Thousands of Gen Zers Mistakenly Get Nazi Symbol Tattoo Inspired by TikTok Trend

Gen Z Nazi tattoo TikTok

Twitter The symbol was used by Nazis in World War II and is now used as a neo-Nazi symbol.

Thousands of Gen Zers were inspired by a TikTok trend to mistakenly get Nazi symbol tattoos as a “sign of rebellion,” according to the Insider.

The movement began when TikTok user @smoothavacado encouraged other Gen Zers to get matching Z tattoos with a line through the middle to represent “unity,” the outlet reported. Generation Z consists of those who were born between 1997 and 2012.

In the now-deleted video, which was dueted by another user that still exists on the app, the woman said, “What if, now hear me out … we all got a matching tattoo, not only a symbol of unity in our generation, but also as a sign of rebellion.”

The German symbol, called a Wolfsangel, is an ancient “runic symbol” that was believed to ward off wolves, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an anti-hate organization dedicated to protecting “Jewish people” from anti-Semitism and securing “justice and fair treatment for all.”

The symbol has been historically used by many groups, including German Nazis, ADL says.

According to the anti-hate group:

Nazi Germany appropriated the Wolfsangel. It appeared as part of the divisional insignia of several Waffen-SS units, including the notorious 2nd SS “Das Reich” Panzer Division. As a result, it became a symbol of choice for neo-Nazis in Europe and the United States. In the United States, the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations incorporated the Wolfsangel into their logo.

Thousands of social media users took to various platforms to show off their new tattoos inspired by the trend, many unaware of the symbol’s appropriated meanings.

Others were quick to point out the similarities between the tattoo and the symbol appropriated by Nazi Germany.

One Twitter user wrote, “if you get that gen z tattoo we’re allowed to bully you,” while another criticized the idea of getting matching tattoos in general.

As news of the tattoo’s likeness to the Nazi symbol began to circulate online, the TikToker responsible for the trend later apologized, explaining she was unaware of the appropriated meaning.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Trend’s Creator Said Her Intentions Were ‘About Love & Unity’

Before @smoothavacado’s account became unavailable, the TikTok drama Twitter account @DefNoodles posted a recording of her apology video.

In the clip, she tearfully expresses that the idea behind the trend was to inspire “love and unity.”

“I have been writing my Zs like that since elementary school,” she says. “So when I put that on there, I did not think anything of it … My entire point of this was to bring my generation together. It was about love and unity, OK?”

She also denounced the symbol.

Versions of the German Symbol Have Been Used to Represent Various Groups for Hundreds of Years

Versions of the Wolfsangel have been used to symbolize various groups for hundreds of years, according to ADL.

“Historically, it appeared in Germany in many places, ranging from guidestones on the sides of roads to heraldic use in the coats of arms of various towns,” the outlet said. “There is even a German city called Wolfsangel.”

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