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Mystery of the Nazi Tie Clip

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  • Mathew Morrell
    Imagine my shock when I saw a 60 year old black and white photograph of Great Grandpa Morrell wearing a swastika tie clip. It didn t seem right. Grandpa
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 11, 2005
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      Imagine my shock when I saw a 60 year old black and white photograph
      of "Great Grandpa Morrell" wearing a swastika tie clip.

      It didn't seem right. "Grandpa Morrell" was a college educated
      gentleman farmer--the 1920s equivalent to a back-to-nature hippie--
      who chose to live in a rural area of Winfield, KS without the
      comforts of town living. In the picture he was dressed in a crisp,
      clean suite, and was straddling a motor cycle (perhaps a Harley
      Davidson) as was fashionable at the time. The swastika tie clip
      seemed out of place somehow. To my knowledge "Great Grandpa Morrell"
      was no Nazi--in fact, my family fought in World War II. The swastika
      tie clip was doubly odd considering the photograph dated back to the
      1920s--before the popular rise of the Nazi movement!

      Seeing this picture sent me on my own investigation. Why
      was "Grandpa Morrell" wearing a swastika tie clip? This was no
      Buddhist or Christian swastika, after all. The swastika had the
      exact shape and dimension used by the Nazis.

      What I learned was that the swastika was being used in the 1920 by
      different organizations loosely associated with the Nazi movement.
      Theosophical orders were wearing swastikas on their ritual gowns. The
      German government was giving away swastika patches during WW I as a
      token of appreciation for those who purchased war bonds. Fighter
      pilots in the WW I (before the Nazi takeover of Germany) hand painted
      swastikas on the sides of their airplanes. Already the swastika was
      becoming the un-offical symbol of Germany, thanks to Von Liszt, the
      German Order and the Theosophical Society.

      Perhaps "Uncle Morrell" knew nothing about the Nazis and wore the
      swastika tie clip simply because he thought it looked nice. Who
      knows?

      Or perhaps there is a more sinister possibility. You see, during the
      1920s, Winfield, Kansas was the center of the Eugenics movement in
      the United States; it housed among the largest sanitariums in the
      nation. Eugenic leaders were pushing for the euthanasia of the
      mentally ill, abortion rights, doctor-assisted suicide, under the
      guise of compassion. It was a hot topic here in Kansas. There are
      old photographs of a wooden, freestanding booth that the Eugenic
      society kept in the 1920s at the Kansas State Fair in Winfield, KS.
      This was a time in history when many Americans like my great
      Grandfather were first being introduced to "new European ideas"--
      occultism, Eugenics, Theosophy--streaming toward them from across the
      Atlantic. The more evil of these ideas swept over the Kansas planes
      like the foul, malicious, murderous flood spewing from the dragons
      mouth in Revelation 12:15.

      My great grandfather may have tasted those evil waters, but hopefully
      he spit them out and threw away that old Nazi tie clip.
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