Friday Fact: The Swastika and Suavastika


I’m cheating on my FF this week, since blogger nomad4ever, an expat German man now living in Bali, has done the legwork for me with an interesting recent post that thoroughly explores the origin and history of the swastika.

The swastika, it seems, did not originate within the Nazi party. According to, it’s actually an 8,000-year-old seemingly archetypal symbol appearing in several different ancient cultures throughout history.

Read nomad4ever’s post here.

The Nazis in the their Crusade to find the true origin of the ‘Aryan Race’ plundered recklessly the ideas, symbols and concepts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sanskrit and other Ancient Cultures and Writings.

As we learned already from the Indiana Jones movies, the guy responsible for this and most into it, was Heinrich Himmler, one of Hitler’s willing buddies whose goal it was ‘to indoctrinate Germany’s paramilitary forces with an apocalyptic “idealism” beyond all guilt and responsibility, which rationalized mass murder as a form of martyrdom and harshness towards oneself’. He even sent a Zoologist, an Anthropologist, and several other scientists to Tibet on the eve of war. He ordered these men to examine Tibetan nobles for signs of Aryan physiology, to find scientific proof of a grotesque historical fantasy that was at the center of Himmler’s beliefs about race. Thus the inspiration for the Indiana Jones flicks.

The swastika was also a popular motif in Victorian Europe.

Nomad doesn’t mention an idea popularized in part by the late, great Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan in their book (my favorite of Sagan’s), Comet. Sagan and Druyan explain that the swastika/suavastika symbol may be so widespread because the appearance of a comet with four jets would have made a swastika/suavastika in the night sky for all the peoples of the world of whatever era (or eras) to see.

Here’s a 300 B.C. Chinese silk with a drawing of seven comets. Look at the last one:

One response to “Friday Fact: The Swastika and Suavastika

  1. I once read a book – watched a movie? – about this. It’s very interesting. How unfortunate that something with this much history and with such a different meaning got hi-jacked by the Nazis. The symbol can never recover its ancient roots.

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