Recently I came across very interesting information concerning swastika symbolism. The point is that I get used to swastika as to an inherent symbol of Fascism and Hitler’s ideology of racial purity (Nazis by the way adopted the right-facing swastika). Well, I know of course that swastika is a solar ornament used mainly in Indian religions, especially in Hinduism and Buddhism. But frankly speaking I learned about it only at high school.
Anyway I was raised in Western culture and acknowledged better Western symbols, stereotypes and philosophy. At least I know them better than others. So first of all I learned about swastika as a symbol of the Nazis and then about Eastern meaning of this ornament. Things went upside down in my mind when I found the initial meaning of swastika. Several years I associated this symbol, which by the way literally means “to be good”, with Fascism, the Holocaust and other war atrocities of the II World war. The swastika was disgraced and in many countries still serves as symbol of nationalism. While in Eastern Asia the situation is completely different and swastika serves as a symbol of all virtues of the world.
I was pretty surprised and it really amazed me when I came across the information on the Red Swastika Society. It is a philanthropic association which was established in China in 1922. This society can be compared with the Red Cross humanitarian movement in terms of the main principles to serve, support and help people. Later branches of the Red Swastika Society appeared in many other countries. Today the RSS has branches and representatives in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. It is still influential world humanitarian organization and its contribution is invaluable and priceless.
Not many know and even guess that there was the genocide in China in the first half of the 20th century so called the Nanking Massacre (also known as Rape of Nanking). In 1937 Japanese army occupied ancient and former Chinese capital Nanking and carried out a massacre. They say that hundreds of thousands were killed violently. During this period Japanese soldiers were forbidden to use firearm so they killed people with bayonets to save their bullets. They raped women, they looted. Nothing stopped them. They say that about 300000 were killed during six weeks (!) after the fall of Nanking. Well, Japanese government doesn’t want to admit guilt claiming that these numbers were fabricated and exaggerated. Who knows, but the case is still disputable. The problem is that Japanese army destroyed records on the killings. Denial of these atrocities is shameful for Japan. Nevertheless it was a terrible crime against humanity whether Japanese killed 30000 or 300000 people.
Members of the Red Swastika Society were among those who tried to save and to help who suffered from the Japanese army. RRS’s volunteers assisted in burials.
Later the RSS helped people during Mao Zedong rule in China. Even today this philanthropic organization focus mainly on charity running several schools in Singapore and in Honk Kong.