Opinion

Why did Adolf Hitler make ‘Swastika’ as the symbol of his army?

There is a clear resemblance between the Hindu symbol ‘Swastika’ & the Nazi ‘Swastik.’ Swastika is a Sanskrit word. Swasti means well being. Swastika basically refers to anything that is auspicious as it is associated with the Hindu Gods.  This is not just a mere coincidence. The Nazis had essentially distorted Hindu ideals to suit their needs. The word Aryan which was used by the Nazis was derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Arya’ meaning supreme and pure- to denote a class of people. When used in the Hindu context the term is used in the positive sense (elegant, auspicious & knowledgeable), for the Nazis the word meant ‘superior race.’

Heinrich Himmler was one of the key men in Hitler’s Nazi party. Himmler called himself a Kshatriya (the second highest caste), carried the Bhagavad Gita & performed Yoga exercises. He assumed himself to be essaying the role of Arjuna from the Mahabharata. He was fighting a war.

One of the main thinkers in the Nazi group Savitri Devi (actually a French woman with the name Maximiani Portas) claimed Hitler to be an avatar of Hindu God Vishnu. As per Hindu Mythology, Kalki the last avatar of God Vishnu would destroy the world & take the good people along him to start a new cycle. The Nazis assumed Hitler to be the “Kalki.” Savitri thought of herself as a Brahman (the highest caste prevailing in the Hindu society) & even married one. She was responsible for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s connect with the axis powers, mainly Japan. Bose was married to an Austrian Emilie Schenkl and the couple were well treated by the Germans.

Not many amongst the Hindus were influenced by Hitler. We do not endorse the crazy comparisons that people make between Hindu Gods & Hitler. Hitler has never been idolised in India, and Indians didn’t know much about him until his autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’ released. Hitler’s brutal & merciless killing of the Jews is known to everyone. His successful book does not erase the fact that he was a mass murderer. The Jews were mercilessly hacked to death in Germany & no sane person or Hindu would love to associate himself with such a barbarian.


Alok Shetty**

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