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Poll: Nazi symbolism

  1. Should be removed upon notice in any public space, no matter the visability.

    10 vote(s)
  2. Should be removed only if it really is an "eyesore". The symbolism doesn't escalate the urgency.

    9 vote(s)
  3. I am a nazi, so I appreciate the art. :smile:

    3 vote(s)
  1. Mar 27, 2012 #1
    I recently took issue with a swastika imprinted into a concrete step at an appartment building I recently moved into.

    It was only about 7 inches in diameter, and was imprinted into a concrete step so contrast was low. That being said once noticed, it was always noticed.

    Anyways, from asking around I learned it has been there for at least a year.

    One email to the property management company along with reference to a by law and the step was repaired within hours.

    What a dichotomy, was I that overly sensitive to the symbolism of the graffiti. I appreciate the person who did this probably wasn't even a "nazi" let alone necessarily a racist, but still it's the symbolism of the image that irked me as to why it was there for at least a year.

    I noticed a grammar error in the second poll option. "is" shouldn't be there, blame the editor.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2012 #2
    Was the symbol parallel to the frame, or was it tilted at a 45 degree angle?
  4. Mar 27, 2012 #3
    I'm one of those rather young persons who hasn't really seen anything from the war or its effects, and I don't really care about the symbolism. However, I *do* know that there are a lot of people who feel insulted by it, and with few exceptions that really is the most plausable reason people are using the symbolism in the first place, so I don't much like it when I see it.

    Nevertheless, I think people should be free to use whatever symbolism they want, as long as they're not destroying other people's property. And, in cases where other people's property is violated, the punishment should be the same regardless of whether some kind of offensive symbolism was used.
  5. Mar 27, 2012 #4


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    Perhaps most people either don't care, don't care enough to contact the apartment manager or care but didn't realise they could get it removed that easily.

    Personally I wouldn't care too much is there was a swastika on the step outside where I lived purely because I have other things to be worrying about than a faded bit of graffeti. If I saw the apartment manager or had to talk to them about something more serious I might mention it but it wouldn't be a priority.
    :confused: Surely there is a difference between something like a Banksey work of art on the side of a pub in a cosmopoliton area and a racist slur against an ethnic minority on the side of their church/community centre? I'm not saying the first example is something that should be allowed (purely because it would encourage bad artists to try it out) but the latter is clearly a worse offence.
  6. Mar 27, 2012 #5
    Fixed that for you.
  7. Mar 27, 2012 #6
    Ah, my apologies for being unclear. I didn't mean cases where people where actually trying to insult a specific person or group of people: a hate-crime, if you will. In those cases, yes, I think there is a very clear difference. What I was talking about was the use of 'general' 'offensive symbolism', such as a swastika on an office building, which has nothing to do with nazis or anything and is generally not intended to accuse people of being nazis, for example.
  8. Mar 27, 2012 #7
    First of all swastika as denoted is not a symbol invented by the nazi regime. It was adopted from asian culture by the nazi regime.


    And swastika is not German or English word, it's a Sanskrit word.
  9. Mar 27, 2012 #8
    I think most people here know this. But lets be realistic here. When people scratch the symbol on someone's wall, they're in nine out of ten cases not doing it to evoke 'shakti', or anything of the sort. They *know* they're insulting people by writing it.
  10. Mar 27, 2012 #9
    Then you should also be knowing that people from asia use this symbol on dooors, buildings etc for good luck. So having overreaction would be a bad habit.
  11. Mar 27, 2012 #10
    if someone takes offense, or is annoyed by it, then it should be removed, as long as it's in a public area or whatever

    most people who are into doodling swastikas are young fools who are tying to be "edgy" so I don't really see it as any consequence, at least in *most* situations
  12. Mar 27, 2012 #11
    So you REALLY think that a piece of graffiti of a swastika was being made by some kind of buddhist monk?? Let's be serious here.
  13. Mar 27, 2012 #12
    there's always a chance, which is what I think Jimmy might have been pointing out. However... I think it's also unlikely that some jerk sticking swastikas places is going to be 100% sure of the proper depiction of it. The kinds of people who probably couldn't find Germany on a map are the people I imagine doing this. At least in the USA.
  14. Mar 27, 2012 #13
    The difference in design is usually quite obvious. If it's well-designed and has a central place on someone's door, or I know the people living there are 'spiritual' types, I'm not going to assume they made it because of hate. However, we were talking about the obvious big-black-cross type of things, or the ones that've been carbed in a wall by a knife. The people making those *know* (at least, they should) that others are going to associate these with WWII.
  15. Mar 27, 2012 #14

    jim hardy

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    Probably a kid. Around age fourteen the boys are fascinated by power i think it's something to do with puberty. Mother Nature preparing them to leave the nest.

    IMHO that's the downside of teaching holocaust in grade school. It presents Nazis as powerful.
    Instead kids should be shown movies of Berlin Airlift and "Operation Little Vittles" where kindly airforce pilots dropped handkerchief parachutes loaded with gum and chocolates out their cockpit windows to the German children lining the airfield fences. There is some very touching newsreel footage out there.

    Teach cruelty and you'll get cruelty. Teach kindness instead.

    just my thought. I remember being fourteen....
  16. Mar 27, 2012 #15


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    I don't specifically agree with the statement realting to teaching of the holocaust but I do think you touch on a point of how violence and the military are heroized (for want of a better word) to boys. IMO schools from the moment pupils enter should teach the positives of different cultures throughout history (with appropriate levels of critical thinking) along side teaching various horrific acts that people have conducted.

    I remember being about 8 when at school we were studying the Romans. All the boys dressed up like soldiers and had a battle reinacter come and teach us how the Romans fought with their swords and shields. An important part of history perhaps but all it did was fixate in our minds that the Romans were cool and this is the best way to gut barbarians who resist being conquered and subjegated by your empire. Personally I think a more worthwhile lesson would have been to dress us up as Celts or some other tribal people, have us taught to reinact life in a Celtic villiage before having a phallanx of adults dressed as Romans come over the hill, "kill us" and take all our stuff. That would be a better lesson to learn about imperialism. I'm not trying to be overtly PC but there is too much militarism in the culture of western societies IMO and not enough emphasise on diplomacy and humanitarianism.
  17. Mar 27, 2012 #16
    Doesn't that just depend on where you went to school/who your parents are? When I was a young kid, I remember being told the exact opposite at school and by my parents: that the military was sucky and takes away your freedom, but that its existence was sadly necessary. I think this might just depend on the 'patriotism' of the average teacher.

    Of course, you may be right in that the average person heroizes these things, but that has not been my experience.
  18. Mar 27, 2012 #17
    Lets suppose what you are saying is right , the op has still not described the geometry or shape of the symbol to make any conclusion. Without proper facts it is difficult to say its a nazi symbol. And the Nazi symbol is quite different from the one used by asian culture .
  19. Mar 27, 2012 #18
    The step is square, the symbol was on about a 45 to being squared with the step.

    Given the context it was most deffinitly meant to be a nuasance. Why not good ol' fashioned "f**k". that's offence to all equally. :smile:
  20. Mar 27, 2012 #19
    In my opinion, it is unlikely that the author of this symbol intended it as a religious one. The haste with which the property managers removed it is indicative of their distaste for the associations it brings. For this I applaud their action. This appears to be an act of desecration and if the guilty party could be identified it would expose them to legal action. Aside from the desecration issue, the symbol itself, upsetting as it is, should not be illegal in my opinion and should fall under free speech protection. From a purely practical point of view, it would be ironic if an authoritarian regime should take over and find that there was no need to impose censorship, such laws already being put in place by their opponents.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  21. Mar 27, 2012 #20


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    Not in the US or, imo, a country that truly values the concept of freedom of speech. I recognize that some european countries ban public practice of naziism, but such a thing is inconceivable here.

    That said, I still haven't written my essay against hate crime laws...

    Edit: clarification: the post you responded to said nothing of a specific target of the message. That's harrassment. Lacking a specific target, the two acts are Constitutionally identical.
  22. Mar 27, 2012 #21
    Ah ha, I think I'm getting at why I took issue with this.

    I totally agree with Russ Watters & Jimmy on the free speech perspective.

    That perspective imposed on property that since I moved onto I consider as partly my own. In turn any symbolism on the property is a reflection of me. (not in my backyard reasoning)

    Yea super big kudos to the property management company for such a speedy repair. I totally wasn't expecting that.
  23. Mar 27, 2012 #22
    I take offense to the act of women wearing clothing in public.
  24. Mar 27, 2012 #23
  25. Mar 28, 2012 #24


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    I contest this, it isn't a freedom of speech issue at all and I'm baffled as to why you brought that up. I do agree that harrassment is a seperate issue.
  26. Mar 28, 2012 #25


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    Perhaps I misunderstood, so I'll convey my understanding of your post:

    You said a Nazi symbol in graffiti is worse than art in graffiti, right? The fundamental difference between the two is the message: one is positive or neutral and the other is hateful. So hateful graffiti would be a different (more serious) crime than artful graffiti due to the included hateful message.

    Is any of that a misunderstanding of your post? This implies to me that if the same two pieces of graffiti were instead painted on a canvas and hung in an art gallery, one should still be censored -- as in my understanding, it would be in many European countries.

    Perhaps the question I need to ask you is: worse how/in what sense? If the answer is that it is worse because it is posted on a synagogue, then I think you misread the post you were responding to.
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