Secrets and Lies Shroud Origins of Giant Swastika (Kyrgyzstan)





TASH-BASHAT, Kyrgyzstan — The forest stands overhead in the dusty mountain air, a dense composition of fir trees on a slope, planted by labor gangs decades ago.

Its right angles are sharp and clear, forming a square cross with an upraised arm on one side and a turned-down arm on the other. Viewed from this remote village, the effect strongly suggests a living swastika, a huge and chilling symbol, out of place and time.

This is the so-called Eki Naryn swastika, a man-made arrangement of trees near the edge of the Himalayas. It is at least 60 years old, according to the region’s forestry service, and roughly 600 feet across.

Legend has it that German prisoners of war, pressed into forestry duty after World War II, duped their Soviet guards and planted rows of seedlings in the shape of the emblem Hitler had chosen as his own.


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