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Swastika: Nazi Sign - Nazi Symbol

Nazi symbol Swastika: The controversial Nazi Sign then and now.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: RC panzers, Third Reich Tours, Nazi flags, Nazi uniform, Nazi Helmets, German militaria, German Tanks: Tiger, Panther, Scale models, Medals.

The Man Who Brought the Swastika to Germany, and How the Nazis Stole It
When archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann traveled to Ithaca, Greece in 1868, one goal was foremost in his mind: discovering the ancient city of Troy using Homer`s Iliad. It wasn`t until 1871 that Schliemann achieved his dream. The discovery catapulted him to fame, and with his fame came a burst of interest in all that he uncovered. The intrepid archaeologist found his Homeric city, but he also found something else: the swastika, a symbol that would be manipulated to shape world history.

How the world loved the swastika - until Hitler stole it
In the Western world the swastika is synonymous with fascism, but it goes back thousands of years and has been used as a symbol of good fortune in almost every culture in the world. As more evidence emerges of its long pre-Nazi history in Europe, can this ancient sign ever shake off its evil associations? In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, swastika means "well-being". The symbol has been used by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for millennia and is commonly assumed to be an Indian sign.

24 colour pictures of 1930s Berlin show carefree life in Hitler`s capital before war that reduced it to rubble
This collection of color photos of Berlin in 1937, taken by engineer Thomas Neumann and uncovered from Norwegian archives, show life in the German capital during a tumultuous decade. They capture scenes in the vibrant city, which was under the iron grip of Hitler and his Third Reich at the very height of his power. Yet just eight years later the city was in ruins as Russians and Allies occupied it in victory. But at the time these images were taken, Berlin was vibrant. Hitler had taken power after the collapse of the democratic Weimar Republic in 1933 as severe economic problems caused by the Great Depression drove Germans into the far-right party's arms. As well as chilling pictures of buildings emblazoned with swastikas, there are scenes of ordinary life as Germans go about their business.

Maker of Dictator's Quartet card game - which features Hitler and swastika - to be prosecuted in Germany
Prosecutors in Germany have begun proceedings against a company that manufactures "Dictator's Quartet: The world's most evil dictators on 32 playing cards" - a card game including photograph of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and a partly visible swastika.

"The photo as such could be problematic, but in connection with the swastika it definitely is," explained chief prosecutor Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke, referring to the fact that the display of Swastika is illegal in Germany.

Considering the fact that at the same time Neo-Nazis are taking over entire villages in eastern Germany - and filling them with swastikas and road signs pointing to Hitler's birthplace - this case seems to be really innocent and insignificant in comparison.


Jewish doctor refuses to operate on patient with Nazi tattoo (swastika and the Imperial Eagle)
A German Jewish doctor has refused to operate on a patient after noticing his tattoo of a swastika and the Imperial Eagle (Bundesadler) - the German national symbol used by the Nazi party.

Officials dig up coffin of Neo-Nazi leader Friedhelm Busse to remove Swastika flag
German officials revealed that they had dug up a grave to get rid of a swastika flag that had been draped over the coffin. The Nazi-style burial of Friedhelm Busse - the last leader of the Free German Labor Party (outlawed in 1995) - in Passau ended in violence at the cemetery and a mid-town rampage where neo-Nazis hit a Mongolian woman in the face. Authorities seized right-winger Thomas Wulff after he slipped the swastika flag out from under his jacket and placed it at the last moment on the casket of Busse. "It is a so-called War Flag of the Reich in the 1935-1945 design with a big swastika in the middle of it," said prosecutor Helmut Walch.

Lithuania bans Soviet and Nazi symbols: flags, emblems, badges, insignia
Lithuania's parliament has passed the hardest restrictions anywhere in the former Soviet Union on the display of Soviet or Nazi signs and symbols. It will now be a crime to display the images of Soviet and Nazi leaders. This includes flags, emblems, badges, insignia, such as the hammer and sickle or swastika. Some say equating Soviet and Nazi symbols will surely infuriate Russia. The new law also prohibits the Nazi and Soviet national anthems but does not define if this applies to the modern-day Russian national anthem, which uses the Soviet music with different lyrics.

How Adolf Hitler and Nazi signs stormed the marketing world
A taboo on using Adolf Hitler and Nazi signs to sell products is weakening. Is it just ad-land’s love of shock value? In a South Korean tv, a woman in a military trenchcoat holds a soldier’s cap bearing a motif of an eagle gripping a swastika: "Even Hitler could not take over the East and West at the same time." A Ukrainian energy company used the image of Hitler to threaten customers who fail to pay their gas bills. A hotel in Belgrade had a very popular Adolf Hitler-themed suite. In New Zealand, the Hell Pizza chain had Hitler delivering a sieg-heil salute while holding a slice of pizza.

We Have Ways of Making You Laugh: 120 Funny Swastika Cartoons
Swastikas can be funny, says cartoonist Sam Gross, whose book is devoted to cartoons featuring the symbol most often linked with the German Nazi Party. The swastika is the focus of the jokes in "We Have Ways of Making You Laugh: 120 Funny Swastika Cartoons". The idea came to him during a news story about a boy who was drawing the swastika symbol on garage doors. Gross didn't realize why the story made headline news. "The symbol is held in such awe and terror. I just got so angry that I decided to have fun with it." The goal was both to take the power out of the swastika.

Wikipedia: too many nazi symbols on Hitler Youth page - Case dropped
Left Party politician Katina Schubert filed charges against Wikipedia's German site for having banned Nazi symbols, only to bow to pressure from her party and withdraw the case. "My complaints relate to content .. such as an article about the Hitler Youth movement." The article features Nazi symbols, which, she argues, can be easily taken and disseminated. Public display of Nazi symbols is outlawed in Germany, but the symbols can be used for educational and artistic aims. "But the extent and frequency of the symbols on it goes beyond what is needed for documentation and political education, in my view."

Barclays plans to ditch 'Nazi' eagle logo
The High Street bank Barclays is planning to drop its 317-year-old eagle logo because of concerns that it has Nazi overtones - to appease the Dutch bank ABN Amro with which it is about to merge. If the merger goes ahead Barclays has promised to move its HQ to Amsterdam, a city that was occupied by Nazis during World War II. The Nazis used the historic Germanic eagle as part of its iconography. The eagle logo used by Barclays predates the Nazi era by 230 years, and it has been modified many times in the past. The black Teutonic-style eagle emblazoned on a shield was redrawn blue with less fierce talons in 1981.

No swastika for us - we're Nato leaders
Hundreds of Latvians knitting 4000 pairs of woolen mittens for the November Nato summit have been told to avoid a folk symbol said to ward off evil since it looks like a Nazi swastika. A spokesperson said the Latvian Thunder Cross, or Fire Cross, will not figure in the design of any of the thousands of unique pairs some 300 Latvians are producing for Nato delegates lest it be misinterpreted. The Thunder Cross is a folklore symbol used as a charm against evil for Latvians.

Restaurant named after Adolf Hitler - Posters with Swastikas
A new restaurant in India is named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters featuring the Nazi leader and swastikas. The owner of Hitler's Cross says he chose the name to stand out among hundreds of Mumbai eateries. "We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different." A huge portrait of a stern-looking Führer greets visitors and the interior is done out in the Nazi colours. The cross in the restaurant's name refers to the swastika that symbolised the Nazi regime. The emblem has its roots in ancient India and remains a sacred symbol for Hindus.

German Film Director Investigated for Wearing a Swastika
Germany is investigating the case of film director Fatih Akin who was seen wearing a T-shirt with a swastika on it, during a protest. Since using or displaying Nazi regalia and other "unconstitutional symbols" is forbidden in Germany, Akin's statement could get him a prison sentence of up to three years. There are exceptions under the German law which allow the use of swastikas for artistic and educational purposes and if its use is in a form indicating opposition to National Socialism.

Google Earth reveals swastika fountain
Google Earth have created a bonfire in the quiet town of Maasmechelen in Belgium by revealing that the fountain looks like a swastika from the air. The fountain has spouted for over 27 years, but now the mayor says he will replace it, fearing the town will otherwise be doomed. Designer Robert Tachelet says he is "not a nazi, and I'm proud of the fountain. The Germans don't have the monopoly on the swastika, it is an ancient symbol of the Sun god". In Europe the swastika was widely used as a symbol of good luck. The hunt for swastikas will continue: Last year, a Swastika Junction was discovered in Florida.

Munich government buildings adorned with swastikas
61 years after the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II there are still swastikas that adorn a central government building in Munich. Swastikas are displayed on a building that houses the economic, infrastructure and technology departments of the state of Bavaria. It is the most important government building of the southern state, in which the Nazi party began its way during the 1920's. The massive building with a facade stretching 250 meters (820 feet) was built between the years 1936-1938 and was used during the Second World War to house headquarters of the Luftwaffe – the German Air Force.

Why German authorities have the wrong end of the swastika   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Few people would argue with Germany's ban on Nazi symbolism. But two recent cases involving a Nigerian footballer and left-wing anti-fascists show that public prosecutors are going after the wrong people. While opinions differ between Germany and, say, the US about where the limits should lie, one German restriction on freedom of expression seems uncontroversial: the ban on Nazi symbols under Article 86a of the German Strafgesetzbuch (criminal code).

Green Nazi silk robe with a gold eagle and a swastika   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Someone donated a strange silk robe to the American Military Museum. The robe is green with nazi signs: a gold eagle and a swastika on the right breast. It is undoubtedly cut for a woman. Mystery was solved as a German tourist who was making his way through the Military Museum recognized it - it was, he said, a robe from a Nazi state-sponsored brothel. By 1939 the Nazi had opened several brothels for the troops' morale. Given the naval eagle on this robe, it would seem every branch of the military had its own home port.

Aryans on the Altar; Swastikas on the Church Bells
A Protestant parish in Berlin has grabbed an ethical dilemma by the horns with an appeal for funds to save Germany's last Nazi era church. The building's interior is full of Third Reich symbols. The aim is to turn it into a place of remembrance. The stark entrance hall is lit by a black chandelier in the shape of an iron cross. The pulpit has a wooden carving of a muscular Jesus leading a helmeted Wehrmacht soldier and surrounded by an Aryan family. The baptismal font is guarded by a wooden statue of a stormtrooper from Adolf Hitler's paramilitary Sturmabteilung (SA) unit clutching his cap.

Flying the swastika is to stay legal   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It is not an offence to burn the Australian flag. Neither is it an offence to fly the Nazi swastika and the Government has no plans to make it one. But Prime Minister John Howard did say today that there were occasions when displaying a swastika flag could result in prosecution. The swastika issue surfaced when a couple displayed a Nazi flag for a week in their backyard, only removing it after intense pressure. Jenni Duncombe told the media she did not know what the flag signified. Mr Howard said many people would be offended by display of the swastika, the symbol of the Nazi regime responsible for about 35 million dead during WWII.

Tajikistan: Where the Swastika Is Welcome
Like other post-Soviet countries, Tajikistan has taken a fresh look its history following independence in 1991. The result is a state campaign to promote the notion that the Tajiks as a Aryan nation – and the widespread use of the swastika. Indeed, the revival of Aryan culture is now official policy of Dushanbe: 2006 will be celebrated in Tajikistan as the year of Aryan civilization.

Hindus reclaim their symbol of life - Redeem the swastika
Hindus in Britain have started a campaign to "redeem" the swastika from its Nazi past and reclaim it as the symbol of life and fortune it once was. The swastika is a 5,000-year-old symbol that has been used for centuries by Hindus, Buddhists and many other traditions to denote good luck, but because of the Nazis it has come to symbolise hate, violence, death and murder. Hindus use the right-facing version of the swastika, meaning "sun", as jewellery or on doorways and buildings to bring good fortune. This was the version adopted by the Nazi Party in 1920 at Salzburg.