To stop the defamation of the Jewish people... to secure justice and fair treatment to all
Anti-Defamation League ABOUT ADL FIND YOUR 
Hate On Display: A Visual Database of
Extremist Symbols, Logos and Tattoos
Graphic Symbols
Pagan Symbols Co-opted by Extremists
Number Symbols
Racist Acronyms
White Power Music
About The Symbols
Subscribe to ADL's Law Enforcement newsletter

Four Star Charity
Report Hate Symbols to ADL

Help ADL Fight Hate
Contribute to ADL
Life Rune
Life Rune

Disclaimer: Nazi Germany glorified an idealized "Aryan/Norse" heritage, consequently extremists have appropriated many symbols from pre-Christian Europe for their own uses. They give such symbols a racist significance, even though the symbols did not originally have such meaning and are often used by nonracists today, especially practitioners of modern pagan religions

Symbol Type

Neo-Nazi Symbol

General Racist Symbol

Symbol Description

Vertical line branching at top into three smaller lines

Also Known As

Elhaz rune, Algis rune

Traditional Use/Origins

Literally "elk," the elhaz rune in pre-Christian Europe had meanings related to stags or hunting, as well as honor, nobility, or protection.

Hate Group/Extremist Organization

Neo-Nazis, Racist Skinheads

Extremist Meaning or Representation

Often called the "life rune" (from the German lebenrune), it was the symbol of the SS's Lebensborn project (see below). To white supremacists, it signifies the future of the white race.


The ancient runic symbol was adopted in the 1930s by the SS's Lebensborn project, which encouraged SS troopers to have children out of wedlock with "Aryan" mothers and which kidnapped children of Aryan appearance from the countries of occupied Europe to raise as Germans. The neo-Nazi National Alliance adopted this symbol as part of their logo.

LEARN On-line Home  |  ADL On-line Home   |  Search  |  About ADL  |  Contact ADL  |  Privacy Policy

© 2005 Anti-Defamation League