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The Wolfsangel (German for "wolf's hook") is a symbol originating in Germany. It is also known as the Wolf's Hook or Doppelhaken. The upright variant is also known as "thunderbolt" (Donnerkeil) and the horizontal variant as "werewolf".
Historically, the symbol possibly originated as a mason's mark and was used as a heraldic symbol in coats of arms. Today, the symbol appears in numerous city coats of arms. There is also a small German town named "Wolfsangel".
In 1910, a fiction book was published by Hermann Löns, titled Der Wehrwolf (later published as Harm Wulf, a peasant chronicle and The Warwolf in English) set in a German farming community during the Thirty Years' War. The book's main character , Harm Wolf, adopts the wolfsangel as a badge against the occupying forces of the ruling princes. Some printings of this book, such as the 1940 edition, showcase a very visible wolfsangel on the book cover.
Various theoretical explanations, historical traces and folk legends persist as to the origins of this symbol, but the information on the actual origins of the symbol appear to have been lost in obscurity.
Alleged Runic Origins Edit
None of the exact modern symbols now called the Wolfsangel are historically part of any runic alphabet.
It may be a bindrune, or more than one rune combined to form a new symbol.The symbol bears a parallel to the Eihwaz rune, turned on its side. The Eihwaz does appear twice in the phrase, "eigi einhamr" which means, "not of one skin" and most of the other runes in the term are also represented within the mark. It can be noted that the vertical line is the exact Isa Rune.
Nationalist Appropriation Edit
Although the symol can be traced back at least hundreds of years, Due to its use by Nazi Germany, along with continuing use by Neo-Nazi organisations, the symbol is sometimes associated with Nazism as are many of the old folk symbols of the Germanic peoples.
Public exhibition of the symbol is illegal in Germany if a connection with any far-right, Nazi or Fascist group is apparent.