iam:swastika-freakshop (swastika freakshop, bodensee germany)

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

122 thoughts on “SAVE THE SWASTIKA!

  1. OK, so German wearing swastikas does not strike me as a good thing….
    As a white American i dont use the word “Nigger”….

    i tend to feel if a group has brutally misused a word or symbol then they have lost the right to use it. im sure thier motives are good, but it still creeps me out and makes me wonder if its a slap in the face of all those dead Jews, gays, Polish, etc ….

  2. im german and i dont count me on the side of the group that missused the swastika

    keep fighting for the swastika marc!!!


  3. i absolutely love it.

    In response to number two… the n word was never a word used in a good way, since its origin its been offensive. The swastika’s original meaning was a good one.

  4. peteD3 you’ve obviously missed the point even though you said ‘i’m sure their motives are good’

    i admit my first ‘exposure’ to the symbol was in history class where we learned of the reign of Hitler, but, i found later that the ‘swastika’ had deeper roots

    accept that the symbol’s true meaning is peace and well being, or the Nazi’s win… i was sad when it was ‘removed’ from windows wingdings font, i didn’t see the point

    this image on the foot says to “me” a balance of feelings of the heart and how modern society simply wants you to cover up true meaning of history (wear a sock!)

    ok now back to work i guess :)

  5. peteD3 – This dude hasn’t used the swastika wrong, so unless you’re suggesting that people should be punished for the crimes of their grandparents, I think your point doesn’t make much sense.

  6. oh, and PeteD3: Go to his page and read up on the “why and “what” on his use and understanding of the swastika. If you don’t speak German: He DEFINITELY is NOT associated with nazi ideology in any way, on the contrary. I`ve met him, and he is a really nice person.

  7. Come on guys, that’s like saying we should celebrate the enriching of Uranium because a very long time ago it was considered a break through.

    Stains of the past are still stains.
    Hate to bring politics into this, but seriously it’s inevitable.

  8. my little brother just had me tattoo one on his foot middle of last week

  9. Well,
    I’m from Germany and I like it for the way it’s meant, but also understand what pete3D says. It also feels kind of jerky to me every time an american says that they only want to bring democracy to the lands they are bombing.

    What I try to say is that you are an american, but I don’t blame you that other americans right now kill people for just not beeing like they want them to be. And then a guy from germany can not tato a swastika ti him? Even if he’s saying and showing that he wear it for it’s first meaning and not for the one it’s most known for?

    Till short before the 2nd Worldwar nearly every Christmascard, especially in America, was printed with a Swastika on it.
    Even today the maps in Taipeh use the Swastia for indicating a temple. Right next to a cross shown for churches. Should we start jelling if someone tattooes a cross? What would you say about that?

    We modern germans didn’t kill jews. Our Grandparents eventualy did, al least tolerated it. but we didn’t. What about a german beeing buddhist? Should he not bee allowed to wear a sign of his “religion” ?

  10. Germany != Nazideutschland
    Gemans != Nazis

    there will always be idiots who think that they are better humans because they are white oder blonde or earn more money or have the longer dick or whatever. but that doesn’t mean we are all nazis. there are rumours that some germans doesn’t like sauerkraut. imagine! ;-)

  11. I’ve read through everyone elses comments and took it into consideration. I agree not all Germans are Nazi’s, thats in the past and I also understand that the swastica didnt orginally come from the nazi’s they stole it from tribes and buddhists, the signs orginal meaning is peace or so i’m told.

    My boyfriend wanted the swastica tattooed on him not for the reason of the nazi’s but for it’s old meaning. But i’m still against it because its all ive ever known that the nazi’s had used it which has made me have a hatred against it, plus alot of other people would see it a different way, the nazi reason.

    It’s up to the person if they want it tattooed on them if its for the right reason but i said to my boyfriend i will never like it for reasons of my own.

  12. I hope holocaust survivors, and their offspring, feel as positive about this sentiment, but I highly doubt it. And its coming out of Germany?! Ironic.

  13. although it was a sign of peace years ago, I think the meaning of it has changed a lot. most people will associate it with nazis.
    I dont like swatsikas.

  14. I understand and respect the intent of these people, I just think that the western world needs another 50 years or so to heal before they can start being comfortable again with it in western society.

  15. People will keep associating it with Nazis if not told otherwise…if not told the history of this symbol, and what it can also mean, n used to mean.

  16. thanks for all nice comments. i love the swastikas and all people who says thats a nazi sign. shit on you – you are the ignorant people who hate other cultures. make a modern bookburning an kill the swastika sign.

    i don’t do it. i fight for the true. and this is that a swastika is not a fucking nazi sign.


  17. i don`t think that as sign ist more importend than the feelings
    of those people, who had to suffer in the name of this sign in the past.

    if my neighbour would be very afraid of snakes and would please me, if i were so polite not to wear t-shirts with snakes on it, because he gets really bad feeling when seeing it. i would say “ok..i understand you..” and its no problem not to use snakeshirts ;-) and the last thing , that would be in my mind, is to fight for wearing snakeshirts…lol
    i don`t understand why for those, who think they must fight for the svastika, those neighbours are less importent then the sign. btw..its also a problem of justice…when the german gouverment does not allow the
    use of this sign (because its a provokation..and other reasons connected with identification of fashists) , where is
    the point ? who can say what is good…what is bad use ?
    its a difficult thing to decide…but to fight for that sign ? here in germany ? senseless….
    i cant get the point…

  18. The swastika is a nearly universal symbol of peace thousands of years old. Then the Nazi Party adopts it 80 years ago and all that history erases from Western Culture. Are you going to shun a person from Indonesia who has a swastika tattooed on them?

    If people don’t make it a point to show the ill-informed that it’s not a Nazi symbol, then it will remain a nazi symbol in western culture.

  19. hey marc…i know the sign..i know thats a “good” sign in very many other cultures..but here is it a “bad” sign which is connected with a very cruel part of our hitory..its in our its not ignorant to speak about this sign in its “bad” meaning…its ignorant not to think about the feelings, that other people have here in germany, when they see that sign.

    lol…—> “shit on you – you are the ignorant people who hate other cultures.” hey marc….nicely spoken. good behaviour ;-)

  20. #25, that’s a terrible analogy. Fear of a snake T-shirt is a phobia, an irrational fear. If I had a neighbor who had a problem with my snake T-shirt, I would tell them to either look away or seek psychiatric help if he doesn’t want it to bother him. I seriously doubt an army of people wearing snake t-shirts attempted genocide on his culture.

  21. hey joe (lol), you really say that a phobia is real …but the
    fear of people, that live or lost somebody in that time isn´t
    important enough to respect it ? don`t point me on
    that snakeshirt-thing…i thought you understand what
    i was trying to say. there are people, that have really
    bad feelings with that sign. i respect that. so i would
    never use it in public. can do what u want, but
    in my opinion its not worth to fight for “a sign”. hey joe..
    (i love to say ….”hey joe”) ;-)

  22. “I seriously doubt an army of people wearing snake t-shirts attempted genocide on his culture.” lol…my too…but i would also seriously doubt that an army of people wearing red armlet
    with an very old religious sunsymbol…hey (joe) but that really happend ;-))

  23. don´t get me wrong…everybody has the right to wear a tattooed thoughts were about
    the idea to fight for the freedom of that sign or the fact,
    that people get confronted with that sign in public. :-)

  24. also, the swastikas he has on his foot are pretty obviously hindu or jain swastikas (curved ends, tapering to a point with dots), not the simple, blocky version abused earlier this century.
    I’m sure he understands that people may have a problem with this, it’s not a decision to take lightly to tattoo something so often misunderstood on your body
    (and for the record, I have swastika tattoos and no, I am not a fascist)

  25. It was not the German people who misused the swastika, it was the Nazi Party. Many of the people who suffered because of Hitler were also German people. If a German wants to join the effort to reclaim the swastika, he has every right and should be welcomed. Maybe it is time to reclaim the original, positive connotations of the swastika. The movement HAS started. It is time we healed.

  26. I think it’s a great idea to tell the original meaning of the swastika but, like it or not, it now means something evil. This symbol arise in a lot of cultures in the word and had a lot of different meanings, like infinity, fertilty, well-being, luck, sun, fire. All this concepts may be represented as well with a lot of symbols that don’t carry a negative significance. So if you are buddhist go and use, otherwhise i think it’s only provocative and in some cases offensive
    sorry for my english

  27. I must admit that I have a problem with the whole idea of “reclaiming” the swastika as a peace symbol. I’m not certain why doing so is a positive step. It was used as a symbol of something unimaginably evil, and insisting that people should not have the associations they do with it seems to me completely pointless. I understand the impulse to try to erase the negative meaning, but what exactly is the purpose of doing so? The symbol has been perverted, and rehabilitating it will not change the atrocities that were commited with it as an emblem.

    I physically recoil when I see a swastika, and while I certainly accept that the intention behind this tattoo is a good one, is the swastika a symbol that we need? Perhaps we SHOULD react with horror to the swastika. It shows we haven’t forgotten the events that sullied it as a symbol.

    Of course, I think people should be able to display whatever symbols they want. Iif the swastika is deeply meaningful for someone, for example, if it has religous significance, then that’s fine. I just don’t see why it should be deliberately placed in a culture where it has already aquired such a distinct and horrific meaning.

  28. Oh the irony in saying that the Nazis destroyed the symbol and continuing to support that destruction by attempting to enshrine it as an “evil” symbol. Evil isn’t destroyed by constraining it to the darkness — evil is destroyed by filling it with light.

  29. Shannon, I am not attempting to “enshrine” anything. The swastika has a very specific, negative meaning for many people, including me. I simply wonder what is to be gained by attempting to deliberatly erradicate that meaning. I honestly don’t see how doing so will fill anything with light, or destroy evil in any way. It will simply change the meaning of a symbol.

  30. i’m not really up on this thing, but don’t the right facing and left facing swastika’s have different meanings?

  31. Mirmir – When you say “MY negative interpretation of the swastika is the most important one, and we need to remember it forever”, that’s EXACTLY what you’re doing, whether it’s your intent or not.

    Obsessing over evil is a real good way to fill your life with evil.

  32. Shannon, I don’t believe that aknowledgment of evil is the same thing as obsessing over it. The meaning is there. Trying to erase it strikes me as a fairly superficial attempt at pretending evil doesn’t exist.

  33. Mirmir – Well, let me frame it differently. If the Nazis had used the Christian Cross as their symbol, do you think that the Christian Cross should be eliminated?

    The Nazi’s stole a symbol and used it badly for a few years. I don’t think a suitable response is to say “I value the Nazi contributions to history more than everyone else, and that’s the only version of the swastika I can see”. I think the correct response is to take it back…

  34. Shannon, you definitely make a good point. I really do see your side of this.

    I wouldn’t say that my reaction is one of valuing the Nazi contribution, so much as an aknowledgment of its significance. I agree that there is an appeal in reclaiming the symbol, but I think it might be best to admit that the swastika (like the cross) has a complex history. I am perfectly happy to see the swastika used as you suggest, but I disagree with attempting to erase its negative significance. Just as the cross has been used to represent things that are evil, yet still retains its meaning as a source of inspiration and comfort, I think it may eventually be possible to reconcile the old meaning of the swastika with the one it aquired in the twentieth century. That reconciliation will likely be a gradual process, and I’m not certain that a movement to erase the negative meaning is neccesarily the best way to go about achevieng this.

  35. (I should have phrased my comments about the cross more carefully. I meant “just as the cross has OCCASSIONALLY been used to represent things that are evil.” The majority of the time, obviously, it has not.)

  36. Mirmir – If the dominant use of the swastika was negative I might agree, but the amount of negative use versus positive use is really minor when you look at the big picture.

    But I think that the cross is a good example — a lot stronger case could be made for the cross being a symbol of evil given some of the folks that have used it and for what (even currently)… But because we’re Westerners and have grown up with the cross as a largely unoffensive symbol, we don’t tell people to avoid it.

  37. Shannon- But as Westerners, I think it’s fair to say that most of us are more familiar with the negative meaning of the swastika than the positive. Though it’s true that it has a longer, widespread history of being a perfectly innocent symbol, it has been used relatively recently, on a large scale as a negative one. In terms of the world, and all of history, you are correct, but in terms of Western culture in the last hundred years, it has been predominantly an evil symbol.

  38. I’m the Devil’s advocate of course so in this case i must argue for the cause of the Swastika. In many cultures it stood for spiritual enlightenment and positive spirits and then came the Nazis, which begs the question, why exactly is the German swastika such a negative symbol? It stood for the German’s pride in their country, cause, and new way of life. Were the ways they did things humane and kind? Absolutely not, however, that is not the swastika’s fault is it? Shouldn’t the German swastika be viewed as a symbol of rebirth of a broken country to a great, united albiet, misguided one?

    On the subject of the cross (one of my personal favorites) even the very beginnings of it were of “gasp” pagan origins. Another object stolen er, used by the christians for their own use. This particular one was taken from the Babylonians but ultimately the event that leads to what most believe is the origin of the cross is the act of crucifixion of that jesus guy. So let me get this straight, a symbol of a god’s child death who didn’t have to die but whose father made him die anyways to absolve the sins which the god created but didn’t have to is supposed to be good? So this supposed universal symbol of good is of pointless sacrifice? Let’s mention the millions to die in the name of the cross (crusades, witch hunts world wide, inquisitions, genocide of the Native Americans due to their native beliefs and refusal to convert, oh yeah, and Hitler although heavily into the occult was also a big fan of the bible He thought the Jews were the serpents in the light the bible talked about). No thanks, Batman. Revoke the cross before the swastika.

  39. why is it the swastika which is so important for you?
    for me the history really did modify it’s meanings..and, sad but a fact, that most peolple feel similar. there are other symbols about the unity of cosmics-just think about quadrats, or the five pointed stars-you do have other choice than swastika. i think it does need more time to get rid of the nazi meaning in europe, specially in germany.and we have to understand it..ipersonally have no problem with swastika, but i feel like we shouldnt use it coz of the misusal it went through… and they do use it on the east without any bad feelings, as they never misused it, so the symbol itself is not in danger.

  40. It doesn’t matter how much you want to fight to “reclaim” this symbol as a positive sign. +6 million dead people under this sign, if it had been a heart as a symbol instead it wouldn’t have made a difference to me.

    This is honestly a loss of time.

  41. I think unless you live in a culture where the swastika is still a common symbol for peace, you shouldn’t don it just to “bring it back”, no matter the intentions. It’s unfortunate that a symbol for peace has been misused, and now is commonly viewed as a negative symbol…but there are some things where when cultural wounds haven’t healed yet public opinion should have influence over symbols that are portrayed. I’m not saying the tattooing of this symbol shouldn’t be allowed…I believe anyone should be able to get whatever they want tattooed on their body. I just, personally, think this is one of those cases where it’s more important to take into account the victims feelings, rather than make this statement.
    I can’t help but wonder if the people that get these tattooed on themselves would feel comfortable explaining their reasoning if sitting down and having dinner with a Jewish family. Being confronted with someone who has been directly affected by the negativity associated with this symbol, and is the point really worth making?

  42. Interesting. As an East Indian, I’ve been drawing “good” Indian swastikas for 30 years. (They look like the one on the foot above.) But when I went to get my second tattoo in 2000, the artist mumbled something about lots of ugly tattoos in the world and didn’t talk to me after that.

    I had basically made a monogram of my three initials, with the R backwards and the foot of the K into a braided dragon’s tail. Above the monogram, I had what looked like a dragon’s beak over a crescent and a “good” swastika.

    I waited in the artist’s shop for 2 hours, having left work early from Toronto. But in the end, when she ignored me for that long, even though I was early, I walked out of the shop and never returned to her, even my first tattoo by her was great.

    To this day, I haven’t bothered getting another tattoo. I was so pissed off. But I’m hoping that when I move back to Toronto, I’ll go to Way Cool and see if I can get it done, along with a whole bunch of others I’ve designed over the years – some with “good” swastikas.

  43. While not as extreme, would someone with a cross tattooed on them feel comfortable sitting down at the table with the family of someone who was killed by Christian fundamentalists and explaining their reasoning?

  44. i dont think the peacefull meaning of a 1000 year old symbol should be completely disregaurded(?) because of WW2. and saying that it has become evil or its meaning has been changed because of an event ,no matter how horrible it may be, is for lack of a better word retarded. i mean come on since cutting because of depresion and mental illness has come into the public eye in the past years does this mean all people with self inflicted scars, or body mods in general are depressed or mentally ill.but thats just me

  45. It’s all too recent to made into anything other than the hated symbol for the horrible people that made it their own. Fuck the nazi’s and anyone that thinks the swastika is “cool”. This happened only recently, relative to world history, it’s still VERY raw to a lot of people. All this bullshit that you all go on about….you have to be kidding. It’s a symbol known for its association with nazis. Go on, go to your local school or shopping center or anywhere else for that matter, ask a cross section of people, not just wannabe wankers…..ask them what it means to them. 5 will get you 10 that it’s Hitler and his henchmen.

  46. bold tat. i like it.
    untill helping my son with a history project, i had no idea the roots of the symbol. we were happily surprized.

  47. Oh, hell.
    I’m tired of this.
    I am a Jew. Know what? I also wear swastika plugs. My family understands, supports, and encourages it; even the older members, who you might think would violently oppose the idea.

  48. Pfft. That’s nothing. Get it tattooed on your stomach and show it off at your high school, then we’ll talk.

    I like the style of the swastikas themselves, but I think the text is poorly done and boring.

  49. I have swastikas in my tribal on my upper thigh, and I knew they were going there, and I meant them to be benevolent. I love this tattoo and the sentiment behind it.


  50. Annab- you’re not a jew, you’re a moron. I’ll bet the older folk in your family think your swastikas are great. Yeah right! Bullshit.

  51. oh man. when the nazis used the swastikas. its over 60 jears ago. i want to reclaim the nezt gerneration so that the world can use this beautiful sign again. the swastika is over 14000 years old ald spread in all cultures over the world. i’m not a nazi or a person who likes the shit what they doing, then the meaning of the swastikas is not killing and hate. check this side.
    get your own info and be not so stupid. open your mind and look not bad on this sign. than make your own meaning about swastikas…

    thats what i want. the swastika sign its inocent so please save him


  52. … and what about crosses, when you have Ku Klux Klan in mind? the ancient romans used crosses to nail people on it.
    should the christian symbology be forbidden?

  53. yeah marc! save the swastika :) i used to not understand the positive meanings of the swastika but once i researched it i learned so much. now your tattoo made me tear up because i know that you got it for good reasons. the people saying it’s a bad thing are ignorant, don’t let them bother you! save the swastika!

  54. #53, if I had a swastika tattoo, I would be just as comfortable explaining it to a Jewish family as I would any other family. Are you implying that people with proper swastika tattoos have a problem with talking to Jewish people, or any other people?

  55. ok guys guys guys…

    germans aint nazis, just because nazi-ism started in the country doesnt mean everyone was. (if you think about it you could argue it started in austria)

    plus it wasnt just germans, so i dont see why people give them such a hard time if they’re gonna leave the other places that marched under the same banner and acted the same way alone.

    oh yeah, and it look amazing man


  56. The thing is that, in Germany, displaying swastikas (in any form) in public is
    ILLEGAL – and not ‘just a misdemeanor’ but “punishable with up to three
    years in prison” as it violates section 86 of the German criminal code
    (“Verwenden von
    Kennzeichen verfassungswidriger Organisationen
    “, read here
    for an english-language in-depth article on that).
    Just recently, there was a highly publicized case of a shop owner selling punk-style anti-nazi paraphernalia/merchandise that nonetheless depicted swastikas being sentenced to a fine and getting his business shut down – this verdict entailed a public outcry, led to prominent politicians publicly wearing these anti-nazi symbols and eventually
    got everturned by an appeals court
    (read more: Case
    in Germany Puts An Old Taboo to the Test
    , which sums it up pretty good)
    So, by having one tattooed on you as a German you certainly send a message and make a statement. And I can only draw my hat before anyone who does.

  57. Hardly anybody -wants- to use the swastika with it’s negative meanings in today’s society. I know the holocaust was a bad thing but getting hung up about it won’t help.
    The sooner the swastika can be re-used for it’s original meaning the better.

  58. Should we stop using the cross as a symbol?? After all look at all the pain it represents. Crusades, inquisitions, general torture in the name of God, bigotry, homophobia……..list is pretty much endless.

  59. Normally, on such epic threads as this, I feel it pointless to comment as everyone has usually said as much as can be said.

    However, as the owner of a stealth swastika tat (a circular manji) who has been outside of his home continent and happens to be a Jew, I feel comfortable putting in my two cents and will do so in the form of a story.

    Many years ago I was in Japan with a group of fellow students. The family I was staying with had a GPS navigation system with a color screen. This was the late 90′s mind you making it one of the cooler gadgets I’d seen. So Im riding shotgun one day on the way to see a Buddhist temple and I look at the GPS screen and I see a big swastika. I tensed up for a moment but then rationality took over.

    I already knew that the swastika was an ancient symbol but never really thought about it much. I knew then that the swastika was our temple and more importantly I had a powerful realization regarding individual and cultural perspective.

    My point, the symbol is still used all over the world and I think deserves to be redeemed for future generations.

  60. The difference in the Hindu swastika which is pictured above and the “German” one is so significant…They face in completely opposite directions…Its really sad that people can not over look what they think if wrong to realize that this symbols mean Peace and Harmony…Once again I am not surprised by peoples ignorance

  61. I’m always amazed at how many people obsess over which way the swastika is facing. It’s a red herring, and really not THAT important, and certainly not something definitively differentiating.

  62. heya, i i NO WAY meant to imply that i think this individual is a nazi. i am familliar with the pre-nazi meaning of the swastika and appreciate people who are trying to ‘take it back’. i also dont believe anyone should be held accountable for the crimes of their granparents, but sensitivity to the mis-deeds of your culture or society is something else. reclaiming the symbol is a great idea, but (for me) sensitivity to those who suffered under that symbol is WAY more important. waving around a swastika in front of survivors or family memebers of those murdered in the holocaust is a horrible thing to do…even if your intentions are good.
    just my opinion.

    remember: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  63. I’m mixed on the swastika issue. I find the reclaimation process to be an interest one. However, it is one that I believe absolutely *must* be approached with a great deal of sensitivity. Calling people who have a visceral, instinctive negative reaction to this symbol ignorant, moronic or idiotic is hugely inappropriate. Regardless of the fact that it is an ancient symbol with benevolent meanings, that fact of the matter is is that it is a symbol under which a horrific genocide occured, whether we like it or not.

    As for comment #71, this statement: “I know the holocaust was a bad thing but getting hung up about it won’t help.” Wow. OK, to start with, calling the holocaust a “bad thing” is one of the greatest understatement of a person’s life time. There are no words to convey the depth of the horror that was the holocaust. It’s entirely understandable for people to “get hung up on it.” And telling them not to is this hugely privileged statement. I would liken it to a white person telling a person of color that their slavery, genocide and oppression was a long time ago, and to get over it already. It’s just not ok.

    Like I said, I’m intrigued by the history of the swastika and the process of de-vilifying it. I’m certainly not saying that it’s a symbol that should be banned, because that will give the negative connotation even more power. However, denying a person’s right to be upset when faced with a swastika is, in my opinion, the wrong way to go about it. Insulting people who are horrifyied by the symbol is devisive as well as cruel. The stigma of the swastika is *not* going to go away overnight. It’s going to be a long, uphill process, and the bloodstains on it may *never* go away.

  64. You guys act as if somewhere in my response I mentioned the Christian cross. I did not. For the record, I think that someone with a cross tattooed on their body should be just as sensitive about the issue, considering the similar conditions behind that spiritual statement. Jamie spoke eloquently saying the same thing I did…that the sensitivity behind this issue is important. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary.
    Anaab, I congratulate you on having an understanding family, but I believe (although I admit I could be wrong, but it’s just a feeling here) in most cases, the families affected by the tragedy that was WWII aren’t going to understand it. At least not immediately.

    And no, I was not implying that people with proper swastika tattoos are going to have a problem with talking to Jewish people. I was simply trying to bring to mind that people are going to have reactions to this tattoo, and they are mainly going to be negative, and is fingering a still raw wound really the way to make it heal? This goes back to the sensitivity thing. If you have a swastika tattoo and are confronted with someone who was a victim of the evil done in its name, and you’re comfortable with saying “oh no, this tattoo… I don’t mean it like that, I mean it like what it used to stand for” then thats cool, and I respect you for having the fortitude to do so.

    I like what TeaDream had to say about his experience with confronting the symbol, but I guess I don’t expect most people to be half so rational. But I think its important to note that the swastika he saw was also in a cultural context.

    I think Jamie right above here explained my feelings on this issue the best.

  65. To the people that are saying “lol it mi hav ment sumthin good 100′s of yers ago, but now cos’ of teh nazis it means sumthing bad” I say “grow up and learn something.”

    Just because a group of people took this symbol and abused it does not change it fundimental meaning.

    The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit svastika – “su” meaning “good,” “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” as a suffix.
    The swastika is an ancient symbol that has been used for over 3,000 years. (That even predates the ancient Egyptian symbol, the Ankh!) Artifacts such as pottery and coins from ancient Troy show that the swastika was a commonly used symbol as far back as 1000 BCE.

  66. Danielle, I don’t see what you’re accomplishing by being condescending. I can’t speak for society at large, so I will speak for myself. I see a swastika, the immediate meaning it calls to my mind is Nazism. Is that unfortunate? Absolutely. But when you talk about a symbol’s “fundamental meaning,” I have to ask what it is you mean. A symbol has the meaning that society gives it. Western society has, in recent years, made the swastika a symbol of hate.

    I respect your position, but I’d ask you to respect mine as well, and not imply that the fear and revulsion a swastika inspires in me is a moral or intellectual failing on my part.

  67. Danielle, I don’t recall seeing anyone say “lol it mi hav ment sumthin good 100’s of yers ago, but now cos’ of teh nazis it means sumthing bad” or anything close to it. Your condescending and irreverant attitude is the kind of negative response I’m talking about. No matter how much you quote Wikipedia, the fact remains that the swastika brings up strong negative feelings in some people, and with just cause. A more gentle and understanding attitude is a must for a process of reclaimation. Trivializing a person’s pain never did anyone any good, and frankly, it doesn’t make you look very good, either.

  68. am I the only one who wonders how, exactly, this guy is “reclaiming” the swastika…. can you reclaim as positive something that wasn’t a positive part of your culture or nation or (insert historically-rooted qualifier here) to begin with? Perhaps the people who are “reclaiming” the swastika are and should be the peoples it was robbed from, not the peoples who’s nation appropriated it (not to mention the peoples who use it through well-meaning cultural appropriation).

  69. The cross has been used as a symbol of repression from the Crusades, to the Inquisitions, to “civilizing” native tribes, to wiping out whole cultures. There was a direct link from the Vatican to Nazi powers that were.
    And the good ol boys in the KKK burned crosses on the property of Jews and non-whites.

    I don’t see why the original swastika can’t be reclaimed as it’s original benevolent symbol someday. The Christian cross has thousands of years of blood (including the blood of Jews in the Holocaust, behind it) and it’s still a quite popular symbol.

  70. BTW, I’m Jewish, and what brings up “negative feelings” isn’t so much the swastika, but those who hid behind the coats of the Nazis with their hands in the cookie-jar too.
    And came out smelling like a rose and pointing fingers.

  71. I read something to this effect once:

    “The nazis tatooed numbers on the jews to identify them. Now they tattoo themselves so that we can identify them.”

    To reclaim the swastika now ruins our system.

  72. Saying “You’re not a Jew, you’re a moron” kind of negates any intelligent contributions you might have made to this fucking discussion, David.


  73. I think you are understating nazism and holocaust. 6 million of people tortured and killed and a legacy of violence and racism are at least as strong as thousends of years of good intentions when it comes to give a symbol its meaning.
    ps sorry for my english

  74. I am a Jew and proud. I have many family members who died in the War, both fighing for the allies and as victims in the occupied nations. Some of my family members survived. There is a word in Hebrew that is very important to all Jews – Tzochor- it means remembrance. It is one every memorial to every victim. Not just remembrance of the 6 million plus Jews who died as a consequence of Nazi and collaborator actions, but remembrance of the gays, the disabled, the Gypsies and those who tried to stand up against evil and failed.

    The reason why the swasticka has such horrible connotations is because so many people were directly affected. Every one of us attempting free speech would have been picked out – think about it!

    Nazi-ism and its ugly sister fascism are alive and well in the Western world and the symbol for this unfortunately, is still the swasticka. I know out local Hindu Temple had some very expensive gates made with swastickas wrought in iron ion them, only to be asked by the local Muslim Temple to remove them. After going to court, it was decided that the gates were offensive and should be removed.

    In modern times we should stand back and consider our actions. We understand that there are older meanings to certain symbols – the double sowelo rune, as used by the SS is also another issue, but can you justify a tattoo of that?

    Yes, people should be educated, but this would require a full and complete education, and awareness of all issues involved. I feel that this indivual should, perhaps have had a little more though about his(?) tattoo. Who is he reclaiming it for? I have many Heathen (Asatru and Vanadis) friends who would like to reclaim many runes and the swasticka, but they take a third route, by using the softer sunwheel- the swasticka with curved arms and sometimes more than 4. This way the question can be asked – “what is that?” and a reply can be given which will not cause offense.

    The Eastern world does not have the same associations as the Western world with this symbol and it is with this context that the issue should also be held in mind. I note also that the tattoo is on the owners foot- interesting- again I ask who is the sentiment really for?

  75. Wow, I had no idea so much was going on around the topic of saving the swastika. I believe this is a time that calls for warriors of sacred imagination. I personally thank all of you for this enriching dialogue and especially those of you who are Friends of the Swastika and willing to speak out or tattoo swastikas on yourselves..


  76. Any educated person knows the history of the swasika and only a small percentag is hate. smaaaaaalllllll percentage

  77. i wonder if there was a post of someone donning swastikas tats (and i’m sure there has been, too tired to look for it right now) in a hateful biggoted way….
    would it get the same response?

    or, if some cult desided they wanted to use the modern peace symbol for their cause, and went out and tried to commit mass genocide…..
    would you feel the same way?

  78. Did u hear about the dyslexic cow who achived enlightenment ??? She kept saying ~OOOOOOMMMMM~
    Lol If ur stuck at a four way traffic light and ur late to work why not just take off into the sky . I should maybe read the posts hear but all I want to do is think about my life ~OM~ p.s fuck u moderator ~_0

  79. ManWoman- I’m sorry, but it’s been my impression that you’ve devoted a good portion of your life to “saving the swastika.” How can you not have known about all that was “going on around the topic?” Is this really the first time you’ve recognized the controversey involved in what you are trying to do, the people who are likely to be hurt or offended by the idea?

  80. Mirmir- Of course this is not the first time I have realized the controversy of what I have been doing. I could tell you some hairy story of upset people who reacted to my swastika tats. It just that I’m not that computer literate and have just discovered this forum, which is great. It gives me great joy to see this idea spread into pop culture. A girl from New Zealand emailed me excitedly a couple weeks ago saying that she planned to get a swastika tattoo on her jawline. Since she is 18 and I am 69, I didn’t think it appropriate for me to say Wow, go ahead. Instead I encouraged her to start by painting it on. She will have to deal with her family since she is Jewish and this is a lifetime commitment. I have had some dangerous moments.

  81. ManWoman- It’s hard to get tone across on the internet, so understand that I’m not asking this question in an antagonistic way, but a genuinely curious one:

    You say you’re 69 years old. Do you think you’d have the same attitude towards the swastika if you’d been born 69 years ago in Europe?

  82. Mirmir- I was given this mission by my dreams and visions after a spiritual awakening so I believe I would still be working to Save the Swastika no matter where I was born. My Polish mother had a sister and nephew in Auschwitz so I had difficulty with my family anyways.

  83. Mirmir-Perhaps bearing in mind that tattoos, are actually against the Jewish religion (look it up if you dont believe me) the New Zealander – and any other Jewish person, should consider the impact of any tattoo on their body.

    No Jew can be buried with a tattoo and this can cause great distress to many families- that was part of the horror of the tattoo’ed numbers. All tattoo have to be cut off a body, so not just the impact af such a contorversial symbol, but the full impact of a tattoo and in sucha visual area should be considered as well.

    BTW is it as in Mirmirs well???

  84. I’m really loving this particular thread. With a few exceptions, it’s had a lot of really thought-provoking comments and respectful discussion.

  85. purple- Actually, although you’re certainly correct that the Jewish religion has traditionally been against tattooing, I believe most Reform congregations are fairly ok with tattoos these days. I’ve certainly never heard of them being cut off the body. And tattooing that was forced upon the recipieant has always been considered an exception

    I do see your point though, that for a Jew to be tattooed with a swastika would potentially be a double blow for their family.

    (No, it’s just a nickname I’ve got…my first name is Miriam. What’s Mirimirs well?)

  86. Mirmir- Some Reform congregations do tolerate tattoos – but on the whole in order to be buried, they are cut off of a body and buried seperately – a standard practice in most communities, including Liberal ones. This was one of the big problems that was had by the parents of my best friend when she decided to get her tattoos. BTW earpiercing is also against the religion, but much less shocking to most.

    Mirmir or Mimirs Well is one of the places of knowledge in heathenry (Asatru).

  87. Mirmir – In Russian “Mir” means peace. I too am loving this thread.
    I also want to plug my book Gentle Swastika: Reclaiming the Innocence which is sold by BMEshop at
    It has many rare photos of unique swastika history spanning the world over many centuries. Cowboys, Indians, Coca Cola, Carlsberg Beer, Rudyard Kipling and three Canadian hockey teams all used the swastika in the early part of the last century before the war. Jackie Kennedy as a girl in an Indian dress and lampposts in Los Angeles. An eye-opening investigation.

  88. LoL hehehe I have an apointment to get a real big swastika tattooed on my front shoulder should make a real big impresion when Im at the va hospital withthe world war 2 vets or do u think with the other jews at the bagel place lol im not really sure more than likey the bagel toasted well done with a little butter plz …~_0 O i guess u didnt know that every other year is bi=anual I would think that if u researched the fractal universe one might find a swastika corilation somewhere ,,,

  89. I actually always thought that the swastika as the Nazis used it were double S’s to signify schutstaffel. In which case maybe it’s just sort of a coincidence that their swastika so closely resembles the original symbol?

  90. Bradly and others on this page. If you have or get a non-nazi swastika tattoo, please send pics of them to me via my website so I can post them on Friends of the Swastika.
    I’m building a new website which will have lots of exciting Swasi tattoos.

  91. #110 I think that maybe u are somewhat if slightly off course .While id be real happy to send my pic what would b really even cooler to me is to have mine taken next to a nazi style tattoo on a rightous cool dude .If you do ur researcch if u havnt already there were rightsous nazi’s ,I guess it’s ~OM~ p.s. this is a job for” COOL ICE” or is it “ICE MAN” FUCK where is the dude when u need him ???

  92. Bradly is rather stupid, apparently.

    Accusing ManWoman of not knowing the history of the swat, and furthermore, lol, being generally stupid.


    This was sure interesting to read.

  93. I think that the more publicity the swastika’s real meaning is given the better.

    If we shouldn’t have a swastika because people maybe offended, then lets all stop pictures and tattoos of eagles the Nazi’s used them a lot as well, and why stop there, any with tanks, fighter jets, I’m pretty sure that people have and are right now being hurt by them also. I’ve seen some tattoos of guns that look like they are tucked into trousers, do you think that because people who get killed in gang wars or robberies get less publicity this is acceptable, yet those tattoos are not contradicted, no one saying how stupid it is, a gun has no good meaning, all it does is bring pain and suffering.

    People keep saying that the swastika doesn’t mean the same thing any more and that the 1st thing that pops into their heads is Nazism, I think that this would change people views of the Nazi’s from these murderers to these cowardly retarded murderers, who hid behind a peaceful symbol that contradicted every thing they did.

    I never thought about this issue of the swastika or did any research on the subject until I saw this tattoo and read every ones comments, so this simple act has changed my view and maybe countless others who haven’t voiced an opinion.

  94. “Perhaps the people who are ‘reclaiming’ the swastika are and should be the peoples it was robbed from, not the peoples who’s nation appropriated it (not to mention the peoples who use it through well-meaning cultural appropriation).”

    Actually, the swastika was an ancient native Germanic symbol as well, so they weren’t just ripping it off from foreign peoples. The very name even comes from an Indo-European language, and in case you didn’t know, the Indo-Europeans were the root linguistic/cultural group that Germanic peoples (as well as Celts, Baltic, Slavs, Indians, Indo-Iranians, etc.) stem from. Sooooo….Germans have just as much right to reclaim its original meaning as any other culture, especially since the swastika’s culture of origin eludes scholarly inquiry. It’s even been theorized that many cultures came up with the same symbol independent of each other.

  95. This thread is wonderful.
    Though i do not have one in ink, I’ve worn a pewter pendant bearing a celtic swastika, handed down to me from my grandmother, for many years now. i feel that the image that others see from such a powerful symbol, be it pos. or neg., comes from the canvas on which you display it. As many of the others may be, I am comfortable to explain my position in public. I understand that it has been used negatively, but I’m not willing to throw the game because of one suicide king in a bad hand. I do not offer a defense when there is no battle, i only offer the truth when there is a open ear. /:o)

  96. hell yeah save the swastika. all germanz should get a swastika tat to show there heritage, im gettin one when i get permission to get a tat from parentz.

  97. Deeper roots, and original intent, do not by any means, lessen the pain and horror experienced by those who knew, or still know its more prominant and hate-filled association with the decimation of children, elderly, and therefore, in my OPINION, the swastica IS a sign of weakness and fear, not to mention it is commonly an obvious and undeniable sign that associates who sport this image, have intent to carry on those hate-filled and immoral ideas of the man who made this image a world known visage of association with the Aryan brotherhood and the ideas that they support.

    Living in Germany in 2005, it was not, in ANY one of my ventures within groups of those who sported it, looked upon as much more than a gang-sign, and quite often those who were familiar with these people, avoided them to their greatest extent.

    If the original bible, had been written with intent to smite those who were not in agreeance with its ways. (yeah, imagine that, right)Or perhaops was the most pain and death causing book in the history of the world would it still be held in such high reguard?

    Obviously, yes.

    It is only those who act and serve with pure moral intent as a goal, who have the true power of knowlege unleashed.

    The swastica should be a sign of troubles that have passed, a reminder of the loved ones lost, and destroyed in an act of forgiveness, for the mourners of those who were ruled, murderd, and tortured under its reigh.

    Although I feel it is disturbing, and I dont agree with its public display, I feel you should have the ability to do so.

    And I am an American, by birth, and I KNOW my birth country is one of the most disgusting and horrible when it comes to genocide, torture, and control. I refuse to honor “Thanksgiving” and feel that the U.S. should forevor be looked down upon for the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention our repeated bullying and murdering of the citizens protecting their lands that we have recently invaded.

    I get sick when I see the “support our troops” magnets and stickers, and I wonder if those who have children overseas consider the fact that the children they so dearly care about, are without a doubt bringing heart-ache, pain, and loss to the families of those who are defending the lands they call their own.

    We are no better than those who carried the swastica badge into war years ago, although most Americans would spit on me for my views.

    Lets consider the abortion legal battles as well, when money is power, and capitalism and more workers generate this, the abortion standpoint carried by those who lead, and wish to conquor becomes more evident as a tool to prevent a drop in “worker bees” and let us not forget how much the Government makes from those who are found guilty of crime here, without even bringing privatized prisons into the equation, anti-abortion stands out as an obvious attempt to continue our rapid growth, prevent hinderance to the impact on our economy, army size, and “cattle” that we can farm through the prison system.

    More citizens = more money = more power = higher chances of the U.$.A.’s attempt at a single world government that we are allready attempting to grasp the basic neccesities for…. major control of current and future energy sources, centraly positioned army stations to our East, and that fucking joke they call “Democracy” that we are forcing upon people against their will, is simply a first step, in the claiming of other countries as our own, and expanding our reach closer and closer to your own lands…. Fuck, let us pray we dont decide YOU need AMERICAN Democracy too…

    Pray….yes, im going to stop before I ramble on about the Religious aspect of total global control as well. Almost….

    Think of it this way, if our god is so forgiving, why would he DEMAND that you give your LIFE to him, or be punished with eternal damnation and pain? That sounds like the words of a vicious tyrant or what many would refer to as Satan himself, for the sake of morality, a true and caring “Higher being” would praise and thank those who have had the most beneficial and helpful additions to our world, but…. Let us not teach our children that!! Its a form of population control, you act within the rules we provide you with, or you are going to face the consequences of your actions. Not to mention the thought of a heaven releives the fear of death, and offers those who “believe” in something that for some fucking reason, no one can prove, a chance to live eternity in heaven….

    Uhh….Where the fuck is heaven, might I ask? And to be honest, those fucks that “earn their entry” arent people I want to be around anyway, so shit fuck, I guess I face fire, and damnation, or worse, I get crammed into this Heaven place, with all these people that I cant usually stand.

    Its a losing battle, the swastica still carries more negative connotations than positive, America is a country of “freedom for those who conform” (not freedom) and King George of Texas, is an ignorant power hungry fuck that has personal vendettas that come before morality, or humanity.

    Life sucks, somebody cram a needle in me!

    love, and guts,


  98. Hello, would you be surprised if I told you that among the Friends of the Swastika who love what I’m doing are lots of Jews who want to see the swastika reclaimed for the sacred?

    I’m in the process of building a new website and it will feature many, many pics swastika artifacts, temples, etc anything representing the vast use of swastikas all over the world, which people have sent me. Also many pics of swasi tattoos that young people have done.

    I just got an email from a woman who runs a tattoo shop in NYC. She says, “You may be unaware of the fact that there is a whole generat6ion of young p[eople who don’t see the swastika as a Nazi sign and that is because of you.” Wow! That was a vote of reassurance that all my years of work around spreading the true story of the swastika’s history is actually working.


  99. i like the one who states she does not like swatikas for reasons of her own- others of course LIKE swatikas for reasons of their own- I think me statements in regards to offering insights for the illumination for others is cool. I also do not like swatikas unless I know they are being used for a good luck symbol by those who respect Hindu religion- or any religion that used the symbol- however- it certainly is still to this day a symbol for the political religion of neo nazism but blaming the victim and all that jazz- jeeze- this shit gets pretty sicking….

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