1912 15 years old Raymond and a good luck charm later tarnished by Hitler

Detail of RPPC

Detail of RPPC. Private Collection.

I thought him older but the note on the back of this RPPC reveals he was 15 and a half at the time the picture was taken. Must be the classic menswear and the serious expression.

He’s wearing a coat that still would be stylish today. On his head a russian style fur hat and yes, this is a swastika tie pin on him. I like pictures that prompt me to do research.  This pre-dates by two decades Hitler’s defamation of the symbol. The swastika bears so many meanings and was used in surprising ways.

Looking at the style of house behind him the boy was American, and this is not common knowledge, but apart from being an ancient Hindu symbol of good luck, the swastika has U.S. roots too.

The Navajo tribe used it (how they came about to using it would be interesting to find out too), and the 45th American National Guard infantry unit adopted the symbol in the 1910s as a tribute to Native Americans. That’s right, they wore a swastika as their patch, at least until Hitler unfortunately adopted it in the 30s. They then replaced it with a Thunderbird. Also, aviators used to pin it on as a lucky charm.

Why Raymond wore it? For the same reason mentioned: a good luck charm.

Raymond in the snow. RPPC. Private collection.

Raymond in the snow. RPPC. Private collection.

With a sweet note to his grandma

To his grandmother -aw.

Raymond may look all grown up on this picture, but when you still count your age in half years…!

RPPC: AZO 1904-1918

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6 responses to “1912 15 years old Raymond and a good luck charm later tarnished by Hitler

  • Photobooth Journal

    Great info and great research!

    Liked by 1 person

  • summertime75

    It’s unfortunate that innocent symbols, book and music can be associated with evil and then tainted. The flag of St George, a symbol of “Englishness” has been hijacked by the far right and it’s display is now generally view as racist, Wagner’s music is still view in association with Hitler and even literature such as “Catcher in the Rye” has been associated with the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan and the killing of John Lennon. We see the same today with morons using religion, or rather their narrow interpretation of the texts to justify hideous act on others. Equally symbols can be a source of strength and unity in difficult times whether religious or secular. During one of my degree modules I did a maths module lol and I always remember this quote, Symbols, in a symbol there is concealment and yet revelation”

    Liked by 1 person

    • bowlersandhighcollars

      Can’t change history, unfortunately. There is this big debate about the confederate flag here in the US, and whether it should fly on government buildings in the South. It represents racism to most, but to Southerners it has a different meaning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • summertime75

        I’ve seen the arguments in the papers and I can partly understand why some people are upset but equally I get very angry about people who feel it’s necessary to keep apologising for the past for example the genealogy programmes where a “celeb” discovers that their distant relative was a slave owner and then spends the next half an hour apologising, it wasn’t them and what is important is what they do now that’s important, as you say you can’t change history only learn from it and try not to make the same mistakes – lol wishful thinking

        Liked by 1 person

      • bowlersandhighcollars

        Oh don’t I know. There’s too much political correctness and it’s true. What your ancestors did give you no right or right to be outraged.

        Liked by 1 person

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