Asked in Germany in WW2Symbolism and Symbolic MeaningsAdolf Hitler
Is the swastika a deformed cross?
July 12, 2011 7:28PM
Yes, the definition of a swastika is a curved cross. But not a Christian cross, since swastika's were around for centuries before Christianity. They have been used in Hindu religions for thousands of years.
No, the swastika is not a deformed Christian cross.
Before the symbol was used by the National Socialist German Workers' Party, also known as the Nazi party, it was a well respected symbol in Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma). It can be seen in many ancient and more modern drawings depicting Hindu spiritual scenes.
Hitler and the German socialists called the symbol a Hakenkreuz, and not a swastika. Although some of the leaders of the Nazi party were interested in the occult, it was very possible they were unaware that the swastika was an ancient auspicious symbol, and simply liked the design.
Even though hakenkreuz means hooked cross, it was merely descriptive and not intended to demean the Christian cross. Hitler professed to be a Catholic, twisted as his beliefs may have been in that regard.
The swastika is an ancient symbol that can be found even in native American Indian art. The swastika was painted on the aircraft as a personal insignia for both French, American, and German pilots during WW1. The US 45th Infantry Division originally used the swastika in the design of its Shoulder Sleeve Insignia to denote its origin in the Oklohoma area but had to change it to a Thunderbird in 1939 due to the connection with Nazi Germany.
According to Swastika, the Earliest Known Symbol and its Migrations by Thomas Wilson (1894), the oldest known archaeological evidence for the use of the swastika was from the city of Troy (Truva, in Hisarlık in Anatolia) dated to about 3000-2600BC. This makes the swastika a truly ancient human symbol.