Finnish charity selling Nazi rings for Christmas

Der Spiegel reports: A Finnish charity is selling rings engraved with a swastika to raise money for the country’s 80,000 World War II veterans. The €60 ($86) silver bands feature a swastika flanked by stylized wings. A small rosette sits in the center. The rings are on sale until Dec. 31 at R-Kioski supermarkets in ...

597454_071218_nazi_05.jpg
597454_071218_nazi_05.jpg

Der Spiegel reports:

A Finnish charity is selling rings engraved with a swastika to raise money for the country's 80,000 World War II veterans.

The €60 ($86) silver bands feature a swastika flanked by stylized wings. A small rosette sits in the center. The rings are on sale until Dec. 31 at R-Kioski supermarkets in Finland and online. Sixteen thousand have been sold so far. "We thought they would make great Christmas presents for men, or for young people if their grandparents fought in the war," says Finnish Veterans' Association (Sotiemme Veteraanit) head Pia Mikkonen.

Der Spiegel reports:

A Finnish charity is selling rings engraved with a swastika to raise money for the country’s 80,000 World War II veterans.

The €60 ($86) silver bands feature a swastika flanked by stylized wings. A small rosette sits in the center. The rings are on sale until Dec. 31 at R-Kioski supermarkets in Finland and online. Sixteen thousand have been sold so far. “We thought they would make great Christmas presents for men, or for young people if their grandparents fought in the war,” says Finnish Veterans’ Association (Sotiemme Veteraanit) head Pia Mikkonen.

The Finns fought alongside the Germans against an invading Soviet Union during World War II, before switching sides. Besides arguing that the swastika is a traditional symbol of Finnish culture, some Finns also appear to have few regrets about the country’s history. Mikkonen asserts:

We were hoping we could save our country and our independence, and eventually we did…. There hasn’t been confusion here in Finland. For us Finns, it’s not a negative symbol.

But with neo-Nazism reportedly growing in Finland’s European neighborhood, brandishing Nazi symbols may easily convey a different message than the one Mikkonen and the Finnish Veterans’ Association seem to have in mind.

Prerna Mankad is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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