The Meaning and History Behind the Swastika

The Meaning and History Behind the Swastika

Before Hitler exploited the symbol of the swastika in 1920, it was used in ancient Europe, India, and Indonesia in religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The swastika was widely used in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century to represent being a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness. The entire history of the swastika was erased as soon as one of the most infamous leaders in the world, Adolph Hitler, used the swastika as the symbol of the entire Nazi Party. 

The word Aryan has a long history in the world. It was originally a word used to describe those who spoke many different languages. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the word Aryan took on a new meaning to describe a mythical race that was superior to any other. Aryans were best identified by their blue eyes and blonde hair. In 20th century Germany, the swastika began to be known as the symbol of Aryan identity and German nationalism. The swastika was placed in all of the Nazi Party’s propaganda and symbolized a racially “pure” state. Once the Nazi Party completely dictated Germany, the meaning and reputation of the swastika changed forever. 

By 1933, the German market embedded the symbol of the swastika upon coffee, cigarettes, and cake pans; with the approval of the Nazi government. 

In today’s world, there are still displays of the swastika in America and other countries around the world although it is illegal. A swastika symbolizes support of anti-Semitism, Hitler, and the Nazi Party. There are groups interested in reversing the connotation of the swastika to its original meaning of good luck. 


This goal is unreachable, due to the harsh and cruel symbolism and purpose it held in World War II. The swastika will be known as a symbol of Nazi Germany. The meaning of the swastika extends as far back as 7000 years ago, yet the symbolism and reputation it carries will forever be associated with the Nazi regime.