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Author Topic: Secrets and lies shroud origins of giant swastika
snopes
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The forest stands overhead in the dusty mountain air, a dense composition of fir trees on a slope, planted by labor gangs decades ago.

Its right angles are sharp and clear, forming a square cross with an upraised arm on one side and a turned-down arm on the other. Viewed from this remote village, the effect strongly suggests a living swastika, a huge and chilling symbol, out of place and time.

This is the so-called Eki Naryn swastika, a man-made arrangement of trees near the edge of the Himalayas. It is at least 60 years old, according to the region's forestry service, and roughly 600 feet across.

Legend has it that German prisoners of war, pressed into forestry duty after World War II, duped their Soviet guards and planted rows of seedlings in the shape of the emblem Hitler had chosen as his own.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/16/asia/web.0916swat.php

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kallrynne
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Is there a better picture of this anywhere? Because it appears to be a reverse swastika, which, from my limited understanding, means something completely different.

Is it not a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buhdism, and Jainism? I've been told that it means peace and good luck and you see it all over the place in India, and I'm sure several other parts of the world.

The fact that no one actually knows it's origins makes me question the whole nazi/swastika thing. I don't want to sound like an idiot or anything, but it seems like the locals were just trying to come up with a reason for it, and since no one knew for sure, they made up a whole bunch of stuff.

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Don Enrico
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quote:
Originally posted by kallrynne:
Because it appears to be a reverse swastika, (...)

It is:
quote:
The mystery's persistence is in its way surprising, given that as a Nazi swastika the symbol is imperfect, whether by design or because of uneven terrain. Hitler's swastika was tilted 45 degrees; the formation here is almost level. Moreover, the arms do not mimic the Third Reich's symbol, but its mirror image - a swastika in reverse.
I couldn't find any picture in the article, by the way.

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Richard W
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quote:
Originally posted by kallrynne:
Is there a better picture of this anywhere? Because it appears to be a reverse swastika, which, from my limited understanding, means something completely different.

Is it not a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buhdism, and Jainism? I've been told that it means peace and good luck and you see it all over the place in India, and I'm sure several other parts of the world.

You do; it can be either way round, not just "reversed" and still have this meaning.

The Nazi swastika is at 45 degrees and usually in a white circle on a red background (except on the tails of aircraft and so on)...

(Irrelevant aside:)

Sometimes it can be ambiguous which is meant, though. I had a disagreement with some friends in Amsterdam over a wall-hanging of Ganesha in a coffeeshop. It was printed in red on a yellow background, and in the centre of one palm, the main design was faded out and there was a cruder swastika drawn in. Because there was no sign of the cloth being bleached, and the swastika was the same colour as the rest of the print, I assumed this had been done as a good luck symbol before the printing itself, perhaps on the original plate. My friend assumed that a passing neo-fascist had vandalised the wall-hanging itself to express their disapproval of it, and was quite upset by it.

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VeebleFetzer
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There used to be one of these in Germany, too. They seem to have felt the need to get rid of it, though…

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Cactus Wren
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There's a NYT pic of it here and another here. A blogger here offers the opinion that it's not a Nazi swastika at all:
quote:
What struck me first was the location of this oddity: Near the Kyrgyz village of Tash-Bashat, “near the edge of the Himalayas”, as described in the Times article. That would be right next door to Tibet and the Indian subcontinent.

Secondly, the shape of this tree arrangement, dubbed the Eki Naryn swastika: A reverse mirror-image of the familiar Nazi symbol, and with a level orientation.... It seems much more probable to me, given the proximity of Tibet as a Buddhist center of influence. The particular style for this swastika points much more to Buddhist use than a Nazi one.



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Fun with a 9mm
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i'm not seeing the swastika...Looks like there was a die-out and NATURE created the arrangement.

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Drainfluid
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Especially on the second NYT picture it just looks like some loggers have been working on one side of a natural forest. It isn't a swastika at all.
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Andrew of Ware, England
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I can't see the design either, but I believe fir trees are quick growing so it should not be too hard with felling and planting for any design to be obliterated.

(Related hi-jack) Does anyone know if this story is true? In 1945, with the end of the war, German POWs were due to be repatriated. Many of the POWs had become friendly with local residents and before returning home one group of POWs asked if they could plant some daffodils so that the residents would remember them.

The residents agreed and so the bulbs were planted. Next spring, with the prisoners now back in Germany, the daffodils bloomed and horrified residents saw that they spelt out the words 'Heil Hitler' and there was a swastika design as well.

True or UL?

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Ganzfeld
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If that's a swastika, I'm the Queen of England.
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TrishDaDish
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About trying to determine when the trees were planted: Am I the only one thinking the obvious here? Why hasn't someone cut down a tree in the "formation" and...oh, I dunno...count it's rings to determine how old it is?!

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Mad Jay
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I'm curious why it's named "Eki Naryn" swastika.

"Ek Narayan" in hindi means "One God", and the swastika symbolizes the creative spirit of the universe. I'm curious whether this swastika was planted by some people whose religion had roots in ancient Hinduism.

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beaver_slayer
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Mad Jay

I'm curious why it's named "Eki Naryn" swastika.

The reason is quite simple: the swastika is located near the village Eki Naryn, with "Eki" being "two" in Kyrgyz and "Naryn" being the name of two rivers (Small Naryn and Big Naryn, well... I'm not perfect with translation of geographic names) that join near the village. So, well, no Hindu-Vedi blabber here.

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Cambion
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I'm also not seeing the picture.

Also, in terms of a "reversed" swastika, I have seen it on a Japanese trading card, and it ruffled all kinds of feathers a few years ago. From what I know, a reversed swastika means "good health" - whether it's in Japanese or not is still a mystery to me. Quite the irony that turning the symbol 180 degrees transforms its meaning into something opposite of what is normally associated with the original.

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Joostik
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BTW, the Bolsheviks used the swastika too, in the early years of the Soviet Union. This was before the rise of Hitler. I have seen Soviet propaganda material, emblems and postage stamps with swastikas.
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Joostik
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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England:
In 1945, with the end of the war, German POWs were due to be repatriated.

Most stayed a little longer.

ETA: Even so, relatively speaking, the British let their German prisoners of war go home earlier than the other Allies. The French let their prisoners working for years after the war, as reparations. The Americans for a long time run notorious camps like the Rhine meadows prisoner of war camps in Germany, while those held by the Soviet Union only returned after decades, if at all.

This is to say that any German prisoner of war returning from Britain would come home to a Germany still in the midst of denazification. Such a prank as described (with the daffodils) could have had dire consequences.

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kittynboi
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I'm with those who say that, if this even is man made, its just something pertainging to eastern religion.

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