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Moston

WW1 Swastika !?!?!

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Moston

I have seen a small silver swastika medallion marked with details of a Zepp shot down over UK in 1917 - alledgedly found at the crash site.

Was the swastika in use in Germany in 1917 - albeit without the Nazi association?

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MartH

Swastika's where regarded as a symbol of good luck for thousands of years. Heinrich Schliemann made it popular in the late 19th Century because he discovered it in Troy and other sites. It was also adopted in the GW as a symbol of the Independent Finnish Air force, because Count Von Rosen had it on his aircraft as a symbol of good luck, and the Air force adopted it. It found its way on to most Finnish Medals of the period, but it did turn the other way to the Nazi one.

My mother get some very strange looks in the UK when she wears her medals, but its blue...

Which way does yours turn?

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bmac

The swastika is an ancient and widely used symbol. It was apparently used as a good luck charm by German aviators in WW1.

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centurion
I have seen a small silver swastika medallion marked with details of a Zepp shot down over UK in 1917 - alledgedly found at the crash site.

Was the swastika in use in Germany in 1917 - albeit without the Nazi association?

Yes -even marked on some aircraft and some uberlandwagens

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Dogflud

Before the Nazis claimed the swastika as their own and attributed all kinds of myth and legend to it, it was in fairly common use, certainly around the period we are interested in.

It was a symbol originating in Asia and used as a good luck emblem. I have seen it in use on a British badge associated with a savings bank and promoted during the Great War for this purpose.

Have you got an image of the medallion to post?

Cheers,

Nigel

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domsim

I have seen pictures of an Albatros D.Va serving with Jasta 2F in Palestine in 1918 with a swastika on it, so it was used in WW1. You can Google image it to find some references.

Cheers

Dominic

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Tom Morgan

Moston - it's quite likely. The Swastika was a good luck symbol. Robert Baden-Powell writes about its use as a Thanks Symbol in scouting in 1921.

Just as a bit of trivia - In Coventry Cathedral (famously destroyed by the Nazis) is the surviving tomb of a Victorian bishop, with a life-sized bronze effigy lying on top. Part of the tomb's decoration is a line of swastikas. If I remember correctly, they're on the bishop's hat.

Tom

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Doc2

Definitely widely used. Even today, in Asia, it is occasionally used on maps as the symbol for "temple". And the US Army had a divisional insignia in the 1920s which was a yellow swastika on a red Diamond (45th Division-- later changed to the Thunderbird). Doc

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per ardua per mare per terram

The Swastica is found in ancient Greek and Minoan art. It is still regarded as an important symbol for Hindus, who are trying to disassociate it from the Nazi connotations.

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bob lembke

Cornell University's (my alma mater) medical school in New York City supposedly had a 20 foot high swastika in contrasting brick built into a high blank wall on a major school building in the 1930's, in Manhatten. It drew more and more attention as the decade went on, and finally it was ordered that the giant swastika be chopped out and replaced with brick matching the rest of the wall. A horrible job, if you know anything about brick-laying.

Some time after my first wife and I separated I came across some photos of her mother and some other friends as young women in bathing suits, probably in the early 1930's, and my ex-mother-in-law and at least one other young lady were wearing bathing suits with swastikas on their chests, almost covering the whole chest-front of the suit. She was of English stock, lower middle class, never left the US, and I have no idea about the theme of the suits, other than perhaps a US Native American connection, which probably also was the Cornell link.

If one knew my mother-in-law, the bathing suit was fitting, a church lady and a registered nurse, and an extremely violent, abusive woman. Perhaps she was at some sort of training camp.

Bob Lembke

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Michelle Young

The last Tzarina of Russia was fascinated by the swastika and had a lot of icons with it on.

Michelle

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centurion

Take a look at the Indian head on some Lafayette Escadrille aircraft, if it hasn't been edited out by a publisher you'll find a bent cross on the headdress. Its also found carved on some ancient stones in Yorkshire - predating Stonehenge. As well as Finland two of the Baltic states also adopted it for their aircraft markings.

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Kate Wills

A black swastika on a blue background was the symbol used by the Euphrates Defences, which existed from August 16 to December 18. According to the John Player Army Corps & Divisional Signs cigarette card series the swastika was "a symbol intended to represent the sun, and used by the early races of Aryan stock".

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SiegeGunner

If I remember rightly, one or more of Kipling's books had a swastika on the spine. And I also seem to recall that it was pointed out on an earlier thread that the pilot of one WW1 aircraft that sported a swastika was Jewish. Until appropriated by the Nazis, the swastika had overwhelmingly positive connotations, rather like the oriental Yin Yang symbol.

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Peridot

Seem to recall the German word for it was Das Hakenkreuz-long forgotten A level studies!!

Peridot

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Moston

Thanks everyone.

I'll try and get an image up on here for all to see.

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depaor01

Only last Saturday I picked up a copy in a car boot sale of Kipling's Jungle Book with a swastika on the cover. The book was published in 1920:

post-42233-1266937902.jpg

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michaeldr

A Chinese (faces left, not right) Swastika was the unit sign of ASC Company 566

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Peridot
If I remember rightly, one or more of Kipling's books had a swastika on the spine. And I also seem to recall that it was pointed out on an earlier thread that the pilot of one WW1 aircraft that sported a swastika was Jewish. Until appropriated by the Nazis, the swastika had overwhelmingly positive connotations, rather like the oriental Yin Yang symbol.

As an aside I think that Anne Frank's father had also seen service on the Western Front but this did not seem to help his plight as I think he was sent to a concentration camp tho miraculously survived.

Peridot

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michaeldr

it was pointed out on an earlier thread that the pilot of one WW1 aircraft that sported a swastika was Jewish.

The German-Jewish pilot Fritz Beckhardt used the symbol on his plane

(the ref quoted is Judische Flieger im Weltkrieg, Berlin, 1924)

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bob lembke
As an aside I think that Anne Frank's father had also seen service on the Western Front but this did not seem to help his plight as I think he was sent to a concentration camp tho miraculously survived.

Peridot

It is a topic that I know little about, but there were lots of curious things going on in those camps, and one was that, I believe, that Jewish WW I veterans, and certainly decorated veterans, had special status in the camps, including, I think, receiving a pension or a stipend of some sort in the camp. I believe that Otto Frank was not only a veteran, but had been an officer and had received the Iron Cross First Class, a much rarer award than the usual EK II. So he probably did receive special privilages in the camps, and they may have allowed him to survive.

Bob Lembke

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LarsA

Amongst the others was Carlsberg brewery who had the Swastika on the beer and assorted ephemera. Started to use it around 1900

/Lars

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Peter B

The Swastika was also used by the Romans.

In the mosaic at Lullingstone Roman Villa Kent, there are a number of examples of the symbol facing left and right.

Peter

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SiegeGunner

Bob, next time you catch yourself typing "It is a topic that I know little about ...", just desist before the 'but' ...

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