Growing up I learned that the Nazi Germans called themselves "Aryans". This fact intrigued me for a long time because all my knowledge makes me believe that Aryans are people from Indo - Iranian region. They are not even remotely close to Europeans let alone Germans. So, how and why did the Nazi Germans call themselves "Aryans"?
Heinrich Schliemann, a German businessman and archaeologist was conducting excavations at modern-day Tevfikiye in Turkey where he found pottery with certain designs. The designs were found on almost all the pots. The designs were of "Swastika". He tried to find out the meaning and origin of these designs and it is when he met Emiel Bernuff. Bernuff was a scholar of ancient Indian texts. Bernuff told Schliemann that Swastika was first motioned in the Rig Veda. He also that the symbol, Swastika, was used by Aryans who happen to settle in and around the river Ganga. Additionally, he also told that the Aryans were conquerors from the North.
Fast forward a couple of years.
Adolf Hitler, the to be supremo of Nazi Germany was reading this whole episode. He believed that the Aryans were from "Germany" and technically he was not wrong because it was mentioned that they came from the North but didn't really mention about the particular location.
In 1920, Adolf Hitler adopted the symbol of Swastika, scared to Hindus, as the symbol of Nazi Germany. He could never really connect with Christianity as he believed that it had its roots in Hebrew which essentially is the language used by Jews.
This is how two completely different mythologies were connected to form completely new and absurd mythology.
Connecting the Dots - My Hypothesis!
The Indus Valley Civilization flourished from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE. Around the same time, other civilizations such as the Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Chinese civilizations flourished. The Indus Valley Civilization is famous for its seals. One famous seal depicts Lord Shiva in sitting posture surrounded by sacred animals. Lord Shiva is one of the three primary gods of Hinduism which makes me believe that they must have also had seals depicting the Swastika. It was also widely believed that Aryans were none other than the Indus Valley inhabitants. Indus Valley extended almost all from Central Iran to Punjab and from Kashmir to Gujarat. This probably explains the Indo - Iranian origin of Aryans.
The city of Troy, now called Tevfikiye was one of the key port city of Mesopotamian civilization. The city was established around 3000 BCE. The city must have had trade relations with the prominent Indus cities of Harappa, Lothal etc. It must have been from these trades that the seals and pottery depicting Swastika reached Troy.
Simple trade relation between Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamian civilization all together gave rise to the mythology which blackened the meaning of Swastika. This very mythology also gave rise false identity of Aryans. This very mythology is a prime example of cultural theft.
Before I conclude, I would like to say that the Aryan ancestry and the invasion theory is quite vast and entangled and comes with a lot of strings attached but there are is a fact I would like to state.
The word Aryan comes from Rig Veda, which happens to be a sacred Hindu text. Ramayana, another sacred Hindu text mentions about Aryan but it does not mention the origin of Aryans but only describes it as a word for noble person.
Example:- After a bitter duel between Vali and Sugreeva, Vali falls down after being hit by an arrow discharged by Sri Rama. On hearing this news, Lady Tara, wife of Vali, rushes out to reach her slain husband while the Vanara generals seek of her to anoint Angada as king immediately or leave Kishkindha, for Sugreeva and his men may come occupying the city. She chides their bits of advice away and proceeds to meet Vali.
She arrives at that place, sees Sri Rama and his brother Lakshmana, her husband Vali and his brother Sugreeva. She faints.
On getting up as though reawakened from sleep she saw her husband bound fast by the strings of death, and then she wailingly addressed him as, "Oh! Aryaputra (आर्य पुत्र )"
सुप्ता इव पुनर् उत्थाय आर्य पुत्र इति वादिनी | रुरोद सा पतिम् दृष्ट्वा सम्वीतम् मृत्यु दामभिः || (Aranya kanda 19 Sarga 27 Sloka)
Kishkinda area comes in Southern parts of India. We can get a hint from Srimad Ramayana that women living even in the areas down South of India of Ramayana period, that too people living in Hill areas, used to call their husbands as ‘Aryaputra – son of a person having noble ideas”.
To conclude with, the Nazi Germans truly maligned the words, "Aryans" and "Swastika".