During religious symbol used in a variety of

During the time of the Holocaust there was a symbol that dominated the land, it’s blood red color and white disk instilling fear in many people’s hearts. In the middle of the white circle of the flag was a pitch black crooked cross, a sign that is known as the swastika. During World War Two this emblem represented the Nazis, the German party set on wiping out people of Jewish descent. But, long before it was used in the Holocaust, the swastika was seen as a religious symbol. Nearly 5,000 thousand years before ever being used by Hitler, the swastika was used in a myriad of religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism (Holocaust Memorial Museum). It originally represented good luck and well-being. The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit, svastika, meaning good fortune. Sanskrit is an aged Indic language of India that many present day Indian languages are derived from. The swastika has been dated all the way back to the time period of Neolithic Eurasia (700 – 1700 BCE.). Hitler knew he needed a symbol that stood out to distinguish and attract people to his party, but it was not picked at random. There were specific reasons that Hitler chose this symbol to represent his party.  The hooked cross was used by the Aryan nomads of India, who the Nazis believed to be the ancestors to Germans, so Hitler determined it would be a perfect subject to use (Holocaust Teacher Resource Center). The sign was also dramatic and eye catching. It would be easy for the Nazis to separate themselves from other groups with this mark.    Even today you can still find the swastika being used in different religions. Hinduism still uses this symbol in its practices. Chinese, Korean, and Japanese also have the swastika found in some of their ancient art.  The swastika has been found all around the world, but now it is predominantly known as the symbol that represents death to millions of Jews. The swastika has a deep history going far past the time of the Holocaust. At first it was a religious symbol used in a variety of cultures and then was used to represent the Nazi party. It is surprising to think that such a small marking has become such an enormous part of human history.


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