What does this badge make you think of? ( Non-Nazi Swastika usage).

Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, May 25, 2006.

  1. mcan

    mcan Active Member

  2. Owen

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    Ancient statue discovered by Nazis is made from meteorite



    An ancient statue that was recovered by a Nazi expedition in the 1930s was originally carved from a highly valuable meteorite.

    Researchers say the 1,000-year-old object with a swastika on its stomach is made from a rare form of iron with a high content of nickel.

    They believe it is part of the Chinga meteorite, which crashed about 15,000 years ago.

    The findings appear in the Journal, Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

    The 24cm (9-inch) tall statue is 10kg (22lb) and is called the Iron Man.

    Origins unknown
    The story of this priceless object owes more perhaps to an Indiana Jones film script than sober scientific research.

    It was discovered in Tibet in 1938 by German scientist Ernst Schafer. His expedition was supported by the Nazis, in particular by Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS. Himmler was said to believe the Aryan race originated in Tibet and was keen to recover objects from the area.

    Brought back to Germany, the statue became part of a private collection and disappeared from view until 2007. A new owner then sought scientific advice on the origins. He turned to Dr Elmar Buchner from the University of Stuttgart.

    "I was absolutely sure it was a meteorite when I saw it first, even at 10 metres" said Dr Buchner.

    He said that the clue was in small, thumb like impressions caused by the melting of the surface. Further analysis showed that it was a rare ataxite class, a type of meteorite not often found on Earth.

    "It is rich in nickel, it is rich in cobalt. Less than 0.1% of all meteorites and less than 1% of iron meteorites are ataxites, so it is the rarest type of meteorites you can find."

    Meteorites have been seen as a sign of divine activity across many cultures since the dawn of time. Knives and jewellery were made from iron meteorites by ancient Inuit. But tracing their exact origins is often extremely difficult.

    The German and Austrian scientists who worked on the Iron Man with Dr Buchner were surprised to be able to trace the statue to a specific event in meteorite history.

    Absolutely priceless
    The researchers believe it was carved from a piece of the Chinga meteorite that fell in the border region of eastern Siberia and Mongolia about 15,000 years ago.

    The debris from the crash was only discovered in 1913 by gold prospectors, but the individual fragment from which the statue was carved was collected many centuries before.

    "We were quite astonished by the results," said Dr Buchner.

    "OK, it's a meteorite but what amazed me was that we could also say it was from Chinga, that we could find the provenance, that was really astonishing for me."

    The statue is believed to portray the god Vaisravana. The researchers think it belongs to the pre-Buddhist Bon culture that existed in Asia about 1,000 years ago.

    "If we are right that it was made in the Bon culture in the 11th Century, it is absolutely priceless and absolutely unique worldwide," observed Dr Buchner.

    Neither the person who carved it or the Nazis had any idea it was made from such a rare substance, he said.

    In keeping with the Hollywood element in the story, Dr Buchner said the statue had a certain aura.

    "It is extremely impressive, it was formerly almost completely gilded - there is a great mystery represented by it."
  5. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Just been to a WW1 event in Leeds central library, and saw this in their collection, bookmarks advertising war saving certificates etc.

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  6. Owen

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  7. Bob Wilton

    Bob Wilton Junior Member

    Very much like a German World War Two Waffen SS Foreign Volunteers Uniform Collar Tab Patch.

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    How the world loved the swastika - until Hitler stole it

    By Mukti Jain Campion
    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.

    Early Western travellers to Asia were inspired by its positive and ancient associations and started using it back home. By the beginning of the 20th Century there was a huge fad for the swastika as a benign good luck symbol.

    In his book The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption? US graphic design writer Steven Heller shows how it was enthusiastically adopted in the West as an architectural motif, on advertising and product design.

    "Coca-Cola used it. Carlsberg used it on their beer bottles. The Boy Scouts adopted it and the Girls' Club of America called their magazine Swastika. They would even send out swastika badges to their young readers as a prize for selling copies of the magazine," he says.
    20th Century fad: Fruit packaging, a Coca-Cola pendant, and a pack of cards, all from the US

    It was used by American military units during World War One and it could be seen on RAF planes as late as 1939. Most of these benign uses came to a halt in the 1930s as the Nazis rose to power in Germany.

    The Nazi use of the swastika stems from the work of 19th Century German scholars translating old Indian texts, who noticed similarities between their own language and Sanskrit. They concluded that Indians and Germans must have had a shared ancestry and imagined a race of white god-like warriors they called Aryans.

    A Hindu boy with a shaved head, and a giant vase at a Buddhist temple in Japan

    This idea was seized upon by anti-Semitic nationalist groups who appropriated the swastika as an Aryan symbol to boost a sense of ancient lineage for the Germanic people.

    The black straight-armed hakenkreuz (hooked cross) on the distinctive white circle and red background of the Nazi flag would become the most hated symbol of the 20th Century, inextricably linked to the atrocities committed under the Third Reich.

    "For the Jewish people the swastika is a symbol of fear, of suppression, and of extermination. It's a symbol that we will never ever be able to change," says 93-year-old Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller. "If they put the swastika on gravestones or synagogues, it puts a fear into us. Surely it shouldn't happen again."

    The swastika was banned in Germany at the end of the war and Germany tried unsuccessfully to introduce an EU-wide ban in 2007.

    The irony is that the swastika is more European in origin than most people realise. Archaeological finds have long demonstrated that the swastika is a very old symbol, but ancient examples are by no means limited to India. It was used by the Ancient Greeks, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons and some of the oldest examples have been found in Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Balkans .

    If you want to see just how deeply rooted the swastika pattern is in Europe, a good place to start is Kiev where the National Museum of the History of Ukraine has an impressive range of exhibits.


    Among the museum's most highly prized treasures is a small ivory figurine of a female bird. Made from the tusk of a mammoth, it was found in 1908 at the Palaeolithic settlement of Mezin near the Russian border.

    On the torso of the bird is engraved an intricate meander pattern of joined up swastikas. It's the oldest identified swastika pattern in the world and has been radio carbon-dated to an astonishing 15,000 years ago. The bird was found with a number of phallic objects which supports the idea that the swastika pattern was used as a fertility symbol.

    In 1965 a palaeontologist called Valentina Bibikova discovered that the swastika meander pattern on the bird is very similar to the naturally occurring pattern visible on a cross-section of ivory. Could it be that the Palaeolithic makers of the figurine were simply reflecting what they saw in nature - the huge mammoth they associated with well-being and fertility?

    Single swastikas began to appear in the Neolithic Vinca culture across south-eastern Europe around 7,000 years ago. But it's in the Bronze Age that they became more widespread across the whole of Europe. In the Museum's collection there are clay pots with single swastikas encircling their upper half which date back to around 4,000 years ago. When the Nazis occupied Kiev in World War Two they were so convinced that these pots were evidence of their own Aryan ancestors that they took them back to Germany. (They were returned after the war.)

    In the Museum's Grecian collection, the swastika is visible as the architectural ornament which has come to be known as the Greek key pattern, widely used on tiles and textiles to this day.

    Left: Grecian architectural swastikas in the Kiev museum. Right: Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York)

    The Ancient Greeks also used single swastika motifs to decorate their pots and vases. One fragment in the collection from around 7th Century BCE shows a swastika with limbs like unfurling tendrils painted under the belly of a goat.

    Fragments of a 12th Century princess's collar

    Perhaps the most surprising exhibit in the museum is of fragile textile fragments that have survived from the 12th Century AD. They are believed to belong to the dress collar of a Slav princess, embroidered with gold crosses and swastikas to ward off evil.

    The swastika remained a popular embroidery motif in Eastern Europe and Russia right up to World War Two. A Russian author called Pavel Kutenkov has identified nearly 200 variations across the region. But the hakenkreuz remains a highly charged symbol. In 1941 Kiev was the site of one of the worst Nazi mass murders of the Holocaust when nearly 34,000 Jews were rounded up and killed at the ravine of Babi Yar.

    In Western Europe the use of indigenous ancient swastikas petered out long before the modern era but examples can be found in many places such as the famous Bronze Age Swastika Stone on Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.
    The Swastika Stone sits at Woodhouse Crag above Ilkley and overlooking Wharfe Valley

    Some people think this long history can help revive the symbol in Europe as something positive. Peter Madsen, owner of an upmarket tattoo parlour in Copenhagen says the swastika is an element of Norse mythology that holds a strong appeal to many Scandinavians. He is one of the founders of last year's Learn to Love the Swastika Day on 13 November, when tattoo artists around the world offered free swastikas, to raise awareness of the symbol's long multicultural past.

    "The swastika is a symbol of love and Hitler abused it. We're not trying to reclaim the hakenkreuz. That would be impossible. Nor is it something we want people to forget," he says.

    One of Peter Madsen's clients, with an armpit swastika

    "We just want people to know that the swastika comes in many other forms, none of which have ever been used for anything bad. We are also trying to show the right-wing fascists that it's wrong to use this symbol. If we can educate the public about the true meanings of the swastika, maybe we can take it away from the fascists."

    But for those like Freddie Knoller who have experienced the horrors of fascism, the prospect of learning to love the swastika is not so easy.

    "For the people who went through the Holocaust, we will always remember what the swastika was like in our life - a symbol of pure evil," he says.

    "We didn't know how the symbol dates back so many thousands of years ago. But I think it's interesting for people to learn that the swastika was not always the symbol of fascism."

    Pictures of the US Army biplane, of pre-war products from the US, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music are from the collection of Steven Heller.

    Mukti Jain Campion is the producer and presenter of Reclaiming the Swastika on BBC Radio 4 at 11:00 on Friday 24 October - and on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast.



  9. dbf

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    Walls, floors and rocks: England and its swastikas
    By Laurence Cawley

    Swastika. The word is a potent one. For more than one billion Hindus it means "wellbeing" and good fortune. For others, the cross with arms bent at right angles will forever symbolise Nazism. Yet England is seemingly awash with swastikas. Why?

    It comes from the Sanskrit "svastika" and means "good to be", yet the word swastika - and perhaps even more the symbol which represents it - is very often taken to mean something very different.

    So much so, in fact, that when a member of the public recently asked Essex County Council why it allowed swastika motifs to be carved into its HQ building during the 1930s, some demanded the symbols be removed.

    The case is a perfect demonstration of the seismic shift in the swastika's reputation in the West as a result of its use by Nazi Germany.

    Why did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seize the swastika?

    The Nazi party formally adopted the swastika - which it called the Hakenkreuz (hooked cross) - in 1920.

    Dr Malcolm Quinn, of the University of Arts London, says the party picked up on the symbol's association with the Aryans, who some intellectuals of the time believed had invaded India in the distant past.

    They considered the early Aryans of India to be the prototypical white invaders and the cultural ancestors of the German people.

    Initially completed in the 17th Century, Burlington House features swastika shapes in its exterior stonework

    "What Hitler did," says Dr Quinn, "was to add the swastika symbol (of a conquering 'race') to the colours of Bismarck's flag and Germany was rebranded as a nation whose central mission was conquest and colonisation.

    "The Nazis created a new history for themselves. Within decades the swastika had been ripped from its Indian roots."

    But the swastika - or at least the shape to which the word refers - predates Hitler by thousands of years.

    Dr Jessica Frazier, of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, told the BBC swastikas had been found in China, Japan, Mongolia, the ancient Mediterranean, among native Americans and, of course, the British Isles.

    The Swastika Stone sits at Woodhouse Crag above Ilkley and overlooking Wharfe Valley

    "Its (the swastika's) original meaning is an enigma," she said. "Perhaps it is just an elegant geometry which has an instinctive appeal across the world."

    The earliest swastikas might have had some religious or astronomical meaning. Then again, they might not.

    One of those earliest "swastikas" is the Swastika Stone which sits proudly on the edge of Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire.

    The carving is thought to be early Bronze Age dating back to about 2,000 BC.

    This swastika-inspired design appears on the The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London

    Now heavily eroded from the surface of the grit stone outcrop on which it sits, the design features a grooved swastika with a number of circular hollows.

    The name Swastika Stone, as the Yorkshire-based archaeologist Dave Weldrake explains, is a Victorian invention. And a successful invention at that.

    It pulls in the tourists not because it is the most elaborate carving on the moor but because of its name.

    Mr Weldrake said it was most likely a religious carving.

    This section of Essex County Council's headquarters was finished in 1939, the year Britain and Nazi Germany went to war. But the designs had been finalised years before

    "But there's no written record," he said. "It is one of many carved rocks in the area which vary from the really simple to the highly elaborate.

    "There is another one which looks partially on the way to being a swastika and there are others with ladder patterns. Part of the problem with interpretation is you don't know how they looked at the time."

    Jump forward a few thousand years and the swastika motif reappears in England in thriving abundance.

    Not on rocky outcrops now, but on buildings.

    One of the plaques on the outside of India House in central London bears two swastikas

    Many of these motifs, says Dr Quinn, arrived in England as a result of Britain's colonisation of India during the 18th Century.

    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.

    Other swastika-based designs, including the Essex County Council building swastikas mentioned above, were most likely inspired by Greek patterns.

    The Tympanum of St Andrew's Church, near Great Durnford in Wiltshire, features a design that resembles the swastika

    Whatever their derivation, without knowing the intention of the architects who included such designs on churches, government buildings, banks and railway stations, referring to them as swastikas is problematic.

    By and large, says Dr Quinn, they are "decorative motifs that happen to use the same symmetry group as the swastika symbol".

    And they mostly predate Nazi Germany.

    Shaunaka Rishi Das, director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, says: "Most Western people when they see it (the swastika), they see Nazi Germany.

    "But you have to understand that here's a tradition that is ancient and the Germans borrow it from a different culture and misuse it over less than two decades and it develops an internationally bad reputation."

    Mr Rishi Das told how he himself once lived in a house in Belfast which had a tiled swastika on a wash-room floor.

    "It somehow survived the fact that American officers were billeted there during the war," he said. "The daughter of the man who built the house, a well known architect of his time, told me the symbol was a Celtic one."

    That house, he said, later became a Krishna Temple.

    Although single swastika motifs - such as one found on cottages pictured below in Aylsham, Norfolk - are not rare, it is far more common to find swastikas used in repeating patterns.

    A curving swastika design was used on these pebble flint cottages near Aylsham in Norfolk

    Examples include those on the The Royal Academy of Arts building at Burlington House and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in King Charles Street, London.

    As Mr Rishi Das found in Belfast, walls are far from the only surfaces to carry the swastika. Floors carry them too.

    The Natwest branch in Bolton's Derby Street, for example, has two swastikas on its floors.

    When asked to remove them in 2006, the bank pointed out that the building was built in 1927 when the swastika was commonly used in architecture.

    The request to remove them was turned down.

    Not just for walls: a large swastika-style design on the floor of Upminster Bridge tube station in Hornchurch

    The floor of The Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich also features a swastika design.

    And then there is this red, white and black swastika design outside the barriers to the District Line service at the Upminster Bridge tube station in Hornchurch, east London.

    Could the swastika motif ever stage a comeback in western architectural design?

    Dr Quinn said he was not aware of any building other than temples created since World War Two in England featuring swastikas.

    And while the swastika design may well be used in Hindu architecture, its future use on public buildings seems unlikely.
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  13. Owen

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    Two swastikas defaced on John Otto Rock, carved in 1915

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012



    Grand Junction police are investigating the vandalism of the swastika on the John Otto Rock in front of the Museum of the West in downtown Grand Junction.

    Vandals used a concrete-like substance to cover over the two swastikas carved into a 6,000-pound chunk of granite that was placed in front of the Museum of the West three years ago after another incident of vandalism.

    The swastikas were carved into the boulder about 1915 at the behest of John Otto, who a century ago worked for federal protection of the cliffs and spires of what is now known as Colorado National Monument.

    Museum officials reported the vandalism to police, but no reports had been filed immediately, police said.

    The swastika is an ancient symbol frequently used for good luck, but which is best recognized now as similar to the one appropriated by the Nazis in the 1930s. The swastika used by Otto three decades previous is different in that it’s turned a quarter to the left.

    “This is about the third or fourth time the rock has been defaced,” Mike Perry, executive director of the Museum of Western Colorado, said Tuesday as he looked at the damage.

    The vandalism makes it clear that the museum will have to take additional steps to protect the rock from new vandalism, he said.

    The front of the boulder, which faces west, next door to the steps to the museum, was left otherwise intact. The 1915 date and several symbols were left untouched. Only the swastika was covered. The entire carving on the north side of the rock, which includes a larger swastika, was completely covered with the concrete-like material, which had hardened into place.

    Many museum visitors are curious, if not downright angered, by the presence of the swastika, said Mary Lou Kelly, the receptionist who greets visitors as they arrive.

    “A coward has to deface something,” Kelly said, likening the vandalism to “people shooting at Indian rock art.”

    In addition to covering over the swastika, some new chips were seen in the rock on the front of the boulder, Perry said.

    Some of the other carvings include a listing of the days marking Monday as the first day of the week, Sunday as the last. Several Masonic symbols also were carved into the boulder., as well as the letters “W W,” standing for “World Welfare,” according to the information sheet authored by western Colorado historian Dave Fishell.

    “All indications point to Otto being an atheist,” Fishell wrote.

    Kelly regularly hands out sheets of paper explaining the rock and its symbols to visitors, most of whom are mollified by the explanation, she said.

    No one had called in any threats or otherwise warned that that the boulder was going to be defaced, Kelly said.

    The only visitor who wasn’t relieved by the explanation of the boulder’s historical background, Kelly said, was David Edwards, a candidate for Mesa County commissioner, who excoriated the museum for displaying the swastika after appearing for a candidate forum there this summer.

    The symbol, Edwards said, was especially hurtful to him as a Jew and a homosexual. Nazis drove Jews and homosexuals into concentration camps, where millions were murdered.

    Edwards said Tuesday he had heard of no threats of vandalism or defacing the boulder.

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    US boot brand recalls shoe that leaves swastika imprints - BBC News

    US boot brand recalls shoe that leaves swastika imprints
    A California shoe company has recalled a boot after a customer discovered the sole left tiny swastika prints behind.

    The boot went viral after a Reddit user posted a picture showing the shoe's tread and its swastika imprints.

    Conal International Trading Co, the City of Industry company that manufactures the boot, has since issued a public apology and pulled the shoe.

    The company said it was "no way intentional" and an "obvious mistake" made by manufacturers in China.
    "We will not be selling any of our boots with the misprint to anyone," the company said in a statement.

    "We would never create a design to promote hate. We don't promote hate at our company."

    The Reddit user's post has been viewed more than two million times, sending social media into a flurry.

    "There was an angle I didn't get to see when ordering my new work boots," the Reddit user wrote.

    "The soles don't look that much like swastikas, but the prints are unmistakable," a Reddit user wrote. "And whoever made the soles would have understood that."

    Amazon, where the Polar Fox military combat boots were sold before the company pulled the listing, was inundated with reviews cracking Nazi jokes, calling the boot "heily recommended" and rating the pair a "nein out of 10".

    Another Amazon user quipped: "Good for marching into Poland, but not so good for much else".

    The listing was removed from Amazon on Thursday.

    The boots also gained the attention of the popular neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer, where they were called a "must have", the Washington Post reported.

    German weekly magazine Stern also pointed out the boot's name, Polar Fox, shares a name with a World War Two military operation.

    Polarfuchs, or Polar Fox, was an operation in which German and Finnish soldiers captured Salla, Finland from the Soviet Union.

  18. dbf

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    Canadian town refuses to remove swastikas from park - BBC News
    A Canadian town says it will not remove swastikas from a public park because it has historical significance.

    The Nazi symbols adorn an anchor that was on display in Pointe-des-Cascades, Quebec.

    Corey Fleischer, who goes around Montreal removing hateful graffiti, tried to paint over the swastikas.

    But the mayor stopped him and had police remove him from the park, arguing the anchor is a part of local history.

    The anchor has a plaque that identifies it as a "relic of Nazism", and says it was used in Europe at the end of War, probably on a merchant boat, and found in 1980

    But in a statement on the town's website, the mayor says the anchor belonged to a merchant vessel that predates World War Two and was found by local divers 25 years ago.

    "The village of Pointe-des-Cascades does not endorse Nazism," said Mayor Gilles Santerre in a statement online.

    "Our village has a beautiful community and family spirit, and creates events that bring people together."

    The village has about 1,500 people and is located about 50 miles (80km) from Montreal.

    The statement cites an article by Radio Canada, which says that before 1920 the swastika was a symbol of peace.

    Online sleuths have speculated that the anchor could have been made by the British manufacturer WL Byers in Sunderland, England.

    The anchors were adorned with a swastika as a good luck charm, it is claimed, before the rise of Hitler.

    It is used in many religions around the world, including Hinduism and Buddhism.

    Around the world debates have raged over historically significant monuments containing swastikas.

    In Japan, temples are often marked by swastikas, and a push to stop using the symbol on tourist maps sparked a backlash.

    To avoid confusion, the mayor of Pointe-des-Cascades says the town will put up a plaque that better explains the context of the anchor.

    However, Mr Fleischer says older meaning is irrelevant and the symbol on the anchor is clearly one of Nazi Germany.

    It is painted black and laid over a white circle, a stylistic choice that he says was only employed by the Third Reich.

    As founder of Erase the Hate, Mr Fleischer has travelled the world to remove hateful and anti-Semitic graffiti.

    "Maybe the city did not know," he told the BBC. "But I know exactly what this is. There is no ifs ands or buts about it."

    Mr Fleischer said that as a piece of history, it belongs in a museum where its meaning is clear, instead of in a public park.

    "It is a place where people come to feel safe and this is being displayed for everybody to see," he said.

  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    saw this today on a packing case at Wallington

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  20. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Every time I read this thread I am reminded of a town hall or similar in Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) that I visited around 30 years ago that had a mosaic floor made up of 100s of little Swastikas - probably built in the 1920s / 1930s

    For the life of me I can't track down a reference to where it was

    In the meantime here are a couple of articles from Aussie newspapers about Swastika dances - which seemed to cease around 1936

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