The article you are about to read is an important historical look at a symbol that in 1930s got co-opted and defiled by the Nazi Germany – the Swastika.
As a disclaimer, this article (or, rather, a translation from Russian of fragments of three articles) is by no means an endorsement of Nazism, and looks at the history of the symbol prior to it being hijacked by the Nazis in Germany, specifically, its use in Russia before the Revolution, and in the first two decades of 1900s. Actually, what the Nazi Germany did, was to perform a cultural appropriation and a desecration of a symbol used by other peoples.
The fate of that symbol is not dissimilar to what we are experiencing now with another symbol, that of a carefree childhood – the rainbow.
First is a translation of an shorter article that serves as a good introduction to the topic, and debunks one fake that managed to sneak in among the facts. After that will come a somewhat longer article about the use of Swastika in the Kalmyk divisions in the early days of the USSR, and finally, a lengthy and well-research article will round off the series, looking at the traditional Russian culture of the past centuries and to the period of the early USSR. it also debunks a misconception of the difference between the left-bent and right-bent swastikas. The articles are somewhat overlapping.
It was Hitler who turned the swastika into a symbol of Nazism. At the beginning of the XX century, the symbol was perceived in a completely different way.
To “kolovrats” with four beams were even present on chevrons and banknotes in the RSFSR.
Were the orders with swastikas really made in the RSFSR in the 30s of the XX century, or were the awards a skillful fake? What other countries actively used the swastika before the outbreak of World War II?