Council housing block shaped like swastika

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The housing block

One Google Maps user was browsing maps of Devizes when he stumbled across a view of a local council block, and was shocked to discover that it looks like a swastika from the air. The building has become an internet sensation.

However, it is not the only time this symbol has accidentally put in an appearance.


The block is built on Waiblingen Way - named after the German town that Devizes is twinned with. The twinning took place around the same time as the block was built in the 1960s.

According to the Metro, the council does not know who designed the building. The Telegraph quoted one resident as saying: "We had no idea that our houses looked just like the swastika symbol but there isn't much we can do about it now."

Not the first

It's easy to see why people are drawing conclusions about whether the design was an accident or not. However, it may just be a convenient design. After all, it's not the first building to hit the headlines for looking like a swastika from the air.

A US naval base in San Diego, California, is designed along similar lines and became another Google Earth discovery. Then there was the Wesley Acres retirement home in Decatur Alabama: the fact that it was built in the shape of a swastika was spotted in 2008 and the building's design was altered.

The two buildings in Munich that have the same shape include the one on Hanfstaenglstraße which was built in the 1930s. The architect argued that it saved energy.

And it's not just architects producing the symbol. A newspaper in Sweden was in trouble this week, for publishing a photograph of Christmas cookies which appeared to be in the shape of swastikas. Svenska Dagbladet Today confirmed that they were intended to look like poinsettias, but the editor spotted his mistake once it was pointed out to him.

Deliberate

Some mysterious swastikas are more deliberate. There's a group of larch trees in a Brandenburg forest, which were found growing in a yellow swastika amidst the green. They were discovered by an intern for a landscaping company checking out photographs in 1992. The trees were planted in the 1930s as a tribute to the Nazi Party, and after the discovery, they were destroyed.

Another deliberate move was the building of the village of Hessenaue in South Hessian in the shape of a swastika. It was built in the 1930s, and after the fall of the the Third Reich, the villagers knocked down some buildings to change its shape.

Find the hidden meanings in logos

Find the hidden meanings in logos