NESSELWANG 1918 5 Mark Grossnotgeld pre-Nazi Swastika + Robert Ball envelope!

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The swastika as a symbol dates back millennia, and it has a very positive meaning such as 'good luck' in many cultures, or at least it did until the Nazis ruined it for everyone by adopting it as their symbol in 1920.

But that isn't necessarily to say that the use of the swastika here is entirely innocent. After the swastika symbol was discovered at the ancient Greek site of Troy by the famous archeologist Heinrich Schliemann, the fact that the same symbol was used in pre-Christian Germanic cultures led the rising nationalist movements in Germany to adopt it as a symbol for a supposed shared cultural ancestry and racial purity that would become the Nazi's official racial ideology. This began in earnest right after World War I, in other words, at the time that this note was issued in 1918.

Not only that, but this note is from Bavaria, where the Nazi Party and Hitler's movement were based, only miles from the border with Austria. So the use of the swastikas here on this note is likely an artifact of the nationalist, völkisch milieu that did ultimately give rise to the Nazi Party, although it's difficult to say for certain.


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