Give swastika back its real meaning

by John Fitzgerald, The Irish Examiner, Jan 27, 2005

Cork, Ireland -- THE furore over Britain?s Prince Harry wearing a Nazi armband brought hypocrisy, tendentious social commentary, political doublethink and historical myopia to new levels of absurdity.

<< The Swastika as Asians know it

The swastika is an ancient good luck symbol associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and a multitude of oriental traditions. It is more than 5,000 years old, but its misappropriation by the Nazis obscured its true meaning, turning it into a symbol of hatred and racial prejudice... the exact opposite of what it stood for throughout the ages.

In Britain, Hindus are campaigning to have its original benign symbolism restored. In the meantime, of course, it continues to evoke horrific memories of the Holocaust. Understandably. But this should not impede its eventual rehabilitation by those religious and ethnic groupings to which it denotes the opposite of evil and hatred.

Members of radical left-wing movements worldwide continue to wear hammer-and-sickle armbands, despite the murderous nature of Stalin?s regime which hijacked this heroic symbol of workers? rights and human equality.

Until such time as the swastika has regained its true status, and the taint of Nazism has been exorcised from its timeless image, I suggest the best way to confront its use by racist elements is ridicule... as in the comedy shows that have sent up the madness of the Nazi regime.

Such comical and satiric depictions can be at least as effective in shaming the whole racist mentality as the thousands of sober academic studies, TV documentaries and newspaper articles about the Nazi era.

Prince Harry's Nazi prank >>

As for the hyped-up, media-led PC reaction to Prince Harry?s choice of fancy dress... the wicked Nazi regime surrendered 60 years ago. Hitler is dead!

I would suggest we focus more on the estimated 106 countries that still use torture and wrongful imprisonment against their own citizens. Prominent among those states that torture, imprison without trial, and execute as a matter of national policy is China. I wonder how many of the politicians and others who loudly condemned Harry for his prankish behaviour would raise even a whisper against China?s racial genocide in Tibet. The red fascist dictatorship that calls itself the ?People?s Republic? has been responsible for organised racial genocide in Tibet.

In the past five decades, millions of mainly poor Tibetans who refused to submit to communism, or who just didn?t ?fit in? with the new order imposed on them, have been murdered.

The dictatorship has also tried, but failed, to eradicate that nation?s culture and Buddhist heritage.

Tibet is missing from globes made in China that are intended for school classrooms worldwide? I returned one to a shop recently when I noticed the absence of that long-suffering, terrorised but undefeated nation from the Asian continent. A bit like the way Poland and Czechoslovakia disappeared from maps of Europe during the Nazi occupation.

But we don?t hear a word from the PC merchants about this state-sanctioned crime against humanity.

Enormous human rights violations in China itself and its occupied territory are overlooked by supposedly caring Western governments driven by economic self-interest.

It was in Tibet, incidentally, that the swastika once denoted happiness and good fortune. It is the present-day rulers of China who reflect and epitomise the darker meaning that the Nazis conferred on that much-maligned symbol.

This is a tragedy of epic proportions, one that certainly eclipses the comic opera nonsense generated by Prince Harry at a fancy dress party.