Winter Solstice in nazi times

The family canine insists on three regular-scheduled daily walks and nowadays, by five p.m. it's dark out. Of course, the snow helps to brighten things up and besides, it’s not ever really dark on the streets of suburbia. 

Broken Sun Wheel - Silsor  Wikipedia

Yes, winter solstice is almost here and soon the light will again champion the dark. I take great comfort in the consistent rhythms of the seasons . . . old enough to know that darkness, like light, never lasts. It’s all good. 

The Nazis embraced winter solstice and used old pagan symbols to their advantage. I've included this pagan representation of the broken sun wheel. The Nazis had a hard time with Christmas and the birth of the Jewish baby that it celebrated. Most German people loved the holiday and so the Nazis tried to accommodate both Christian and pagan traditions.

Part of my research for my upcoming novel involved interviewing . . . I’d rather call it, sharing a kaffee klatsch . . . with old family friends who grew up during the Nazi years. One particular image from a conversation stayed with me. 

A woman showed me a picture she’d drawn, as a young child using crayons, of a swastika rolling up (or is it down?) a hill. It was such a striking image that I had to borrow the idea for a scene in my book. The swastika represents the sun and it rolls up the hill to bring light into the world. Nature, pagan tradition and political propaganda . . . succinctly tied into one child’s drawing. Terrifying.


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