The Swastika symbol

Like said before, I distance myself in every possible way from the ideology of nazis, racism or fascism. Nevertheless I once heard that the swastika, the symbol that has become the embodyment of Nazi-Germany and all the evil it stood for, was an ancient Egyptian symbol. So I decided to find out. I was partly right, so here's the full story:

The swastika

The Swastika is an ancient symbol of unknown origin that has been employed for thousands of years as a religious sign and a decorative emblem. It takes the form of an even cross with the arms bent in the middle at right angles; all bars point in the same direction, clockwise or counterclockwise. The swastika appeared in ancient China, Egypt, and India. It has been found on Greek coins, pre-Christian Celtic and Scandinavian artifacts, the catacombs of the early Christians in Rome, and Byzantine buildings. The swastika was widely used by American Indians. It represented the sun and infinity. In the 20th century, the swastika was adopted as the emblem of the Nazi party in German. Mistaking its origin, the Nazis regarded it as an "Aryan" symbol and linked it to the notion of their "racial superiority". When the war ended, the Allies banned display of the emblem, which had come to be indentified with the evils of Hitler's regime.

Copyright © 1993, Academic American Encyclopedia