Fascist symbolism

Fascist symbolism is the use of certain images and symbols which are designed to represent aspects of Fascism. These include national symbols of historical importance, goals, and political policies.

Common symbolism of fascist movements

Organized fascist movements have militarist-appearing uniforms for their members; use national symbols, historical symbols of a nation as symbols of their movement; and use orchestrated rallies for propaganda purposes. Fascist movements are led by a "Leader" (i.e. Duce, Führer, Caudillo and so on) who is publicly idolized in propaganda as the nation's saviour. A number of fascist movements use a straight-armed salute.

The use of symbols, graphics, and other artifacts created by fascist, authoritarian and totalitarian governments has been noted as a key aspect of their propaganda.[1] Most Fascist movements adopted symbols of Ancient Roman or Greek origin, for example the German use of Roman standards during rallies, the Italian adoption of the fasces symbol, the Spanish "Falange" from the Spanish word for "Phalanx".

Militarist uniforms with nationalist insignia

Mussolini young
Benito Mussolini in uniform.

Organized fascist movements typically use military-like uniforms with the symbol of their movement on them.

Hitler Mannerheim
Adolf Hitler in uniform.

In Italy, the Italian Fascist movement in 1919 wore black military-like uniforms, and were nicknamed Blackshirts. In power, uniforms during the Fascist era extended to both the party and the military which typically bore fasces or an eagle clutching a fasces on their caps or on the left arm section of the uniform.

In Germany, the fascist Nazi movement was similar to the Italian Fascists in that they initially used a specifically colored uniform for their movement, the tan-brown colored uniform of the SA paramilitary group earned the group and the Nazis themselves the nickname of the Brownshirts. The Nazis used the swastika for their uniforms and copied the Italian Fascists' uniforms, with an eagle clutching a wreathed swastika instead of a fasces, and a Nazi flag arm sash on the left arm section of the uniform for party members.

Other fascist countries largely copied the symbolism of the Italian Fascists and German Nazis for their movements. Like them, their uniforms looked typically like military uniforms with Nationalist type insignia of the movement. The Spanish Falange adopted dark blue shirts for their party members, symbolizing Spanish workers, many of whom wore blue shirts. Berets were also used, representing their Carlist supporters. The Spanish Blue Division expeditionary volunteers sent to the Eastern Front of WW2 in (relatively indirect) support of the Germans likewise wore blue shirts, berets and their army trousers.

Italy

Flag of the National Fascist Party (PNF)
Flag of the National Fascist Party, bearing the fasces, which was the primary symbol of Italian Fascism.
Fascist Eagle
A perched eagle clutching a fasces was a common symbol used on Italian Fascist uniforms.

The original symbol of fascism, in Italy under Benito Mussolini, was the fasces. This is an ancient Imperial Roman symbol of power carried by lictors in front of magistrates; a bundle of sticks featuring an axe, indicating the power over life and death. Before the Italian Fascists adopted the fasces, the symbol had been used by Italian political organizations of various political ideologies (ranging from socialist to nationalist), called Fascio ("leagues") as a symbol of strength through unity.

Italian Fascism utilized the color black as a symbol of their movement, black being the color of the uniforms of their paramilitaries, known as Blackshirts. The blackshirt derived from Italy's daredevil elite shock troops known as the Arditi, soldiers who were specifically trained for a life of violence and wore unique blackshirt uniforms.[2] The colour black as used by the Arditi, symbolized death.[3]

Other symbols used by the Italian Fascists included the aquila, the Capitoline Wolf, and the SPQR motto, each related to Italy's ancient Roman cultural history, which the Fascists attempted to resurrect.

Germany

Flag of the NSDAP (1920–1945)
Flag of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), bearing the swastika, the premier symbol of Nazism which remains strongly associated with it in the Western world.
Parteiadler der Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (1933–1945)
NSDAP Parteiadler eagle
Parteiadler der Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (1933–1945) (andere)
NSDAP Parteiadler eagle variant

The nature of German fascism, as encapsulated in Nazism was similar to Italian Fascism ideologically and borrowed symbolism from the Italian Fascists such as the use of mass rallies, the straight-armed Roman salute, and the use of pageantry. Nazism was different from Italian Fascism in that it was officially racist. Its symbol was the swastika, at the time a commonly seen symbol in the world that had experienced a revival in use in the western world in the early 20th century. German völkisch Nationalists claimed the swastika was a symbol of the Aryan race, who they claimed were the foundation of Germanic civilization and were superior to all other races.

As the Italian Fascists adapted elements of their ethnic heritage to fuel a sense of Nationalism by use of symbolism, so did Nazi Germany. Turn-of-the-century German-Austrian mystic and author Guido von List was a big influence on Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, who introduced various ancient Germanic symbols (filtered through von List's writings) most thoroughly into the SS, including the stylized double Sig Rune (von List's then-contemporary Armanen rune version of the ancient sowilo rune) for the organization itself.

The black-white-red tricolor of the German Empire was utilized as the color scheme of the Nazi flag. The color brown was the identifying color of Nazism (and fascism in general), due to it being the color of the SA paramilitaries (also known as Brownshirts).

Other historical symbols that were already in use by the German Army to varying degrees prior to the Nazi Germany, such as the Wolfsangel and Totenkopf, were also used in a new, more industrialized manner on uniforms and insignia.

Although the swastika was a popular symbol in art prior to the regimental use by Nazi Germany and has a long heritage in many other cultures throughout history - and although many of the symbols used by the Nazis were ancient or commonly used prior to the advent of Nazi Germany - because of association with Nazi use, the swastika is often considered synonymous with National Socialism and some of the other symbols still carry a negative post-World War II stigma in Western countries, to the point where some of the symbols are banned from display altogether.[4]

Spain

Bandera FE JONS
Flag of the Spanish Falange, bearing the yoke and arrows, the premier symbol of Falangism.

The fascist Falange in Spain utilized the yoke and arrows as their symbol. It historically served as the symbol of the shield of the monarchy of Ferdinand and Isabella and subsequent Catholic monarchs, representing a united Spain and the "symbol of the heroic virtues of the race".[5] The original uniform of the Falangistas was the blue shirt – derived from the blue overalls of industrial workers – which was later combined with the red beret of the Carlists to represent their merger by Franco.

Poland

Several Polish far-right and nationalist organizations have used the Mieczyk Chrobrego ([Boleslaus] the Brave's Sword), which resembles the Szczerbiec, or the coronation sword of Polish kings. The same organisations have used the falanga sword, a symbol associated with the extreme right in the country after Mieczyk Chrobrego was banned; most notably it is used by the ONR as its main identifying symbol. Among other symbols Toporzeł is also used, a symbol with strong anti-Semitic connotations.

Other regions

Ustaše symbol
Symbol of the Croatian Ustaše.

Many other fascist movements did not win power or were relatively minor regimes in comparison and their symbolism is not well-remembered today in many parts of the world, although the BUF's Flash and Circle was later used by the non-fascist People's Action Party of Singapore.

Contemporary usage

Neo-Nazi celtic cross flag
Celtic cross on a Neo-Nazi flag

Some neo-Nazi organizations continue to use the swastika, but many have moved away from such inflammatory symbols of early fascism. Some neo-fascist groups use symbols that are reminiscent of the swastika or other cultural or ancestral symbols that may evoke nationalistic sentiment but do not carry the same racist connotations.

Pejorative symbolism

Opponents of fascism have identified symbols seen in a pejorative manner such as the jackboot.

Non-fascist usage

Swastik on head
Hindu boy with swastika painted on his shaven head as a religious rite

Some of these symbols are also used by a variety of non-fascist movements and organizations. The swastika has been a notable symbol in Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as in modern pagan religions and Native American Shamanism, such as in Germanic neopaganism. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) states:

Nazi Germany glorified an idealized "Aryan/Norse" heritage, consequently extremists have appropriated many symbols from pre-Christian Europe for their own uses. They give such symbols a racist significance, even though the symbols did not originally have such meaning and are often used by nonracists today, especially practitioners of modern pagan religions.[16]

Fasces are used in the national emblem of France, the coat of arms and wordmark of the Swedish Police and the Swedish Security Service, the coat of arms of the Swiss Canton of St. Gallen, and the coat of arms of the Spanish Civil Guard. Fasces are also used in the coat of arms of Ecuador.

See also

References

  1. ^ Heller, Steven (2008). Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State. Phaidon Press. p. 240. ISBN 0-7148-4846-8.
  2. ^ Roger Griffin, Matthew Feldman. Fascism: Fascism and culture. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2004. p. 207.
  3. ^ Stanley G. Payne. A history of fascism, 1914-1945. Oxon, England, UK: Digital Printing, 2005. Pp. 90.
  4. ^ http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/06/24/germany_banned_its_ugly_historic_symbols_should_we_do_that_too.html
  5. ^ Wendy Parkins. Fashioning the body politic: dress, gender, citizenship. Oxford, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Berg, 2002. Pp. 178
  6. ^ [1] Preparing for War With Ukraine’s Fascist Defenders of Freedom
  7. ^ [2]"Azov Battalion fighters parading with the Wolfsangel banner favoured by neo-Nazis"
  8. ^ USA nie będą szkolić batalionu Azow
  9. ^ One year on: where are the far-right forces of Ukraine? The group proudly displays the Wolfsangel symbols - a motif used by several SS groups in Nazi Germany
  10. ^ Gespenstischer Neonazi- Aufmarsch in der Ukraine
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ [4]
  13. ^ [5]
  14. ^ Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists The Telegraph Tom Parfitt 11 August 2014
  15. ^ General Hate Symbols: Thor's Hammer, Anti-Defamation League
  16. ^ adl.org, accessed 19 December 2007

External links

Azov Battalion

The Special Operations Detachment "Azov", often known as Azov Battalion, Azov Regiment, or Azov Detachment, (Ukrainian: Полк Азов) is a Ukrainian National Guard regiment, based in Mariupol in the Azov Sea coastal region. It saw its first combat experience recapturing Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists forces in June 2014. Initially formed as a volunteer militia on 5 May 2014 during the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, on 12 November 2014, Azov was incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine. All regiment members were contract soldiers serving in the National Guard of Ukraine.Since its inception, the regiment lost 43 soldiers in the course of the War in Donbass. In 2014, it gained notoriety after allegations emerged of torture and war crimes, as well as neo-Nazi sympathies and usage of associated symbols by the regiment itself, as seen in their logo featuring the Wolfsangel, one of the original symbols used by the German Nazi Party. In 2014, around 10-20% of the unit were neo-Nazis. The U.S. Congress passed legislation in 2018 blocking military aid to Azov on the grounds of its white supremacist ideology. Members of the regiment come from 22 countries and are of various backgrounds.More than half of the regiment's members speak Russian and come from eastern Ukraine, including cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The regiment's first commander was far-right nationalist Andriy Biletsky, who led the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and Patriot of Ukraine. In its early days, Azov was the Ministry of Internal Affairs' special police company, led by Volodymyr Shpara, the leader of the Vasylkiv, Kiev, branch of Patriot of Ukraine and Right Sector. Under the "Azov" umbrella were also created the non-governmental organization "Azov Civil Corps" and the political party National Corps.

Black Sun (symbol)

The black sun (German: Schwarze Sonne) is a symbol employed in a post-Nazi Germany context by neo-Nazis and some occult subcultures, such as Satanism. The symbol first occurs as a design element in a castle remodeled and expanded under Heinrich Himmler during Nazi Germany. The symbol's design consists of twelve radial mirrored sig runes, symbols employed as a logo by the Schutzstaffel. All subsequent forms extend from this mosaic. Whether the symbol had a name or held any particular significance among the SS remains unknown. Its association with the occult concept of the "black sun" (and therefore also its name) developed from the influence of a popular German novel first published in 1991.

CEU Cardinal Herrera University

CEU Cardenal Herrera University (in Spanish language Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera) is a private university in Valencia, Spain. It is part of the CEU Foundation, being the first private school of Law ever founded in Valencia. It has been associated to the University of Valencia and Polytechnic University of Valencia since the early 1970s but the University gained its current name in 1999.The University has five faculties: Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty Of Veterinary, Faculty of Law, Business and Political Science, Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences and ESET Technical School of Engineering. CEU-UCH offers degrees in English (Bachelor of Energy

Engineering and Bachelor of Industrial Management Engineering, Degree in Architecture, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing Studies and Gastronomy and Culinary Management), in French Médecine Vétérinaire (Veterinary Medicine) and in Spanish. It boasts three modern campuses in Moncada (12 km from Valencia), Elche (Alicante) and Castellón. CEU-UCH currently provides high quality teaching to over 7,000 students from all over Spain, especially the regions of Valencia, Murcia, Majorca, Ibiza, and Albacete. Every year, it also welcomes a rapidly growing number of international students with programs like European's Erasmus Programme, Socrates and Leonardo. International rankings place CEU-UCH at the top of the 23 Spanish private universities, rankings like Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) placed CEU-UCH the second Spanish private university, after the University of Navarra, in terms of research in 2013. In 2014 U-Multirank, a new global university ranking financed by the EU which assesses the performance of more than 850 higher education institutions worldwide, placed CEU-UCH as the tenth European university in agreement to regional involvement, scientific productivity and international orientation

Cape Guardafui

Cape Guardafui (Somali: Gees Gardafuul, Italian: Capo Guardafui), also known historically as Aromata promontorium, is a headland in the autonomous Puntland region in Somalia. Coextensive with Puntland's Gardafuul administrative province, it forms the geographical apex of the Horn of Africa. Its shore at 51°27'52"E is the second easternmost point on mainland Africa after Ras Hafun. Its adjacent locality is called Ras Asir. The offshore oceanic strait Guardafui Channel (or Marinka Gardafuul) is named after it.

Clacton-on-Sea

Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town in the Tendring peninsula and district in Essex, eastern England, and was founded as an urban district in 1871. It is a seaside resort that saw a peak of tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s.

The town's economy continues to rely significantly on entertainment and day-trip facilities and it is strong in the service sector, with a large retired population. The north-west part of the town has two business/industrial parks. In the wider district, agriculture and occupations connected to the Port of Harwich provide further employment.

Coat of arms of Libya

Since 2011, Libya currently does not have an official coat of arms. The Constitutional Declaration issued by the National Transitional Council on August 2011 defines the flag of Libya, but does not make any provisions for a coat of arms.

A new biometric Libyan passport was revealed in February 2013. The cover of the new passport depicts a star and crescent as its central feature, as found in the flag of Libya. Thus, the symbol can be considered the de facto emblem of Libya for all intents and purposes.

Communist symbolism

Communist symbolism represents a variety of themes, including revolution, the proletariat, peasantry, agriculture, or international solidarity.

Communist states, parties and movements use these symbols to advance and create solidarity within their cause. These symbols often appear in yellow and red. The flag of the Soviet Union incorporated a yellow-outlined red star and a yellow hammer and sickle on red. The flags of Vietnam, China, North Korea, Angola and Mozambique would all incorporate similar symbolism under communist rule.

The hammer and sickle have become the pan-communist symbol, appearing on the flags of most communist parties around the world. However, the flag of the Workers' Party of Korea includes a hammer representing industrial workers, a hoe representing agricultural workers and a brush (traditional writing-implement) representing the intelligentsia.

In Hungary, Latvia, Indonesia, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, communist symbols are banned and displays in public for non-educational use are considered a criminal offense.

Exército Guerrilheiro do Povo Galego Ceive

The Exército Guerrilheiro do Povo Galego Ceive (Guerrilla Army of the Free Galician People in Galician language; EGPGC) was an armed organization formed in 1986 mainly by members of Galiza Ceibe-OLN. It was considered a terrorist by the Spanish Government. The main goals of the organization were the independence of Galicia and the transformation of society according to the principles of socialism. The EGPGPC was operative between 1987 and 1991, a time during which the EGPGC made a total of 90 armed actions and a multitude of provisioning actions.

Fasces

Fasces (English: , Latin: [ˈfa.skeːs]; a plurale tantum, from the Latin word fascis, meaning "bundle"; Italian: fascio littorio) is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces had its origin in the Etruscan civilization and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The axe originally associated with the symbol, the Labrys (Greek: λάβρυς, lábrys) the double-bitted axe, originally from Crete, is one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization. To the Romans, it was known as a bipennis. Commonly, the symbol was associated with female deities, from prehistoric through historic times.The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power, law and governance. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry: it is present on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime coin and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives; and it was the origin of the name of the National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the term fascism is derived).

During the first half of the 20th century both the fasces and the swastika (each symbol having its own unique ancient religious and mythological associations) became heavily identified with the authoritarian/fascist political movements of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. During this period the swastika became deeply stigmatized, but the fasces did not undergo a similar process.

The fact that the fasces remained in use in many societies after World War II may have been due to the fact that prior to Mussolini the fasces had already been adopted and incorporated within the governmental iconography of many governments outside Italy. As such, its use persists as an accepted form of governmental and other iconography in various contexts. (The swastika remains in common usage in parts of Asia for religious purposes which are also unrelated to early 20th century European fascism.)

The fasces is sometimes confused with the related term fess, which in French heraldry is called a fasce.

Nazi symbolism

The 20th-century German Nazi Party made extensive use of graphic symbols, especially the swastika, notably in the form of the swastika flag, which became the co-national flag of Nazi Germany in 1933, and the sole national flag in 1935. A very similar flag had represented the Party beginning in 1920.

Neofolk

Neofolk, also known as post-industrial or apocalyptic folk, is a form of experimental music blending elements of folk and industrial music, which emerged in punk rock circles in the 1980s. Neofolk may either be solely acoustic or combine acoustic folk instrumentation with various other sounds.

Plínio Salgado

Plínio Salgado (Portuguese: [ˈplĩɲu sawˈɡadu]; January 22, 1895 – December 8, 1975) was a Brazilian politician, writer, journalist, and theologian. He founded and led Brazilian Integralist Action, a political party inspired by the Fascist regimes of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.

Initially a supporter of the dictatorship led by Getúlio Vargas, he was later persecuted and exiled in Portugal for promoting uprisings against the government. After his return, he launched the Party of Popular Representation, and was elected to represent Paraná in the Chamber of Deputies in 1958, being re-elected in 1962, this time to represent São Paulo. He was also a candidate in the 1955 presidential election, securing 8.28% of the votes. After the 1964 coup d'état, which led to the extinction of political parties, he joined the National Renewal Alliance political party, obtaining two terms in the Chamber of Deputies. He retired from politics in 1974, just a year before his death.

Political symbolism

Political symbolism is symbolism that is used to represent a political standpoint. The symbolism can occur in various media including banners, acronyms, pictures, flags, mottos, and countless more. For example, Red flags have traditionally been flown by socialists, left-wing radicals, and communist groups to represent the "blood of the workers". Black flags have traditionally been flown by anarchism, and left-wing radicals to represent the absence of all oppressive structures. A combination of the two colors in a black flag represents social anarchism, such as anarchist communism and anarcho syndicalism.

Many groups use the political colour associated with their political philosophy, for example blue, particularly dark blue, is often associated with Conservative parties.

Cultural groups may use symbols in what many consider to be a political way, for example LGBT symbols like the Rainbow flag are used to promote the political goal of LGBT rights.

Propaganda of Fascist Italy

Propaganda of Fascist Italy was the material put forth by Italian Fascism to justify its authority and programs and encourage popular support.

Stanley G. Payne

Stanley George Payne (born September 9, 1934 in Denton, Texas) is an American historian of modern Spain and European Fascism at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He retired from full-time teaching in 2004 and is currently Professor Emeritus at its Department of History.

Swastika

The swastika or sauwastika (as a character, 卐 or 卍, respectively) is a geometrical figure and an ancient religious icon in the cultures of Eurasia. It is used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality in Indian religions. In the Western world, it was a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck until the 1930s, when it became a feature of Nazi symbolism as an emblem of Aryan identity and, as a result, was stigmatized by its association with racism and antisemitism.The name swastika comes from Sanskrit (Devanagari: स्वस्तिक) meaning 'conducive to well being' or 'auspicious'. In Hinduism, the symbol with arms pointing clockwise (卐) is called swastika, symbolizing surya ('sun'), prosperity and good luck, while the counterclockwise symbol (卍) is called sauvastika, symbolizing night or tantric aspects of Kali. In Jainism, a swastika is the symbol for Suparshvanatha—the 7th of 24 Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers and saviours), while in Buddhism it symbolizes the auspicious footprints of the Buddha. In several major Indo-European religions, the swastika symbolizes lightning bolts, representing the thunder god and the king of the gods, such as Indra in Vedic Hinduism, Zeus in the ancient Greek religion, Jupiter in the ancient Roman religion, and Thor in the ancient Germanic religion.The swastika is an icon which is widely found in both human history and the modern world. In various forms, it is otherwise known (in various European languages) as the 'fylfot, gammadion, tetraskelion, or cross cramponnée (a term in Anglo-Norman heraldry); German: Hakenkreuz; French: croix gammée. In China it is named wàn 卐 / 卍 / 萬, meaning 'all things', pronounced manji in Japanese. A swastika generally takes the form of a cross, the arms of which are of equal length and perpendicular to the adjacent arms, each bent midway at a right angle. The symbol is found in the archeological remains of the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia, as well as in early Byzantine and Christian artwork.The swastika was adopted by several organizations in pre–World War I Europe, and later by the Nazi Party and Nazi Germany prior to World War II. It was used by the Nazi Party to symbolize German nationalistic pride. To Jews and the enemies of Nazi Germany, it became a symbol of antisemitism and terror. In many Western countries, the swastika is viewed as a symbol of racial supremacism and intimidation because of its association with Nazism. Reverence for the swastika symbol in Asian cultures, in contrast to the West's stigmatization of the symbol, has led to misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

Totenkopf

Totenkopf (i.e. skull, literally death's head) is the German word for the skull and crossbones (or death's head) symbol. The Totenkopf symbol is an old international symbol for death, the defiance of death, danger, or the dead, as well as piracy. It consists usually of the human skull with or without the mandible and often includes two crossed long-bones (femurs), most often depicted with the crossbones being behind some part of the skull.

It is commonly associated with 19th- and 20th-century German military use.

Wolfsangel

The Wolfsangel (German pronunciation: [ˈvɔlfsˌʔaŋəl]) is a German heraldic charge inspired by historic wolf traps, consisting of two metal parts and a connecting chain. The top part of the trap, which resembled a crescent moon with a ring inside, used to be fastened between branches of a tree in the forest while the bottom part, on which meat scraps used to be hung, was a hook meant to be swallowed by a wolf. The simplified design based on the iron "wolf-hook" was often heavily stylized to no longer resemble a baited hook hung from a tree or an entire wolf traps. Other names included Wolfsanker ("wolf-anchor") or Wolfsjagd as well as hameçon or hameçon de loup, a half-moon shape with a ring, or as cramp or crampon in English with a ring at the center, sometimes also called Doppelhaken ("double-hook"), or a crampon with a transversal stroke. All of these symbols are still found in a number of municipal coats of arms in Germany. The crampon is also found as a mason's mark in medieval stonework.In early times, believed to possess magical powers, it became a symbol of liberty and independence after its adoption as an emblem of a peasant revolt in the 15th century against the oppression of the German princes and their mercenaries.

The Wolfsangel was an initial symbol of the Nazi Party. In World War II the sign and its elements were used by various German SS armoured and infantry divisions such as the Waffen-SS Division Das Reich and the Waffen-SS Division Landstorm Nederland. In pre-war Germany, the Wolfsangel was partly inspired by the immense popularity of Hermann Löns's 1910 novel Der Wehrwolf during the 1930s, where the protagonist, a resistance fighter during the Thirty Years' War, adopted the magic symbol as his personal badge. The symbol itself bears a visual resemblance to the Eihwaz rune, historically part of the runic alphabet.

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