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Swedish golfer shocked after swastika-ball find

Swedish golfer shocked after swastika-ball find

Published: 21 Aug 2012 11:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Aug 2012 11:16 GMT+02:00

Christer Nyström was playing an early round on Saturday morning at the Arboga golf club in central Sweden when a wayward golf ball went sailing into the rough.

“We were on the third hole, looking for the ball and I was in the high grass. I found another ball instead and realized it had a swastika on it,” Nyström told The Local.

“I was naturally surprised at first, but then I became quite shocked.”

Nyström was playing the day after a busy tournament, although it remains unclear if the ball was left behind from a professional player.

“I find it hard to believe that the ball came from us. For us, the competition is so important that a player wouldn’t leave a ball in the rough,” tournament organizer Jesper Edström told the Nerikes Allehande newspaper.

Meanwhile, the professional appearance of the printed swastika has raised questions of its own.

“The ball is a Titleist – a really professional and expensive ball. The symbol looks as if it’s been professionally done, someone has put a lot of work into this,” Nyström said.

A spokesperson for Titleist however, has explained that the company does not produce any such balls.

“We certainly didn’t print it,” Calle Thelin, responsible for all Titleist logos in Sweden, told The Local.

“Everything that gets printed on a Titleist golf ball in Sweden comes through me – I’d be fired immediately if I allowed something like this through… it definitely has nothing to do with us.”

Thelin however admits that the ball does indeed appear to be of the Titleist brand, and speculates that someone most likely bought the ball and imprinted their own insignia.

As for the ball itself, Nyström is glad to put the whole thing behind him.

“The whole thing was very peculiar, but I didn’t want to keep ball so I handed it over to the club,” he told The Local.

The swastika, an equilateral cross with four arms bent at right angles, was used as a symbol of the Aryan race by the Nazi Party of Germany from as early as 1920. It has also previously been used in various ancient civilizations around the world as a tantric symbol.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:03 August 21, 2012 by isenhand
- It has also previously been used in various ancient civilizations around the world as a tantric symbol. -

And currently used as the symbol for Buddhism and Hinduism (but mainly outside the West). Hindus use the swastika with four dots between the arms. However, Buddhists often use the swastika within a circle, so perhaps the ball once belonged to a Buddhist?

Historically, the Finnish as Latvian air forces also used swastikas. I find it interesting how a "little good luck" symbol used for thousands of years all over the world can change its meaning as a result of a few years use by the Nazis.
12:03 August 21, 2012 by Strongbow
So the story is nazis play golf, or golf players are coming out of the nazi closets? Tiger Woods excluded, golf is one of the whitest sports and fits perfectly with the nazi ideal of exercise, precision and nature as well as having being de facto exclusive for the white elite class.
12:19 August 21, 2012 by engagebrain
isenhand wrote 'I find it interesting how a "little good luck" symbol used for thousands of years all over the world can change its meaning as a result of a few years use by the Nazis.'

Just as suggestion but

perhaps invading Czcheslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, North Africa, Russia

kicking off a world war with 30-50 millions deaths

maybe the concentration camps and the extermination camps

or the persecution of jews, gays, political opponents, slavs.....

for many people the swastika will never be a 'little good luck' symbol' - do you understand.
12:46 August 21, 2012 by themoron
themoron says: After buying a palatial home in Åppelviken, an exclusive suburb of Stockholm, Herman Goering practiced golf. With the ball that was found by Nyström, Mr. Goering made a hole in one.
14:09 August 21, 2012 by Eric1
Communism is as evil as Nazism yet there is little outrage when someone sees a "hammer and sickle".
14:20 August 21, 2012 by StockholmSam
@Eric1

Great point. I suppose it is because the Commies did not bother Europe with their murderous ways that we do not react so sharply to the Soviet symbol. It is sort of like opening a Chinese restaurant and calling it "Genghis Khan," who we know brutally raped and murdered thousands but it was long ago and far away. Nobody would ever open a Schnitzel stand and call it "Adolf Hitler." I wonder how the hammer and sickle is viewed in former Soviet Bloc societies.
15:09 August 21, 2012 by eppie
@eric1

The difference is that the whole idea about nazism was exterminating a race as well as several other groups of people. The idea about communism is an equal division of wealth.

If someone wears a t-shirt with a hammer and sickle he does that because he is for equality, not because he finds it good that Stalin murdered millions of people. If someone wears a t-shirt with a swastika, he does this to show he hates jews.

Do you understand the difference?

If not I can give you another example. Most murders and crimes are commited by men instead of women. If I wear a t-shirt with the symbol for men (the little circle and arrow) will you accuse me of supporting crimes commited by men?

If someone waves an american flag will you accuse him of supporting the killing of vietnamese, latin americans and arabs by the US army? My guess is the person just likes the USA.
15:19 August 21, 2012 by rohermoker
I may be a product of the education system in the US but were not both Hitler and Stalin socilists? If I had been killed in a Nazi concertation camp, or in a Stalin purge, I could not tell you which one was for the better cause.
17:58 August 21, 2012 by Soft Boiled
I´ve heard that Hitler only had one ball....
18:26 August 21, 2012 by Frobobbles
If the swastika is a bad symbol because someone bad used it, what would we not say of the cross and the half-moon!
01:46 August 22, 2012 by strixy
Don't ask your grand-dad what he was up to duing the WWII ;)
03:52 August 22, 2012 by wbs
@eppie

Communism was/is more than division of wealth. The Soviet Union and China have horrible human rights records, as is the case with many communist countries. If you simply argue the economic system of communism alone and disregard the human rights element, then the moron that had a swastika symbol could simply say they support National Socialism as an economic model for getting Germans back to work, not the extermination of millions. But we all know the truth in both cases.....neither was good for humanity
09:23 August 22, 2012 by eppie
@wbs

Ok i will try to explain this once again.Communism (any of the types) is an ideology for a orld with more euqality, but we all know that in many cases communist society's were not real communist societies but horrible dictatorships (such as Stalins USSR), but those millions of deaths were caused by Stalin being a hitler type moron, not because of the communist ideology. Looking nowadays at a country like Cuba would be a better example.....(the country doing much much much better than all the surrounding islands states that are not communist).

Again, national socialism was based on the ellimination of races of people, and via that way create a 'better' society.

Now if you can't see the difference between these two things I think it is best to go to the library and read up a bit.

So again, T-shirt with hammer and sickle = allright, T-Shirt with picture of Stalin would be the same as one with a sastika.

@rohermoker

Interesting idea. However, people like stalin, mao and the Kim family in North korea are actually more comparable to the old kings in europe or to Sadam or any of the other arab dictators.....only interested in personal gain and consumerism so nothing socialist there.
11:50 August 22, 2012 by themoron
themoron says: What about the ball? Who manufactured it? Or, is it a matter to be solved by Holmes? Very good story indeed. A very good one. Now, everybody is checking their own golf balls to see if they do not have a Swastika imprinted.
12:16 August 22, 2012 by DAVID T
"I was naturally surprised at first, but then I became quite shocked."

What a pussy - but what do you expect from a Swedish "Man" He should get back in the kitchen :-)
16:52 August 22, 2012 by themoron
themoron says: I stepped on an ant and I have still not recovered from the shock. Still at the psychiatric ward.
00:28 August 23, 2012 by sigfus45
Some symbols have a lot of emotional ties to them. I am satisfied that Christer Nystrom reacted as most would and brought to attention that there are still some that would take advantage of these emotions.
08:44 August 23, 2012 by Ballcocks
This ball was robably lost by Hitler whilst he was in the bunker ?
09:14 August 23, 2012 by themoron
themoron says: Hitler did not lose one ball in the bunker; he lost two.
15:43 August 23, 2012 by TheWatchman
It didn't look that professional to me. Also, I don't find the Swastika offensive unless it is the Nazi one which is inverted. The Soviet sickle and hammer doesn't offend me because it's usually angsty teenagers wearing it, who don't understand how millions and millions died under that symbol.
17:10 August 23, 2012 by themoron
themoronsays: the swastika on the ball is the one used by the Nazis.In the wake of widespread popular usage, the Nazi Party Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) formally adopted the swastika (in German: Hakenkreuz (hook-cross)) in 1920. This was used on the party's flag (right), badge, and armband.
23:31 August 23, 2012 by jimfromcanada
Hitler took the attractive things about socialism, like paid holidays, government sponsored work projects during the depression, state control of some services etc to sell his party to the working class. He had other conservative policies to appeal to conservative elements in German society, ie a military buildup, repression of liberal ideas, and a cabal of business leaders to support his programs. His socialism was of an opportunistic kind, not basic policy.

Stalin's socialism was a Russian authoritarian approach to control of the economy.

Neither had the democratic kind of socialism that involves state intervention in the economy authorized by parties elected by regular elections that the western European nations espoused, and have practised for most of the 20th century.
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