A Complete Record of the Document HinduReich Credited to George Razinsky, 1944 Nicholas of Hitchin, 2012
Privately published in 2012 by Courage Les Garçons © Nicholas of Hitchin 2012 The moral rights of the author have been asserted. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electrical, mechanical or otherwise, without first seeking the written permission of the copyright owners and the publisher. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
(i) Introduction (ii) HinduReich (iii) Discovery (iv) Condition and Content (v) Analysis, First Part (vi) Analysis, Second Part (vii) Acknowledgments (viii) Photographic Record (ix) Appendix I (x) Appendix II
(i) Introduction HinduReich is a found book, a folio of 47 loose photographic plates (the remainder of a probable original count of 50), each showing a major figure from the last 1000 years and each with a bindi imposed on their forehead. The book has no provenance and no record of either author or publisher exists.
(ii) HinduReich Why record this document, and why now? The two questions are really the same. When I found the book in Buenos Aires and subsequently learned of its apparent uniqueness and absence of formal record, I felt that its loss would be a loss to the little histories of Europe: the histories of individuals, the histories that inspire a more nuanced and enduring understanding of our world, and that salt the things we think we know In this instance ‘salt’ may be the wrong metaphor altogether. HinduReich doesn’t so much augment or amplify our reading of the history of Nazi Germany as confound it. To the Führer himself, had he been paying attention, it may have been repellent, a cockroach in his Kartoffelsuppe. Such exceptions to a dominant historical record have an energy of their own. To paraphrase Clive James in his essential book Cultural Amnesia, what is history if not a record of how things might have been different? Razinsky’s HinduReich illustrates this idea with a wily elegance, and as such deserves this record of its own.
(iii) Discovery Libreria Huemul is an attractive bookshop. Located on Avenida Santa Fe in Buenos Aires, rare and fine texts line the walls as part of a catalogue of over 120,000 volumes. Buenos Aires has many such bookshops but
Scene of the discovery of HinduReich: Libreria Huemul, Avenida Santa Fe, Buenos Aires 2011
Various Forms of the Swastika The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations Zelia Nuttall 2010
few as impressive and few so full of character, and if you are looking for almost any book on almost any subject, Huemul would be high on your list of places to visit. Established in 1941 by the Rego family, by the end of World War II the bookshop was an exemplar of the city’s reputation for literary sophistication. As one of the few places stocking contemporaneous German texts, it also attracted those wealthy fugitive Nazis protected by Peron’s government. The connection seems to have endured. Huemul and its owner Roberto Rego were the target of a number of security investigations throughout the 1990s. That the bookshop retained volumes on National Socialism was no secret; such volumes are qualified by the city’s booksellers as having legitimate academic value regarding the history of fascism in Europe and Argentina. What concerned Argentina’s security forces was that this may no longer be history but activity. During these investigations the basement of the shop was suspected of having been used for secret Nazi meetings. This remains illegal in Argentina, though prosecutions are rare despite consistent pressure from the Israeli embassy. Then in 1998 it was discovered that a room booked at La Salle College for ‘a conference of history teachers’ had in fact been selected as the venue for a programme of neo-Nazi propagation. On learning of the deceit the director of La Salle informed the police. Rego was found to have booked the room. The Huemul bookshop is now known locally as ‘the Nazi bookshop’. Despite Rego’s alleged personal politics Huemul is not a Nazi bookshop — though visiting it is like stepping back in time to the 1940s. Huemul operates an old-fashioned system of buying. A customer is not encouraged to browse. Instead knowledgeable assistants are on hand to respond to requests, ladders nearby with which to scale the shelves. Once your books have been located, the assistant writes up a slip, which you take to the cash register at the back of the shop for payment. You collect your books, neatly wrapped, on your way out. When visiting in 2011 and ignorant of the shop’s reputation, I bought superb editions of De Madariaga’s Jirafa Sagrada and Zola’s La Bête humaine. I also bought George Razinsky’s HinduReich. Its provocative title and swastika drew my eye: such things have an electricity of their own. The assistant knew little about it but wanted 800 pesos, about £120 and quite a figure for the time and economic circumstances of the country. I felt that the cost of the book reflected his assessment of me as a paying tourist rather than it having any particular bibliological value. As I left with my parcel of books I snapped a photo of the interior. I was ushered quickly from the door. As I would learn later, photographers are not welcome in Huemul anymore.
(iv) Condition and Content Razinsky’s HinduReich is a single-sheet die-cut box folder of plain card, 125w x 165h x 20d mm, containing 47 loose plates. The cover gives the title in both German and English (Hindu Empire). It was published by Malburg Verlag, and printed in Switzerland. It is lithographically printed in black on what appears to be common pulp board. The cover and all the plates are substantially foxed, probably a result of the highly acidic board, though the general condition could be said to be good. The box opens out to reveal an envelope made of three integral flaps so that the stack of individual plates may be removed. Of the 47 plates the last is numbered l, which appears to be the totality; three plates (viii, xxxiii, xlviii) from this copy are missing. On the reverse of each plate in the top left-hand corner is a numeral. i is Edward the Confessor; l is Grigori Rasputin. The plates thus follow a more or less chronological order from c.1000 bce. At bottom left a text in English reiterates the author’s acknowledgment, the publishing and printing details and the date of production: 1944. Investigations reveal no record of the book, nor Razinsky, nor Malburg Verlag in any of the major copyright libraries, including the British Library, The Library of Congress, and the German National Library. Other copies may exist in private hands — its connection to German National Socialism makes this difficult to confirm, collectors of such texts being extremely secretive — or it may be the only copy in existence. It may be the only copy ever produced. We may however suppose this copy was once owned by TW Goldblatt; an owner’s inscription is present on the inside front cover.
(v) Analysis, First Part Is HinduReich a Nazi text? It may be so: it may be just the opposite, a satire flirting with sedition, considering when and where it was published. Either way it remains controversial in content, in context and in provenance. The book poses a lot of questions, most unanswerable to any degree of certainty. Who was George Razinsky? Why did he make the book? Who was it for? Are the uses of the word ‘reich’ and the swastika determined signifiers of the content and context, or clever diversions? With no available record of the author or publisher, we must take a more forensic approach. Such an approach, without any likelihood of confirmation, inevitably leads to more questions than answers. That verifying records are non-existent may imply that Razinsky is a pseudonym, and that Malburg Verlag
is an invention created for the very purpose of publishing the book. That no other copies can be located would also imply that very few, or perhaps only one, was produced. Close inspection of the plates reveals little. The photographs may have been sourced from books or from exhibited paintings: the absorption of the ink in the pulp board makes this difficult to assess. However not all the source images would have been on public display in the 1940s. Those that were were spread around a Europe in the grip of a World War. It is thus most likely that many of the original images (for example, plate xlv), if not all, were taken from books. Either this, or Razinsky had both the funds and permission to travel widely across unfriendly borders. If this is the case, what kind of man has such freedom in wartime? Certainly not a ranked soldier, but perhaps someone of sufficient academic standing and social position to ease passage. Being lithographically printed in black only, it is possible that budgetary concerns played their part: it is more likely that the photographs would have been taken using black and white film anyway, making colour printing unnecessary. A possible benefit of using black and white photography is that the process of photo-manipulation is made much easier. Black and white photographs can be more easily altered than can colour photographs. The process of masking certain areas of the photo-sensitive paper during exposure using a stencil is called ‘burning’ or ‘dodging’. Those areas ‘dodged’ remain under-exposed; those areas exposed to additional light become ‘burned’ darker. With skill and patience this process can be executed to quite a high degree of accuracy. Again close inspection reveals little, though it appears as if some of the images are altered using this process (plate vii) and others have been over-painted by hand (plate xxvii). If so these are photographs of paintings on photographs of paintings. With every iteration the quality of the image deteriorates, and when printed on absorbent board even more so, leaving few remaining clues to work with. A key observation is that the book is titled in both German and English. Equally, the subjects of the plates are overwhelmingly British — 27 of the 47 extant. It is not unreasonable to assume that Razinsky wanted this book to be seen if not by the British at large, then specifically someone British. This may be the most important clue of all in determining whether the book is a promotion of Nazism or a satire on it. Hitler adopted the swastika in the 1930s as a signifier of the legitimacy of an Aryan race. Yet the swastika on the cover of HinduReich is not the swastika of the Nazi party. Here it is displayed in its sacred Indian form, untouched by the hand of Nazi design. But why? Is Razinsky legitimising the Nazi swastika by presenting
Indian actress Aishwarya Rai
immaculate historical roots? Or is he disenfranchising Nazism by presenting it in its original Indian form? The plates themselves plays similar games. By placing the sacred symbol of Hinduism — the bindi — on the foreheads of 1000 years’ worth of western historical figures, what is he saying? Is he making fun of Hitler’s appropriations? Or is he proposing that this sacred symbol might also be appropriated by the party, reinforcing by implication the legitimacy of an idea? Or is he merely imagining out loud — an elaborate, historical ‘what if’? These questions are difficult or impossible to answer. The only things we can say with any certainty are those things manifest in the document: It exists; it is period-matched; it appears to be one of a kind; and it is a mystery. With any other hope of authentication being extremely unlikely, we may only speculate as to Razinsky’s intentions. Perhaps, in the end, this was his very intention.
(vi) Analysis, Second Part
Prince Charles, India, 2006
Christianity has been the pre-eminent religion in the west for the better part of two millennia. All the kings and queens of Europe; their subjects, their scientists, their thinkers, their explorers, their makers and do-ers; all have existed within a Christian orthodoxy. Toward the latter part of the millennium many have questioned, diverted or drifted from this orthodoxy. It is a flexible religion, or at least a religion that can be made to flex: Hitler’s Germany was Christian, with Christ positioned as a vigorous anti-Semite in his attitude to the Jewish orthodoxy. Nevertheless, such diversions are made from Christianity, and as such cannot be read as anything other than contextually adjoined to the ongoing history of the faith. Razinsky’s HinduReich appears to propose a thought experiment: what if Christianity were not the pre-eminent religion of the west? What if, let us say, the Roman Empire had expanded east rather than west, and assimilated eastern customs and faiths as they in fact did across western Europe and Palestine? What if Hinduism, once persecuted by these invading pagan forces, had survived the Colosseum, and determinedly flourished and emerged as the dominant faith in the western world? Where would that leave history, and by inference Nazism, in 1944? With this idea in mind, this project uses the great personal symbolic identifier of Hinduism — the bindi — as a way of imagining how the history of the west would look were this the case. From the years 1000 to 1944, its key figures are re-imagined as practicing Hindus — the great figureheads and leading forces, in fact, of this Hindu Empire.
It is interesting how radically our readings of these historical figures changes with this one small conceit. How would Hinduism have affected the thoughts of Edward the Confessor as Anglo-Saxon England crumbled inexorably toward its defeat at the Battle of Hastings? What might the Hindu holy man Thomas Becket have said or done to incur the wrath of Henry II? What reformations to the Hindu orthodoxy might Martin Luther have been so fearlessly seeking? In the arts, how would Hinduism have affected the practices of Michelangelo, and what might he have painted in the great Hindu temples of Rome? What romantic poems would Percy Shelley have written, imbued with the immensely rich culture of Hindu art and literature? What would Oscar Wilde have done with Hinduism’s humour and heritage? And would a judiciary have been entitled to prosecute him for homosexuality at all? Equally, would Darwin have feared the reactions to his ideas of evolution as much as he was obliged to in a Christian world? How would Freud’s psychoanalytical practice have developed without the guilt that is central to Catholicism? What is highlighted here are the comparative notions of perceived morality between the two faiths. This becomes particularly nuanced with contemporaneous figures. Rasputin’s bindi reflects the gargantuan demands of his ego: a gaping third eye, a logo proof of his massive influence. More disturbing still is plate xlvii — Heinrich Himmler. Himmler has been given a quite sinister triangular bindi, possibly a direct reference to Hitler’s re-configuration of the swastika. Razinsky seems to be asserting that, in this Hindu Empire, the Nazis would still have appropriated such mystic symbols and again marked themselves apart; either this, or that they would never have existed at all. Otherwise the very absence of severity in this perfect circle of colour, placed delicately between the eyes, seems to our eyes to signify so much that is anathema to the history and culture of second millennium Christianity, particularly Nazism. As a symbol that carefully and gently connects the human world to the spiritual, it has an inherently benign and calming quality. For a short few moments HinduReich allows us to imagine a parallel, alternative history, and wonder how we ourselves might exist in such a world.
(vii) Acknowledgments With grateful thanks to Bill Littlefield for his expert advice and guidance in assessing the authenticity and condition of HinduReich; to Shea Gold for the introduction; to Will Hill, mentor and friend, for his ongoing support; and to NAK for her eagle-eyed observations.
(viii) Photographic Record Here follows a complete photographic record of George Razinsky’s HinduReich, documenting its plates and bindings and their condition of June 2012. All plates and bindings are shown at their actual size. The backs of the plates have not been photographed in full as this makes for rather repetitious viewing. A sample accompanies the photograph of the first plate.
PLATE I (reverse)
PLATE I Edward the Confessor Anglo-Saxon King of England 1042-1066 b. c.1003, d. 1066
PLATE II William the Conqueror Norman King of England 1066-1087 b. c.1028, d. 1087
PLATE III King William II (Rufus) King of England 1087-1100 b. c.1056, d. 1100
PLATE IV King Henry II King of England 1154-1189 b. 1133, d. 1189
PLATE V Thomas Ă Becket Archbishop of Canterbury 1162-1170 b. c.1118, d. 1170
PLATE VI King John King of England 1199-1216 b. 1166, d. 1216
PLATE VII Berengaria of Navarre Wife of King Richard I of England 1191-1199 b. c.1165â€“1170, d. 1230
PLATE VIII (Plate missing)
PLATE IX Dante Aligheri Italian poet b. c.1265, d. 1321
PLATE X King Charles IV King of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperor 1346-1378 b. 1316, d.1378
PLATE XI King Henry IV King of England 1399-1413 b. 1367, d. 1413
PLATE XII King Edward III King of England 1327-1377 b. 1312, d. 1377
PLATE XIII Geoffrey Chaucer English Poet b. c.1343, d. 1400
PLATE XIV Joan of Arc French folk heroine, Catholic saint b. c.1412, d. 1431
PLATE XV Emperor Constantine XI Byzantine emperor 1449-1453 b. 1404, d. 1453
PLATE XVI King Edward IV King of England 1461-1483 b. 1442, d. 1483
PLATE XVII Michelangelo Buonarotti Italian Renaissance artist, poet, architect b. 1475, d. 1564
PLATE XVIII King Henry VII King of England 1485-1509 b. 1457, d. 1509
PLATE XIX Thomas More English Philosopher, councillor to Henry VIII b. 1478, d. 1535
PLATE XX Martin Luther German monk, Protestant reformer b. 1483, d. 1546
PLATE XXI Anne Boleyn Queen Consort (Henry VIII) 1533-1536 b. c.1501, d.1536
PLATE XXII Queen Elizabeth I Queen of England 1558-1603 b. 1533, d.1603
PLATE XXIII Portrait of a Lady Painting, c.1575-85, follower of Bronzino
PLATE XXIV Thomas Cavendish (b. 1560, d. 1592), Sir Francis Drake (b. c.1540, d. 1596), Sir John Hawkins (b. 1532, d. 1595) English explorers, privateers
PLATE XXV Galileo Galilei Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher b. 1564, d. 1642
PLATE XXVI Robert Boyle English natural scientist b. 1627, d. 1691
PLATE XXVII Girl With a Pearl Earring Painting, c.1665, Johannes Vermeer
PLATE XXVIII Rembrandt van Rijn Dutch painter b. 1606, d. 1669
PLATE XXIX Queen Anne Queen of Great Britain and Ireland 1702-1714 b. 1665, d. 1714
PLATE XXX King George I King of Great Britain and Ireland 1714-1727 b. 1660, d. 1727
PLATE XXXI Samuel Johnson English author, moralist, lexicographer b. 1709, d. 1784
PLATE XXXII Robert Walpole British statesman, first Prime Minister b. 1676, d. 1745
PLATE XXXIII (Plate missing)
PLATE XXXIV Marie Antoinette Queen of France, 1774-1792 b. 1755, d. 1793
PLATE XXXV John Adams Founding Father, President of the United States 1797-1801 b. 1735, d. 1826
PLATE XXXVI Jane Austen English novelist b. 1775, d. 1817
PLATE XXXVII Edmund Cartwright English clergyman, inventor b. 1743, d. 1823
PLATE XXXVIII Princess Charlotte of Belgium Empress Consort (Maximilian I of Mexico) 1864-1867 b. 1840, d. 1927
PLATE XXXIX David Livingstone Scottish missionary, explorer b. 1813, d. 1873
PLATE XL Percy Bysshe Shelley English poet b. 1792, d. 1822
PLATE XLI Charles Darwin English naturalist b. 1809, d. 1882
PLATE XLII Arthur Conan Doyle Scottish author b. 1859, d. 1930
PLATE XLIII Oscar Wilde Irish author, poet, playwright b. 1854, d. 1900
PLATE XLIV Nikola Tesla Serbian-American inventor, engineer b. 1856, d. 1943
PLATE XLV Sigmund Freud Austrian neurologist, psychoanalyst b. 1856, d. 1939
PLATE XLVI Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig British Field Marshal b. 1861, d. 1928
PLATE XLVII Heinrich Himmler German Reichsf端hrer of the Schutzstaffel 1929-1945 b. 1900, d. 1945
PLATE XLVIII (Plate missing)
PLATE XLIX Tsar Nicholas II Emperor of Russia 1894-1917 b. 1868, d. 1918
PLATE L Grigori Rasputin Russian mystic b. 1869, d. 1916
(ix) Appendix I The History & Significance of the Bindi Source: surfindia.com http://www.surfindia.com/matrimonials/historysignificance-bindis.html The word ‘bindi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘bindu’ (a drop) and suggests the mystic third eye of a person. Since ancient times, the bindi has been the most visually fascinating of all forms of body decoration in India. The most astonishing factor about bindis, besides the limited amount of literature that exists on it, is the attitude of people towards it. Here is an attempt to understand the history and significance of the bindi for the Hindu community. Use of the Bindi in Ancient Times In ancient India, garlands were an important part of the evening dress of both men and women. This was often accompanied by ‘visesakachhedya’, i.e., painting the forehead with a bindi or ‘tilaka’. In those days, thin and tender leaves used to be cut into different shapes and pasted upon the forehead. These leafy bindis were also known by various names: ‘patrachhedya’, ‘patralekha’, ‘patrabhanga’ or ‘patramanjari’. Such natural materials and sandal paste was used for adorning not only the forehead but also the chin, neck, palm, breast and other parts of the body. Significance of the Position of the Bindi Scientifically speaking, the very positioning of the bindi in between the eyebrows is significant. Experts say the area between the eyebrows is the seat of latent wisdom and is known as the ‘agna’ (the 6th chakra) meaning ‘command’. The area is called agna chakra because it is said to control various levels of concentration attained through meditation. The central point of this area is the ‘bindu’ wherein all experience is gathered in total concentration. Those knowledgeable in Tantric tradition say that during meditation, the ‘kundalini’ or the latent energy that lies at the base of the spine is awakened and rises to the point of sahasrara (7th chakra) situated in the head or brain. The central point, the bindu, becomes therefore a possible outlet for this potent energy. It is believed that the red kumkum lies between the eyebrows to retain energy in the human body. Myths and Significance Regarding the Colour Red The most important and commonly used colour of bindi is red. Scholars say the colour red is significant as it represents shakti, or strength. Other believe that red is most important in bindis as it symbolizes love. However, some scholars have seen the red colour as a symbolism for blood. We are told that in ancient times, in Aryan society,
a groom used to apply his blood to his bride’s forehead in recognition of wedlock. The existing practice among Indian women of applying a round shaped red tilaka called bindiya or kumkum could be a survival of this. The other theory regarding the red bindi is that red symbolizes the far more ancient practice of offering blood sacrifices to propitiate the gods, particularly the goddess Shakti. In time, communities put an end to actual sacrifices and offered gifts instead, but the colour red remained. The other logic given by some scholars is that the bindi, which is often described as sindhura or tilaka, means red; and gandha which is also a term for tilaka, means pleasant odour. Reflecting the Status of a Married Woman In northern India, it is essential for a married woman to wear the bindi. Hence the application of the bindi denotes the woman’s married status. The north bride steps over the threshold of her married home, resplendent with the red bindi on her forehead. The red colour is supposed to augur prosperity for the home she is entering. However, the same does not hold true for women in southern India, as here it is the prerogative of all girls to wear a bindi. Significantly when an Indian woman has the misfortune of becoming a widow she has to stop wearing this mark. Significance of Application of Tilak by Men Among men, the tilaka has been traditionally interpreted as a good luck charm. In several Hindu communities, the bridegroom’s make-up is considered incomplete without the tilaka. Significance of Using Red with Yellow Red kumkum and the yellow turmeric are placed side by side in temples or in any homes during a celebration. This is because the yellow of the turmeric has the power to influence the intellect. In several Hindu communities, red kumkum is offered to women with yellow turmeric at the time of leave-taking. The gesture is said to express goodwill and the host’s prayers for the visitor’s continued good fortune. Historical Significance of Kumkum The tradition of applying kumkum is said to be 5000 years old. Instances of the practice are mentioned in ancient texts including the Puranas, Lalitha Sahasranamam and Soundarya Lahhari. Besides, it has been told that Radha turned the kumkum into a flame-like design on her forehead. Draupadi, in despair and disillusion, wiped the kumkum off her forehead on that dark day at Hastinapur. The use of Kumkum attains special importance in temples dedicated to Shakti, Lakshmi and in other
Vaishnavite temples. Kumkum is of special significance to Fridays and special occasions. In the old days, materials like chandhanam, aguru, kasturi, kumkum and sindoor were used to make the tika. Women also ground saffron together with the kusumbha flower to create a paste to use on their foreheads. How is Kumkum Different from Sindoor? Kumkum and sindoor are prepared from two different materials. While kumkum is made of red turmeric, sindoor, which is worn on the centre parting of the hair, is made of zinc oxide. In Indian culture, both sindoor and kumkum are auspicious. Both stand for good fortune and signs of ‘soubhagya’ in the case of a married woman. Therefore, women who had lost their husbands did not wear kumkum. Many married women would use turmeric as a substitute merely to indicate, not widowhood, but a state of mourning in the family. In some communities, womenfolk refrained from wearing kumkum during menstruation. Today, most men wear kumkum, specifically during worship or religious ceremonies.
(x) Appendix II History of the Swastika Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article. php?ModuleId=10007453 The swastika has an extensive history. It was used at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed the Nazi flag. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit swastika, which means ‘good fortune’ or ‘well-being.’ The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures. The symbol experienced a resurgence in the late nineteenth century, following extensive archeological work such as that of the famous archeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann discovered the hooked cross on the site of ancient Troy. He connected it with similar shapes found on pottery in Germany and speculated that it was a ‘significant religious symbol of our remote ancestors.’ In the beginning of the twentieth century the swastika was widely used in Europe. It had numerous mean-
ings, the most common being a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness. However, the work of Schliemann soon was taken up by völkisch movements, for whom the swastika was a symbol of ‘Aryan identity’ and German nationalist pride This conjecture of Aryan cultural descent of the German people is likely one of the main reasons why the Nazi party formally adopted the swastika or Hakenkreuz (Ger., hooked cross) as its symbol in 1920. The Nazi party, however, was not the only party to use the swastika in Germany. After World War I, a number of far-right nationalist movements adopted the swastika. As a symbol, it became associated with the idea of a racially ‘pure’ state. By the time the Nazis gained control of Germany, the connotations of the swastika had forever changed. In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote: ‘I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika.’ The swastika would become the most recognizable icon of Nazi propaganda, appearing on the flag referred to by Hitler in Mein Kampf as well as on election posters, arm bands, medallions, and badges for military and other organizations. A potent symbol intended to elicit pride among Aryans, the swastika also struck terror into Jews and others deemed enemies of Nazi Germany. Despite its origins, the swastika has become so widely associated with Nazi Germany that contemporary uses frequently incites controversy.