An Examination of Occult Symbols Used in the Hitler’s Youth Badge of 1943

There has been much debate about the role that Occultism and Mysticism played in Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke maintains that while traces of occultism can be found in the Nazi party, its widespread use is extremely exaggerated. Adolf Hitler denied the use of occultism in his 1938 Nuremberg address saying,”National Socialism is not a cult-movement – a movement for worship; it is exclusively a ‘volkic’ political doctrine based upon racial principles. In its purpose there is no mystic cult, only the care and leadership of a people defined by a common blood-relationship… We will not allow mystically-minded occult folk with a passion for exploring the secrets of the world beyond to steal into our Movement. Such folk are not National Socialists, but something else – in any case, something which has nothing to do with us.”

Contrary to the Fuhrer’s dismissal of Nazi occultism, one need only examine the Hitler Youth (HJ) sports competition tinnie of 1943 to recognize mysticism’s underlying role in the Nazi Party. The badge has a swastika that is imposed upon a diamond shaped figure and nestled between a crescent of oak leaves. The badge’s design is simple yet highly symbolic.

The swastika’s origin can be traced to ancient India and is widely used in Hinduism. The symbol, and its variant designs, can be found among religious symbols used in ancient Greece, Egypt, China and the North American Navaho tribes. During the 19th century, the Western world considered the swastika a good luck symbol.

The Nazi’s adaptation was based upon Dr. Frederick Krohn’s design which was used by the secretive Germanen Order. Hitler further adulterated Krohn’s design by tilting the swastika on its axis. Hitler’s perversion of this once sacred symbol was intended to invoke disruptive and chaotic forces, instead of promoting safety and well-being. Not since the Nazi’s employ of the swastika has any other symbol become so iconic with evil.

The diamond shaped motif as the badge’s center piece is the rune “Ingwaz.” It is the twenty-second ruin of Elder Futhark alphabet used by the ancient Germanic people from 150 AD to 800AD. This rune represents the seed of masculine power that must be planted and undergo a gestation period before its unsurpassed potential is manifested. Hitler saw the youth group as a means to breed a supreme Aryan race upon which Germany’s future depended. Hitler made it quite clear that he expected the youth to portray the Nazi ideal of nationalism, obedience and strength when he said,“The weak must be chiseled away. I want young men and women who can suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp’s steel.”

The crescent-shaped oak leaves cradling the rune motif has dual meaning. In many ancient cultures, the oak tree symbolized strength and courage. The Romans connected the oak tree to the sky god Jupiter and his wife Juno, and considered the tree as a symbol of conjugal fidelity.

The U-shape of the crescent has its origin in pagan dogma and is considered to be an icon for the moon goddess. The ancients related the crescent with the goddess’ womb and thus a symbol of fertility, and protection.

Considering the symbolic meanings of the badge’s elements, their assembly and the fact that the badge was awarded only to the Hitler Youth, it is evident that the Nazi’s evoked supernatural powers in their development of a superior race. The rune Ingwaz is firmly implanted in an oak crescent. This combination of symbols clearly implies that German’s youth was the seed of an Aryan race undergoing a gestation in the protective womb of a National-Socialist mother who would give birth to Adolf Hitler’s vision of a new and greater Germany.

The Nazi Party’s use of the occult has been debated for generations past and will continue to be debated for generations to come. The Hitler Youth tinnie is only one example of the Nazi’s use of mysticism. There are many more. Yes, Adolf Hitler, emphatically denied the use of pagan practices, but after all is not the devil’s greatest accomplishment convincing mankind that he does not exist?

I am a member of the Louisiana Numismatic Association and I am an officer in the Crescent City Coin Club. The scope of my focus is coins ranging from ancient Greece and Rome, including non-classical ancient coins, to early foreign coins.

You can find a large selection of unique coins from Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome,and early foreign coins on my webpage. You will also find a unique collection of stamps, covers, folded letters and militaria collectibles on my webpage []

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