Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Swastika Salt Cellar

I grew up just down the road from my Grandma L. We were always down the road visiting. Grandma's house had a big shaded yard right next to the woods which were perfect for exploring. Grandma's house was also attractive because she always seemed to have some candy laying around just waiting for grandkids.

Grandma always had this pot sitting on her stove. I think she put potholders in it. I don't really remember because it was never what was on the inside that attracted me but what was on the outside.


Now as a kid I knew enough about WWII to be very concerned that my Grandma had a pot covered in Nazi symbols. It really bothered me but I never asked Grandma about it. I don't know if I was scared of what her answer would be or scared that I would offend her by asking. Grandma was a bit stern, I'd say most of us grandkids had a healthy respect for her temperment.

It wasn't until I was in college that I learned that the swastika symbol had been used for centuries among many different cultures around the world. Ancient Native American rock drawings in the Southwest United States have been found that contain swastikas.

I imagine then that this pot must pre-date WWII.
Now I wish I had asked Grandma about it .

Grandma passed away about 1 1/2 years ago. As my mom and sister were going through her house they saved this pot for me and I just received it in the mail this week. (I cried! Thanks!) I didn't even remember that it had the word salt on it. I guess I was distracted by all those swastikas. But of course looking at it now, with the inside rim, it surely had a lid to go with it and was originally used as a salt cellar to be hung on a peg or nail.

Now the Swastika Salt Cellar is in my kitchen holding my dishsoap on a high shelf. I'm afraid to put it on my stove, surely I'd accidentally break it. It's nice to have something in my kitchen that Grandma had in hers....swastikas and all.


  1. Hindus use this symbol also. When we went househunting in the Indian neighborhood here in Zambia, it was disconcerting to see so many gates covered in swastikas.

    How wonderful that you can have a piece of your grandmother's history.


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