Skip to main content

The Irony of Nazi Symbolism: Appropriating From the Cultures They Hate

I am an author with a master's in psychology who knows a thing or two about novel writing.



This symbol has a very long history in pre-Christian religions and certainly way before the Aryan nation came along. The Swastika was originally used by Hindus and Buddhists all over Asia as a symbol of luck and well being in Sanskrit. Putting it clockwise means prosperity and the sun. This has been around for millennia and many cultures have used it as a positive symbol. Even before the World Wars, some Christian and Catholic churches used the symbol in a positive light.

Nowadays, the Swastika is widely known as a Nazi symbol if not the symbol. The Nazis had the Swastika stand for Nazi pride and nationalism. It could be seen on arm bands, vehicles, flags, and just about anything you could think of during the World Wars. It is sadly still prevalent today.

The only possible difference one may note in the symbol to separate it from the positive and negative meanings is that the Nazis used it where the angles were upright, so it was more in a diamond shape, whereas the older versions were flat on the sides. It was more like a square shape.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Soapboxie

The Black Sun

The Black Sun, also known as Schwarze Sonne, meaning the sun wheel, is a symbol found on medieval Germanic brochettes and belts. The symbol is suggested to have meant the stages of the sun through the year. The seasons during pre-Christian eras and early Christian eras were extremely important for survival. They didn't have computers or weathermen to find out when it would be the best time to plant and gather food and natural resources. The sun dictated people's lives back then. The sun is still a huge importance to pagans and neo-pagans to this day.

The Nazis took this symbol into their symbolism to promote the Aryan nation. They found this symbol in a mosaic pattern in the floor at Wewelsburg Castle in Germany around 1934 when the SS used the castle for a gathering place under Heinrich Himmler. The main reason they took this symbol was that they felt if you put three to five Swastikas within a circle, this would be the image that would be created.


The Othala Rune

The Othala, also known as Odal, rune from the Elder Futhark rune has been around for almost a millennium. Created by the Norse and Scandinavians, it continued to be adopted by other cultures throughout the centuries all the way into the Anglo-Saxon Futhark. The symbol stands for "Heritage" and "Inheritance," and it was also used in the runic alphabet as the letter "O." Pagans of old and neo-pagans still continue to use the runes in divination and in esoteric writings to this day.

The Nazis appropriated this symbol for a few reasons. Nazis believe that Scandinavian individuals tend to be as pure as you can get for the Aryan nation as many have blonde hair, blue eyes, and strong builds. The meaning of the Othala rune of heritage and inheritance supports the Nazi's idea of their white heritage and the rights that go along with being white as "inherent."

Final Thoughts

Most symbols used today were used in an earlier time and often stood for a very different meaning. I just wanted to touch on a few of the more well-known pagan-based symbols that were hijacked by the Nazis and are still used today by extremists. Of course, there were many more symbols appropriated by Nazis over the years, especially ones that derive from the Christian faith and other belief systems. Let us just use this as a reminder that what was once good can be seen as bad, but what was once was bad can sometimes be seen as good again.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Related Articles