Covered in around 200 swastika tattoos, ManWoman welcomes pilgrims to his Swastika Museum and tries to “detoxify” the hated symbol used by Hitler.
Born to a Polish immigrant mother, at the start of World War 2, ManWoman (Manny, for short) hated the swastika as much as any other westerner. But that all changed when he turned 27 and started having bizarre visions involving the symbol. During these mystical experiences, Manny appeared as a half-man half-woman (thus the weird name) surrounded by a white light that represented everything good: love, peace, god, eternity. An old man would appear and mark his neck and arms with swastikas, instructing him to reclaim the sacredness of the ancient symbol.
At the time he didn’t know much about the history of the swastika, just that it was a symbol of evil, used by the Nazis. After some thorough research he learned the crooked mark dates back to the year 4000 BC and was associated with many religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. The Sanskrit word “svastika” means “conducive to well being”.
That’s when re realized his destiny and started a quest to make the swastika known to the world as the sacred symbol it was before being tainted by Nazis. He got his first swastika tattoo in 1969 and, over the years, gathered an inked collection of over 200.
Although there are those knocking on his door, asking to see the Swastika Museum he set up in his own home, most people still feel uncomfortable around him, associating him with the terror of the Holocaust. He is aware the war to restore the sacredness of the swastika is far from over, but he presses on.