But it is forever a part of our present – etched into our identity. “Never forget.”
And yet sadly, it is brandished by those who choose to weaponise it against us.
Because the swastika doesn’t just represent the regime of the Third Reich. It represents all that the Nazis and their collaborators destroyed under it.
Six. Million. Individual. Jewish. Lives.
Grandparents and great-grandparents. Mothers, fathers, siblings and children.
It is the burning of our sacred books, and the pilfering of homes where families once ate together, and the broken glass of our shopfronts. It is starvation in the ghettos. And nakedness in forest ravines. And the camps, the camps where all that remained are piles of well-worn shoes.
The swastika is also the loss of millions more – Roma, Sinti, LGBTQI + people and political prisoners. Their lives, stories and histories gone forever too.
So yes, it’s a visceral symbol.
On Monday, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg shared a photo of one of his campaign billboards in his electorate of Kooyong.
There, graffitied on his forehead, was a black swastika.
Josh Frydenberg, a Jewish man, the grandson of four European grandparents, whose great-grandparents and relatives perished in the Holocaust.