The Origins Of The World War II Essays

The Origins Of The World War II Essays

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Swastikas have been around for many millennia, but the history of it is diverse. Dating back nearly 11,000 years ago, the symbol has been mainly associated with religion with variations seen in numerous cultures throughout the world. At one point in ancient Asia the swastika was seen as a symbol for infinity, or continuing creation. (Turner) The origins of the symbol though remain unclear, although there is a plethora of theories. One theory is that the it represents the sun and another that says that the four points on the swastika represent earth, wind, fire, and water, or even that the points represent the four seasons. Up until the mid-twentieth century, the symbol was quite common as a sign of good luck or well-being. (Quinn) Inevitably, this all changed during and after World War II to the hate the symbol represents to most people in the western hemisphere.
Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler changed the meaning of the swastika for the western world when he used it as a symbol for his evil war machine. Hitler decided that he specifically wanted to use the swastika as the symbol for the Nazi Party along with the colors of the old German Empire, red, white, and black. (Hitler) Swastikas were also the symbol of the Aryan race in Germany and the racial “cleansing” that occurred. Several variants of the symbol could be seen throughout Germany such as, Hitler’s Youth, military markings, Hitler even has his own personal variant. (Wendel) In post-war Germany, the symbol and all its variants were banned and destroyed. The symbol left a scar on the western world as a mark of evil, racism, hatred, and genocide.
Today, in modern society, the symbol is still viewed in parts of the world analogous to Nazism. In the United States, many white s...


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...mple of this in American broadcasting would be in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where a patient with a swastika on his stomach had black doctors. The man acted like a typical racist, viewing them as worse doctors just because of their race. (Wilson) Swastikas also are seen as a symbol of fascism to westerners. Multiple countries, mainly in Europe, have banned the symbol from public display due to the stigma it holds. (Day) In the Eastern world swastikas are viewed completely differently. Buddhism is a major religion in Asia and swastikas are seen throughout Buddhist culture. Indians also see the symbol throughout their culture as a symbol of wealth and good fortune. Society influences how people act on a daily basis and where a symbol could cause one reaction by people of one culture, another culture could have a completely different view as is true with the swastika.

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