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Wikipedia:Today's featured article/May 1, 2005

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Swastika in traditional Hindu form

The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms at right angles to either the right or left. It is traditionally oriented so that a main line is horizontal, though is occasionally found at a 45-degree angle to this, with the Hindu version typically featuring a dot in each quadrant. The history of the swastika dates back to the prehistoric peoples living on the Eurasian continent, and remains an important symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, among others. It had meaning and use in Native American and Jewish faiths prior to World War II, and was regarded worldwide as symbol of good luck and auspiciousness at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the 1930s, the swastika was claimed by the German Nazi Party, and in much of the world it has since had a strong association with racist fascism and the Holocaust. In recent decades there have been unsuccessful attempts by individuals and groups to advocate the view that the swastika's ancient origins supersede its more recent negative connotations.

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