The Swastika in the 20th Century Term Paper

The paper examines the symbolism and influence of the swastika and how its meaning has changed through the ages.
# 151900 | 1,668 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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Through an examination of the swastika's history and current impact, this paper attempts to determine a better understanding of the symbol's influence on society, as well as the general power of symbols and identity as an influence on societal and personal conduct. The paper explores through historical references the original more positive intent of the swastika and its eventual use by the Nazi Party.

From the Paper:

''During the early part of the twentieth century, the swastika was a part of everyday cultural and societal life. In Europe, the British author Rudyard Kipling used the symbol on the dust covers of all his books until this practice proved to be inappropriate years later. The Russian government printed a variety of new bank notes that displayed the swastika. The British Boy Scouts also used the design as a Medal of Merit thought to bring good luck to the person who received the medal. During World War I, the symbol could also be found as an emblem of the British National War Savings Committee. Numerous other examples can be found throughout the world where the swastika, prior to its use by the Nazi Party, is used as a sign of good luck and success (Boxer).
''What happened to alter its meaning and influence? Everything changed when German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered the swastika during an excavation of the ruins of Troy. During this time, there was an attempt to connect the pre-history of the European peoples with the ancient Aryans. After consulting two leading Sanskrit scholars, Schliemann concluded that the swastika was actually an Aryan symbol that represented the power and influence of the Aryan people. The subject of this idea was taken up by writers and others of influence; as a result, through its appearance in many designs from the 1880's to the 1920's, the swastika grew to be popular in the West (Heller 6).''

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Boxer, Sarah. "A Symbol of Hatred Pleads Not Guilty." New York Times 20 July 2000. Print. 5 April 2011.
  • Heller, Steven. The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption? New York, NY: Allworth Press, 2000. Print.
  • Quinn, Malcolm. The Swastika: Constructing the Symbol. New York, NY: Routledge, 1994. Print.
  • Wilson, Thomas. The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol and Its Migrations. New York, NY: Paragon, 1896. Print.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Swastika in the 20th Century (2012, October 22) Retrieved December 08, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Swastika in the 20th Century" 22 October 2012. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>