How the swastika became an odious symbol?
“A new red banner … with a black swastika in a white disk were developed for the first time. The effect was so stunning that even Hitler was pleasantly surprised.
the Swastika became one of the most effective mystical tools of Hitler … Unknown force proceeded from a mysterious sign“.
(K. Hayden, Hitler`s biographer) If any of you greet
the Sanskrit word “Svasti!“, be sure - wished you good luck and all benefits (from “Su“ - it is “good“, “benefit“ and “asti“ - “life“). And the swastika sign during many millennia bore in itself though various, but exclusively positive emotions.
Cultures in which the swastika is absent can be listed on fingers. She can be met also on ornaments of the American Indians, and on images of Christian Saints. I remember with what amazement I for the first time examined the swastikas represented on so-called “Buddha`s foot“. What to tell about the “happy“ pocket for hours in the form of a swastika released in 1925 the company “The cook - Coca“! And at paper money of Provisional government it is present almost at a “fascist“ frame together with an eagle (the truth, naturally, two-headed).
However there was enough everything about three decades that the swastika lost all the positive associations, still remaining a subject of speculation of unscrpulous politicians. Whether forever? Let`s try to understand.
So, swastika, it Slavic “êîëîâðàò“, Chinese “Wan“, Greek to “tetraskela“, Celtic “hammer Torah“, Buddhist to “Manja“, Christian “ãàììàäèîí“ or “a gammirovanny cross“. The most ancient images of this symbol meet also in a doariysky civilization of Indus, and in tripolsky culture of Severo - the Western Black Sea Coast (about 2 thousand years BC) . Antiquity and prevalence of a swastika is connected first of all with its undoubted geometrical advantages.
This symbol represents a proportional four-pointed cross from the ends bent in one party (the ends can be bent and it is oval). That is, a swastika in fact - such synthesis of advantages of a cross (as the figure having the center of crossing of a vertical and horizontal) and a circle (as figures cyclic, rotating). These features also defined all numerous arsenal of values which the swastika “acquired“ in millennia. It is quite difficult to reduce all this variety to a common denominator therefore we will be limited to the most generalized treatments.
One of starting points, certainly, is the seeming rotation around the motionless center therefore in many cultures the swastika symbolized life circulation, the movement of the star sky, cyclic change of seasons. Buddhists have it - one of symbols of a sansara - “kolovrashcheniye“ of life, an infinite chain of regenerations. In Christianity the left-side swastika quite often symbolizes a styazhaniye of the Holy Spirit and still a kind shred of values.
Most often this dynamic cross is treated as a sign solar, a symbol of the movement of the sun on a sky and a solstice. Perhaps, the solyarnost (communication with the Sun) together with geometrical expressiveness made a swastika in the majority of cultures a symbol of light, generosity, good luck, perfection (Buddhists even call it “the press of heart of Buddha“). Values of a swastika are not settled by it at all, and attempt to capture this subject completely, I think, would tire our reader. Curious can address thorough work of R. Bagdasarov “the Swastika: sacred symbol“.
The real misadventures of a swastika begin with the end of the 19th century when various occultists and esoterics began to connect this sign only with an Aryan civilization (at that time the swastika was not found in the Semitic people yet). Reached that the origin of a swastika began to be brought out of “geography“ of a mythical ancestral home ariyev - Giperborei. Allegedly this country was located on four islands around a North geographical Pole. Islands divided the passages giving Giperbory a type of the bent cross.
And further - went - went. Aryans - it is good, Semites - it is bad. As a result at the beginning of the XX century the swastika becomes a symbol of the anti-Semitic organizations. The German occult society to “Tula“ (from which Hitler gathered very much) one of the first placed a swastika on the coat of arms. And in March, 1920 during Kappovsky putsch the swastika appears on helmets of so-called “Ekhard`s crew“.
It is no wonder that, having got natsistsko - extremist coloring, “the running cross“ without special fluctuations is elected in 1923 by Hitler for NDASP emblem. And in 1933 a newly elected Reich - the chancellor “makes“ a swastika in the state symbols of Germany (in particular, it is located also on an emblem of Wehrmacht). That - that, and “showman“ Hitler was talented, inclined to any spectacular effects. Shots with the torch parade built so that he reminded the “live“ rotating swastika still make impression on the viewer. They say that also the wood near Berlin which was landed by Hitler still reminds “a kryukoobrazny cross“. By the way, quite so - “a kryukoobrazny cross“ (Hakenkreuz), but not “swastika“, the Fuhrer preferred to call the favourite figure.
By the way, only the swastika standing on an edge in 45 ° can reckon “nazi“ with the ends sent to the right side officially. And though the majority of traditional swastikas of Asia and America stand on a surface at an angle in 90 °, Hitler`s “love“ cost much to an ancient symbol. In many countries of the world the swastika, understandably, became “beyond the law“.
But from the beginning of reorganization, multi-party system and disorder the swastika had defenders again. They with conviction and indignantly demanded to return to a swastika “human face“, using all set of the above-stated arguments. Like, symbol ancient, good, primordially Slavic … And, it seems, all so. But there are two “but“ …
In - the first - a context in which there is a revival of a swastika. Notice, not Buddhists, not Indians, not culturologists protect it generally. No, it is protected by political and ideological groups of quite certain warehouse of thoughts. For example, the same the “Russian National Unity“ which chose a swastika the symbol (“it not Hitlerite, and ours!“). It is frequent and at the Ukrainian vozroditel of traditions of “nice paganism“. The swastika decorates also a cover of a “orthodox“ album “Solstice“ fate - ALICE groups.
Leader of ALICE group K. Kinchev, 2000: “Yes understand
you, it is an ancient Christian symbol... It is a sign acting by means of wind and fire of the Holy Spirit. In a left-side swastika there is nothing reprehensible“. All these explanations to listen to
somehow it is ridiculous. In my opinion, it is clear that for the vast majority of the population of our homeland the swastika at the subconscious level causes accurate associations with quite concrete war, the brutal ideology which destroyed millions of innocent people. Or Kinchev thinks that pensioners (yes what there pensioners! 90% of the population!) immediately will rush in the head to place in culturological works on studying of a swastika if to ALICE`S leader climbed up an album it? Or, maybe, cemeteries are painted by a swastika in purely educational purposes? One business - the image of a swastika in Buddhist Nepal, and another matter on an undershirt of the European teenager.
Use of a swastika in the countries which endured World War II is a conscious call, the cheapest way to shock and draw attention.
Fanaticism in relation to use of a swastika in long cultures, certainly, is silly and harmful. For this purpose I also wrote article. But when business concerns an insult of memory of the victims of fascism, it is necessary to approach this symbol extremely carefully. Otherwise from all numerous values nazi will be assigned to a swastika forever.