History of the Swastika


The Holocaust wasn't the first time for the Swastika to show up. It was used at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed it for the Nazi flag. The word Swastika comes from Sanskrit savtika, which means "good fortune" or "well-being." The motfit (hooked cross) appears to have been used first in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps showing the suns movement through the sky. It is  commonly seen on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. It is to this day a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism.


Kristallnacht also reffered to as "Night of Crystal," or "Night of Broken Glass." The name refers to the wave of violent anti-jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938. Instigated primarily by Nazi party officials and members of the SA (Sturmabteilungen: literally Assualt Detachments, but commonly known as Storm Troopers) and Hitler youth, Kristallnacht owes its name to the shards of shattered glass that lined Germany streets in the wake of the pogrom broken glass from the windows of synagogues, homes, and Jewish owned businesses plunder and destroyed during the violence. In its Aftermath, German officials announced that Kristallnacht erupted as a spontaneous outburst of public sentiment in rsponce to the assassination of Ernst Vom Rath, a German embassy offcial stationed in Paris. Herschel Grynszpan, a 17 year old Polish-Jew had shot the diplomat on November 7, 1938. A few days earlier the Germans had expelled thousands Jews of Polish citizenship living in Germany from the Reich; Grynszpan had received news that his parents, residents of Germany since 1911 were among them.

Indoctrinating Youth

"These boys and girls enter our organizations [at] ten years of age, and often for the first time get a little fresh air; after four years of Young Folk they go onto Hitler Youth, where we have them for another four years....And even if they are still not complete National Socialists, they go to Labor Services and smoothed out for another of six, or seven months....And whatever class consciousness or status might still be left....the Wehrmacht [German Armed Forces] will take care of that. -Aldof Hitler (1938)

From the 1920's onwards, the Nazi party targeted German youth as a special audience for propaganda messages. These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth; dynamic, resilient, forward-looking, and hopeful. Millions of German young people were won over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. In January 1933, the Hitler Youth had only 50,000 members, but by the end of the year this figure had increased to more than 2 million. By 1936 membership in the Hitler Youth increased to 5.4 millionbefore it became mandatory in 1939. The German authorities then prohibited or dissolved competing youth organizations.

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