Translated from the Third Reich original, Sinn und Weg des Hakenkreuzes by Jörg Lechler, which appeared in the December 1935 issue of the monthly magazine Der Schulungsbrief, published by the Reich Schooling Office of the NSDAP and the German Worker Front.
Swastika – Reich Flag – Reich War Flag! A symbol has thereby became a symbol of unity for the German folk, which has accompanied its ancestors through Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age and early history, and German man through the Middle Ages down to the present time: 5,000 years of German history lie in the swastika!
Around the time of Christ, the swastika has been found among Germanic tribes on hundreds of urns filled with funeral ashes, on countless pieces of jewelry and weapons, clothes and equipment, so often that one can speak of a Germanic national symbol. And even 3,000 years before that time, hence farther back into the Stone Age of Northern Germany’s Nordic culture, from which the later Germanic folk first developed, we find the swastika. It is really tied to our homeland.
Now the scholars come and grin with superiority, or the world travelers, and say, each convinced of the correctness of his claim, naturally each something different: “But the swastika is of Chinese origin!” – Or: “It is a purely Indian symbol!” In short, there is nothing that it is not supposed to be, and the final thing is: all folks have had the swastika and not perhaps become acquainted with, borrowed or adopted it from another, no, the “idea of folks”, that is the escape. Human intellect is supposedly in its organization so much the same in the world that it simultaneously thought up the swastika in the most diverse locations and made it a symbol, independent from one another; the swastikas in the many lands supposedly have nothing to do with each other in their origin. – That is the same as if the Soviet star in Russia were not connected with the one in America or France in its evolution and had nothing to do with it. We know that, the other way around, precisely the closest ties are present. But how is it with things that lie so far in the past such as the history of the swastika? Can we still achieve clarity, can one still come to sure conclusions? We certainly can do this and want to see in what way this is possible!
If one does not want to lose the solid ground beneath one’s feet, one must in the observation of the history of the swastika proceed from the facts of findings in that one precisely examines the finds of swastikas in all excavations that, as we heard, are distributed across five thousand years. Only then can one form a picture of the journeys of the swastika in prehistory, if one exactly dates each individual uncovered piece and furthermore observes what significance the swastika on it can have, what meaning lies within it. Certainly, this laborious method is not so easily carried out as others, observations based on conjectures and assumptions. If we ascertain the age of all swastika finds, it is revealed that the oldest lie in Europe and that those of the same age are only found on a line following the Indo-Germanic wanderings of the late Stone Age, which, after all, emanate from Europe and lead across Asia Minor to India. The farther we distance ourselves from this region, the more recent do finds to date become.