with himself as Grandmaster with ultimate power. He did achieve that dream.

Heinrich Himmler had been in contact with all esoteric knowledge, and he used it as dark as possible. He was especially interested in Rune-magic. It was Himmler who created the infamous SS and like the Swastika, he used another magic symbol, the two sig-runes, which looked like two flashes. Within the SS all the esoteric knowledge in the Third Reich finally was gathered. 

Himmler believed with all his heart in all the racial theories and manifestations of Nazism. He was a fanatic sadist who suffered from constant psychosomatic illnesses, like stomach pain, headaches and other unidentified aches and diseases. He also arranged big parades in the streets with soldiers dressed like old knights, as a symbol for ancient power.

His undying passion for control over others was enormous and his favorite word was “Gnadelos” (merciless).

Goodrick-Clarke carefully outlines the life of Savitri Devi, a true believer who took Nazism beyond politics: she believed that Hitler was an avatar or god come to earth. Born Maximiani Portas to a Greek/Italian father and an English mother, Devi spent her early years in her native France and in Greece, but she was inexorably drawn to India and traveled there at 27. It was not the culture of India that drew Devi, but her belief that India represented the best of racial segregation. Once in India, she became interested in Hinduism and wed the Brahman A.K. Mukherji in a marriage of shared ideals that also happened to bolster her shaky legal status as a resident Nazi sympathizer. The couple worked on behalf of the Axis powers during the late 1930s and early '40s, with Devi claiming that Mukherji put militant nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose in contact with the Japanese authorities. But the most interesting material is on Devi's intellectual life. Sections on Devi's writings about Egyptian pharaoh Akhnaton, about animal rights, or on her belief that Hitler was an avatar, which includes a lengthy examination of the Hindu theory of cyclical history, provide understanding in ways that subsequent lists of her later travels cannot.

<img src='http://www.ts-adyar.org/emb_logo.gif' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

At that time the term "Aryan" was used as a reference a ruling class or race and for the socialist dogma touted by the Theosophical Society and by socialists in general.
Here are some quotations from "The Ocean of Theosophy":

"Of all the old races the Aryan Indian alone yet remains as the preserver of the old doctrines. It will one day rise again to its old heights of glory."

"....it is only because that mankind has ever shut its eyes to the great truth that man is himself his own saviour as his own destroyer; that he need not accuse heaven and the gods, fates and providence, of the apparent injustice that reigns in the midst of humanity. But let him rather remember and repeat this bit of Grecian wisdom which warns man to forbear accusing That which 'Just though mysterious, leads us on unerring,....Through ways unmarked from guilt to punishment' -- which are now the ways and the high road on which move onward the great European nations. The western Aryans had every nation and tribe like their eastern brethren of the fifth race, their Golden and their Iron ages, their period of comparative irresponsibility, or the Satya age of purity, while now several of them have reached their Iron age, the Kali Yuga, an age black with horrors. This state will last . . . until we begin acting from within instead of ever following impulses from without . . . Until then the only palliative is union and harmony -- a Brotherhood in actu and altruism not simply in name."

"For as the masses of persons return from devachan, it must follow that the Roman, the Greek, the old Aryan, and other Ages will be seen again and can to a very great extent be plainly traced."


Here it is.
Read this and get an idea of How Indian history, religion and language has been hijacked due to politics in Europe during the colonial centuries.
Even after independence it has not left the Indians/Hindus away from it.

European politics needed a framework and paradigm which was different from the European history and Church History during the 19th century

<b>The AIT : More than meets the eye</b>
<i>By A Ananth Kumar</i>

TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/y4pvel
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We also need to be aware that most terms and concepts of the IE framework are loaded with connotations:

    * Aryan (Japhetic, Caucasian) implies Dravidian (Hamitic), and vice versa. In spite of these being called 'language' families, they do have racial connotations, as we have seen.
    * Aryan Invasion implies subjugation. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A singular feature of this neo-racist scholarship is the replacement of anti-Semitism by anti-Hinduism<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

One can check Trimondi and co -- they are using the anti-semtism card to attack hindus and bauddhas.
The following is from an amazon.com (America) review saved a year and a half back for the book 'Kreuz und Hakenkreuz. Die evangelische Kirche im Dritten Reich' by Kurt Meier

But now that that particular version/edition of the book is apparently not sold in amazon America anymore, the following review has gone missing (more on that later). In any case, I can't find it and don't care enough for amazon to try to track it down. Anyway, here's the review for the older edition that I'd saved:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kreuz & Haknekreuz, Cross & Hooked Cross, not Swastika. , April 2, 2005
Reviewer: E. R. CURRY "RexCurry.net" (Tampa, FL USA) - See all my reviews
The book "Kreuz und Hakenkreuz. Die evangelische Kirche im Dritten Reich" by Kurt Meier is very educational.

Even the title is educational in exposing the "swastika myth" -that the symbol of the National Socialist German Workers' Party was not a "swastika" in Germany, but a "Hakenkreuz" (hooked cross).

The myth began in translations of Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" containing the only comments ever made about the symbol by the leader of the monstrous National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis). Hitler did not use the word "swastika." Hitler used the German word "hakenkreuz." The most literal translation is "hooked cross." Most readers intuitively understand "hooked cross" or "crooked cross" or even "hakenkreuz," but not "swastika." There is no evidence that Hitler knew "swastika." The word "swastika" as used in English for the symbol of the National Socialist German Workers' Party was a misleading translation of "hakenkreuze."

A Hakenkreuz is not a swastika. A swastika can point left or right, and historically sits flat on one side in a square shape. Miller's book helps to debunk the claim that the swastika was used by Hitler as a sankrit sign for "good luck" and stolen from an eastern culture (or that it was reversed for "evil").

Even the English language at first used the word "hooked cross." British propaganda of WWII also used 'crooked cross.'

"Hakenkreuz" is in Adelung's dictionary (of German words) of 1811, and "Swastika" is not. Adelung's reference of 1811 for "Hakenkreuz" predates the "swastika" reference of 1871 in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) by 60 years. The OED also lists "hakenkreuz" as an English word used in the Times in 1931.

To judge from the OED, there was not a single widely-known term for the symbol in the early 1930's when, suddenly, every newspaper needed one. The OED indicates that for a while, the newspapers imported 'Hakenkreuz.' It would be interesting to know how 'swastika' became the usual name. It seems that Germans didn't have anything to do with it.

Translators changed "hakenkreuz" to "swastika." Who was the first bad translator and why did others repeat the misrepresentation?

"Swastika" translators might have wanted the National Socialist German Workers' Party to stain a foreign symbol rather than their own. "Hakenkreuz" is a reference to a cross.

The cross reference might have been a reminder that in ancient times it was for torture and execution. The Nazi Hakenkreuz was used in the persecution of people for various reasons, including religious differences. It came to represent the socialist sins of the Nazis.

The Nazi Hackenkreuz combined the German-Prussian Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz -"rider cross" or "Knight's Cross") with the pre-Nazi Hackenkreuz to form new intertwined "S" shapes for the "socialist" dogma of the horrid National Socialists as shown in the history-making discovery by the journalist Rex Curry.

Military medals and Nazi posters show it, as do flags and banners.

The USA's chief National Socialist was Edward Bellamy, a fan of the Prussian military and its educational system. The Prussian system was Bellamy's blueprint for "military socialism" that he espoused three decades before the Nazis. His book "Looking Backward 2000-1887" was an international bestseller in 1888 and in its German translation.

Bellamy spent a year in Dresden (1868-9), learning to speak and write German and attending lectures. His stay occurred shortly after the war between Prussia and Austria. Saxony, of which Dresden was the capital, had sided with Austria, had been conquered by Prussia, and then had joined the North German Federation. While Bellamy was there the German Workers' Party issued its program of socialist cliches that Bellamy repeated in his bestseller and for the rest of his life. Who influenced who the most?

Edward Bellamy was cousin and cohort to Francis Bellamy, creator of the straight-arm salute of the pledge of allegiance. Both Bellamys were leaders in the "Society of Christian Socialists" that called its dogma "Christian Socialism" in the USA.

Miller's book is fascinating and worth the time to review.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The reviewer, whose review for this book (above) has gone missing, has however regurgitated some of the above when I googled for his name in the amazon namespace. See http://www.amazon.com/gp/wiki/alt-pdp-wiki...Z0NRUHJR&page=2
Look for occurrences of the word 'hakenkreuz' on this page

On another matter, it seems amazon now works with a wiki to become 'amapedia'. Sigh, probably another wannabe encyclopaedia in the making.
Another book, dusted off my library for a weekend reading...

<b>The Swastika: Constructing the Symbol</b>
by Malcolm Quinn

Will post relevant passages, if anyone so desires...

The Swastika: Constructing The Symbol
by Steven Heller
“[T]he swastika is the only image which remains of Nazism qua Nazism, the one sign which distinguishes farce from terror,” writes Malcolm Quinn in The Swastika: Constructing the Symbol. Bristling at the idea that the swastika might someday be co-opted or satirized by those (or the descendants of those) who suffered under it, as African Americans have reclaimed the word “nigger,” or worse, be transformed back into a benign mark used to signify good fortune, Quinn says never! Although he admits that virtually any icon can be “desymbolized” by making it historical, the Nazi swastika is the exception which cannot—and should not—be renamed or “resymbolized.” In Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler says the swastika “has been and always will be anti-Semitic.” And as if this assertion alone did not alter its historical meaning, Quinn argues further, that “Nazism was fascism plus the swastika” and any contemporary application is forever tainted by the heinous crimes it represented.

Yet of all the symbols and marks produced by ancient and modern man the swastika is the most contradictory. For thousands of years it was a thing of mystery that surfaced in otherwise disparate cultural iconographies throughout the Near and Far East, Europe, North America, and Africa, and was presumed by some scholars to be an ancient tool (a barometric pressure device perhaps) that over time was transformed into a sacred artifact and reduced to a graphic form. During the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries it was imbued with commercial attributes which when applied as trademarks for such products as fruit, medicine, tobacco, and matches inspired trust. The swastika had myriad other benign uses: The author Rudyard Kipling appropriated it as his personal logo; in World War I the U.S. 15th Infantry adopted it as their emblem; and even the Girls Club of America named their monthly magazine The Swastika (and awarded its members a diamond studded swastika pin). But at the same time as these adolescent girls coveted their personal swastikas, a struggle for the right to own the hakenkreuz or “hooked cross” was waged by those who wanted its hypnotic strength to represent the creed of nationalism and the ideology of racism. Even before the Nazis emerged the swastika was adopted by a unit of Bavarian Freikorps, the illegal paramilitarists who sought the violent overthrow of the Weimar Republic. Later adopted by Adolf Hitler as the symbol of the “victory of Aryan man,” the swastika not only stood for the Nazi party (and ultimately the nation) but the party, writes Malcolm Quinn, facilitated the mission of the swastika, “which was to unite a racist (anti-Semitic) image with an Aryan racial identity."

The Nazi swastika is the textbook example of the power of a single symbol to ignominiously alter human behavior, however, until now there has not been such a book targeted at the makers of symbols—graphic and industrial designers. In 1896 the Smithsonian Institute realized the symbol’s ubiquity was worthy of scholarly attention and commissioned the first exhaustive study by Thomas Wilson (The Swastika, The Earliest Known Symbol and its Migrations, with Observations on the Migration of Certain Industries in Prehistoric Times, 1896), which was followed by various other serious and cultist analyses of the historic swastika and Fylfot (its Anglo-Saxon relative). The cultist approach is represented by Edward Butts’ privately published Statement Number 1: The Swastika, an oddly obsessive exegesis that uses parapsychology to deconstruct the symbol. After the Nazis came to power in 1933 Norman Brown’s The Swastika, a Study of Nazi Claims of its Aryan Origin (1933) and Norman Rev’d Walter’s The Real History of the Swastika (1939) were academic refutations of Hitler’s ownership of the mark. But Malcolm Quinn’s The Swastika Constructing the Symbol is really the first contemporary book (which originated as a scholarly paper) to offer a “reading” of the symbol that includes not only its ancient history but the often mythologized reference to the swastika as a modern corporate identity.

What makes Quinn’s analysis of the swastika ultimately so compelling is that he generously summarizes the primary research on ancient and modern history while proposing many original ideas about the swastika’s symbolic role during and after the Nazi period. Moreover, his “Introduction: Reading The Swastika,” is an exceptionally important critique of what he calls “consequences of misappropriation” which forever confused the East Indian Svastika (which had its own significance within India) for the Nazi emblem which became inextricably wed to the Hitlerian cult of German nationalism and racism. In this self-contained “paper” within the book Quinn says it is more important to read than react to the swastika, and argues that “the best way to approach the swastika is to show that the atrophy of history and the deracination of tradition has a history and tradition of its own. Unfortunately, many anti-Nazi and anti-fascist strategies have succeeded only in reinforcing the stasis of the swastika, rather than making it fully historical.” Goebbel’s May 19, 1933 decree, the “Law for Protection of National Symbols,” insured the transcendence of the swastika by preventing its unauthorized commercial use. But Quinn argues that the Allies’ de-Nazification legislation passed in the closing months of World War II which outlawed the swastika as being indivisible from the Nazi party, inadvertently increased its already incredible symbolic power. The famous film clip of the three story concrete swastika atop the Nuremberg stadium being blown to pieces (the opening sequence of Judgement at Nuremberg) marked the end of Nazi Germany but the beginning of a continued cultist reverence for the symbol.

Quinn divides the rest of the book into three parts: “Symbol” explores history and mythology; “Ornament” addresses the Nazi swastika in terms of expression, rhetoric, mimetics, and mass ornament; and “Swastika” analyzes its commodification and the false relationship between it and modern corporate identity. The sum of these three parts is indeed an exhaustive, though remarkably concise, report on the swastika’s past and present, but the most intellectually stimulating is the “Ornament” section. Here Quinn confronts the unique position of the swastika as typography; like German Fraktur it was appropriated from elsewhere but was so inextricably wed to German culture that Quinn says people did not “write in German, they write in Germany.” This section also vividly describes the swastika as sign, symbol, and most importantly as the synonym for the Führer and the nation.

In Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess declares that “Hitler is Germany, Germany is Hitler.” Quinn goes a step further in stating that, “When Hitler is absent in Riefenstahl’s film, his place is taken by the swastika, which, like the image of the Führer, becomes a switching station for personal and national identities.” This transformation of the man into the symbol has religious overtones that were deliberately exploited by the Reich’s leading designers, Joseph Goebbels and Albert Speer, who created a “decorative scheme” of swastika ornament throughout Germany ("graphology of the Volkgeist") which was as pervasive as the Führer’s image. Hitler wanted the heraldry of the swastika and its contemporaneous form to symbolically bridge medievalism and modernity. Or as Quinn writes: “...[T]he Nazi swastika, whose modernist dynamic slant quite literally balanced the image on a fulcrum between the myths of the past and a future race... The swastika offered the paradoxical solution of a ‘return to the future’ and a fictitious path through the uneven political terrain of post-1918 Germany"

In “Ornament” Quinn also addresses non-Nazi uses of the Swastika, for example, as part of the first Weimar Bauhaus emblem. Paul Klee studied the swastika in Pedagogical Sketchbook as a dynamic assemblage of other basic geometries. In this sense the swastika could easily be confused as a totally Modern form and so antithetical to the Nazi aesthetic. To avoid any relation to “degenerate” formalism the swastika was presented by the Nazis to the German people through what Quinn refers to as “gestural repetition and self-signification.” Indeed at choreographed pageants, athletic events, and party rallies masses of participants became the swastika. In turn, writes Quinn, “the swastika was the sign in which a modern mass was encouraged to see itself as an ancient community, a Volksgemeinschaft.” Through the swastika the Nazis colonized the visual world as they did the occupied territories.

In the last “Swastika” chapter Quinn focuses on a theme of great interest to the graphic and industrial designer in his potentially controversial comparison of the Nazi swastika and the corporate logo. “The swastika made German nobodies into Aryo-Germanic somebodies in much the same way as the commodity sign continues to set standards for judgments of value, class, and gender,” he writes. However, for anyone obtuse enough to draw simplistic conclusions Quinn adds, “However, part of the appeal of the swastika lay in its ability to cut across social stratification by commodity and wealth with its single division of race, whilst at the same time leaving those distinctions intact, distinctions which a Marxist form of state would immediately have erased.” Moreover, the swastika offered such a potent “value additive,” in the argot of today’s marketing specialist, that its use was officially legislated and policed so not to be trivialized. According to Geobbel’s regulations of May 19, 1933: “if the symbol is used on an object or in connection with it, it may only be used with the object itself has an inner relation to the symbol [i.e. a badge or medal]...The use of symbols for publicity purposes is in any case forbidden.” Although superficial similarities exist between corporate identity systems and the regulations applied to the swastika, Quinn takes great pains to differentiate the differences between this exclusively national manifestation and the scores of commercial marks that were among Germany’s graphic legacy. Although Hitler earned personal money licensing his picture on postage stamps used in occupied countries, the swastika was never so exploited and only used to make political and ideological profit.

For all its strengths, The Swastika: Constructing The Symbol suffers from unsmooth editing. The transitions from section to section are rocky. Although the “Introduction: Reading the Swastika” is thoroughly engaging in its complex originality, “Symbol” dryly reiterates ancient history from other sources. The value of “Ornament” lies in its expert interpretation of existing ideas and Quinn’s own theses, but not in its writing, which quivers a bit under the weight of too many quotations. Finally, “Swastika” is an admirable plunge into otherwise falsely charted waters. Quinn definitely did his homework (even I am quoted on the non-Nazi uses of the swastika from an article in Print, “Symbol of the Century,” 1992) citing many sources ranging from the history of the swastika to the practice of corporate communications. His notes are also revealing in that for the scholar of the swastika or any powerful symbol they raise some interesting new directions.

Publishers say, and it is quoted in this book, that “sex and swastika’s sell books.” Ultimately this is among the most important books about design history and design’s role in political and social persuasion that has been published to date. Proving in a different way that the swastika continues to exercise unparalleled influence.

First published in Design Issues, 1998

<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+Feb 2 2007, 12:50 AM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ Feb 2 2007, 12:50 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Another book, dusted off my library for a weekend reading...

<b>The Swastika: Constructing the Symbol</b>
by Malcolm Quinn

Will post relevant passages, if anyone so desires...

Yes plz

1. on Page 27:
" ... Teutonic Kinship of the Trojans and Thrakians ', which shifted the axis of the Aryan myth away from India and towards Germany: the Trojans"
2. on Page 38:
" ... construction of the swastika. However, what also needs to be examined is the nature of the relationship between India and Germany which allowed this remythologising of the image to take place"
3. on Page 39:
" ... abstract flat pattern with British manufacturing methods. For Ruskin, however, both India and Industry represented soulless alienation from the `natural fact', and for him, as Partha Miller ... "
4. on Page 41:
" ... both India and Germany fail to achieve the necessary bourgeois `critical mass' which will propel them into the stream of history. In Germany, the development is perceived as uneven, in India it is seen ... "
5. on Page 42:
" ... maintaining the race idea could be discerned in his dynamically slanted swastika, an image which combined India with industry in the mass manufacture of the sign in a way which even Ruskin could not have foreseen"
6. on Page 43:
" ... Indus Valley civilisation came to a rather sudden end, which extinguished urbanism in India for a millenium"
7. from Back Matter:
" ... century. Said's argument does not take account of how this German version of India `at one remove' allowed greater scope for a romantic/ nationalist `ancestralisation' of the East, of a kind ... "
8. from Back Matter:
" ... 82 Schliemann, 1875, op. cit., p. xv. 83 Walter Liefer, India and the Germans: 500 Years of Indo-German Contacts, Bombay, 1977, p. 1. 84 ... "
9. from Back Matter:
" ... However, Wilson also cites Sir George Birdwood's claim in his Industrial Arts of India that the swastika was `the origin of the key pattern ornament of Greek and Chinese decorative art"
10. from Back Matter:
" ... Art', Art- forum, vol. 25: 90-8. Liefer, Walter (1977) <b>India and the Germans: 500 Years of Indo-German Contacts</b>, Bombay, Shakantala Publishing ... "

11. from Index:
"13 Hunger, U. 117 India 38-42 see also Hindu iconography Indo-European language 24, 26, 28, 47-9, 53; see also Aryan Islamic ... "
12. from Intro Pages:
" ... do not like the use of the word Svastika outside India. It is a word of Indian origin, and has its history and definite meaning in India"
13. from Intro Pages:
" ... Walker in 1939 (Plate 2) who asserted that the swastika was a symbol of the supreme god in ancient India, Anatolia, Europe, China and America, 'z as well as numerous texts published during ... "
14. from Intro Pages:
" ... examples can be provided of the swastika being used symbolically in a variety of cultural contexts from India to the Americas"
15. from Intro Pages:
"Swastikas figure on the oldest coinage in India ... Sanskrit svastika meant `so be it' or `amen.''' This account of the swastika lists some twenty or more examples in sixty- four lines of text. Such abundance ... "
<b>Christian Socialism, the Hooked Cross, the Crooked Cross, Hakenkreuz, Swastika</b>

Most people do not know that a cross was worshiped as the notorious symbol of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. <b>The group called their symbol the Hakenkreuz, not the swastika</b>. Hakenkreuz means "hooked cross." It is one of the biggest cover-ups in history. The hooked cross became a symbol of Christian Socialism.

In the USA the hooked cross was a common symbol and was referred to as a cross (armed cross, twisted cross, lucky cross, crooked cross, hooked cross) before "swastika" became dominant. <b>The eventual dominance of "swastika" occurred in part to distance the cross from German Christian Socialism, by slandering a foreign symbol</b>.

<b>The Swastika: Constructing the Symbol</b>
by Malcolm Quinn


<b>PREFACE </b>

This book is about the construction of the archaic within the modern, <b>and the fabrication of the swastika as a sign of identity in an era when personal and collective identities were being rapidly displaced</b>. The construction of the swastika as the icon of a supposedly immemorial and <b>indivisible race identity began in the mid-nineteenth century and reached its height in the Nazi period in Germany</b>; its echoes are unfortunately still with us, despite the fact that the gulf between the representation of identity and its quotidian social dissolution grows ever wider. High on the list of the duplicities attributable to National Socialism was its use of the swastika as an emblem of the sense of self-definition and community which capitalism was rapidly eroding. In fact Nazism, under the sign of the swastika, subsumed the 'organic' and historical model of the nation state within a totalitarian scheme based on the expansionist and market-led notions of territory and social geography which had succeeded the organic model.

<b>This book shows that a similar paradox also informed the construction of the swastika as a sign of the 'Aryan race' in the nineteenth century. The myth of an Aryan race re-assembled the archaic in the image of the modern</b>, and its <b>mythology of structure was derived from the study of Indo-European comparative linguistics,</b> which also presaged the ahistoric, structural and modernist linguistics of Saussure. 'Aryan man' was a creature born of abstraction and deracination; and the swastika, a globally distributed mark with no discernible point of origin, was his heraldic device. In the nineteenth century, the swastika was used as both Aryan sign and Aryan evidence, place and race in one, <b>and was adopted by Nazism in the twentieth century</b> in its violent erasure of the historical links between people, place and praxis. From 1889 to the present, the display of the Aryan swastika as a symbolic locus, identifying mark or point of reference has also signalled dislocation, displacement and at worst, the Nazi terror.

It is for these reasons that the modern and Occidental swastika presents a particular set of problems to the analysis of material culture 'in context', since it must be simultaneously read as contextually placed and displaced, as presenting meaning and identity and at the same time deferring and postponing it. Insofar as the term Aryan (where used in an academic sense) has historically represented an <b>unresolved problem of material evidence in the gap between Indo-European language theory and archaeology,</b> the swastika as a supposedly 'Aryan sign' has instead been used as a substitute for and evasion of the archaeological problems of accurate representation, reference and material evidence. In 1880, the German scholar Rudolf Virchow ruled the swastika out of court not simply as evidence of the Aryan race but as archaeological evidence per se, suggesting that its wide spatial distribution rendered it useless for the determination of time: for Virchow, a liberal politician, a rigorous scientist and sceptic on the Aryan issue, the swastika was trivial, marginal and unreadable. However, the obstacles which the swastika presented to an orthodox archaeological reading must be set against the construction of the Aryan symbol, with its placement and displacement of meaning from sign to identical sign across an immobile space and a frozen time. Nazism, in its turn, employed the swastika as the sign of a race identity legitimated not in the historical dimension and 'sense of place' sought by the nineteenth-century nation state, but through the conquest of new territories. This book begins by looking at the 'Aryanisation' of the swastika in the Bismarckian period; but it was not until 1933 that this migratory image with no link to geographic place or historical time could be used as the 'national symbol' of Germany.

Whilst I would not deny that this has been a difficult book to write, I do not see my work on the swastika as part of an heroic discourse of reclamation and salvage. Instead, I hope to show that philanthropic notions of a 'change of meaning' for the swastika only serve to divert attention away from the Nazi strategy which used the symbol to demarcate, divide and control social space. Ultimately, however, my concerns are not with Nazism nor, in a sense, with the swastika itself. I believe that the Aryanisation of the swastika provides a paradigmatic example of the attempt to construct, in a secular era, an inviolable and immutable symbolic space between a living tradition on the one hand, and the constant flux of the market on the other. The end result of this attempt to transcend time was that the Aryan swastika caricatured tradition as an identical repetition, and that the Nazi swastika became the commodity sign par excellence.

April 1994


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