Swastika Essay

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The History of the Swastika
Today, the swastika is typically identified with racism, hate, violence, death, and antisemitism due to the Nazis, however, its history shows that it was primitively a symbol for many other things, including life, the sun, power, good luck, and well-being. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being”. The swastika has been around for thousands of years, and some even say it is the oldest known symbol. It is thought to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perchance depicting the movement of the sun through the sky. The symbol became sacred to the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and is a common sight to see in places like India and Indonesia.
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That is mainly thanks to the Nazis and the German race as a whole. During the time of Adolf Hitler’s rule, and even sometime before then, the Germans viewed themselves as the “superior race”. Soon the idea that they needed to keep the race “pure” was brought about, and anti-Semitism followed (Black). The Thule Society, which was an anti-Semitic organization supporting the superiority of the German race, was founded at the end of World War I and used a swastika as its symbol (Black). Hitler thought that an efficacious symbol would get people’s attention and inspirit masses to support his racist cause (Black). A pennant was created, with a black swastika, or “hooked cross” as they called it, on a white circle against a red background (Black). In Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, he took full credit for the design and tried to give a meaning to it: “In red we see the social idea of the movement, in white the nationalistic idea, in the swastika the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man.” (Black). The swastika became the visual identity of the Nazi movement (Black). When they took control in 1933, the use of the symbol insinuated every feature of German life (Black). The pennant became the official flag of the country in 1935, and can still be seen in some places, including on the mosaic ceiling tiles at Hitler’s Haus der Kunst in Munich
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