U.S. Navy to fix swastika-shaped barracks in Calif

LOS ANGELES Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:26am IST

Related Topics

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy barracks in Southern California that resemble a swastika from the air is to get a $600,000 make-over after spawning myriad conspiracy theories and concerns by Jewish groups.

On the ground, the four L-shaped buildings are simply part of the U.S. amphibious base at Coronado island in San Diego.

But the growing popularity of satellite images from Google Earth alerted people to the fact that they are shaped like a swastika when seen from above.

"The Navy came to realize that this is a symbol that thousands of people died to defeat and it was inappropriate to have that shape on a military base," Morris Casuto, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which campaigned for modifications to the building, said on Wednesday.

After nine months of talks with the ADL, Casuto said the the Navy told him this week it would spend $600,000 on landscaping and architectural changes that would obscure the swastika shape from the air.

The Navy has said the buildings, which serves barracks for the Seabees, were constructed in the late 1960s and were not intended to resemble the Nazi symbol. But that has done nothing to silence theories circling the Internet in the past two years.

One suggests they were built by German prisoners of war who slipped the layout past the Navy. Another hypothesis suggests the shape was intended to help the buildings survive bombing formations used by the Japanese navy.

Casuto said talks with the Navy were amicable and that no lawsuits were ever threatened.

"We didn't enter this minor controversy presuming there was any evil intent on the part of anyone. We understood this was not the number one priority of a nation at war. The Navy decided on their own it was the right thing to do," Casuto said.

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Countering China

Countering China

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Society created Delhi gang rape convicts: Filmmaker Leslee Udwin.  Full Article | Related Story 

Kohli Censured

Kohli Censured

BCCI warns Virat Kohli against repeat of misbehaviour.  Full Article 

MUDRA Bank

MUDRA Bank

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

PML(N)'s Hope

PML(N)'s Hope

Pakistan's ruling party looks for gains in upper house election  Full Article 

For Women's Right

For Women's Right

Afghan men don burqas, take to the streets for women's rights.  Full Article 

U.S. Envoy Attacked

U.S. Envoy Attacked

Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea  Full Article 

New Strategy

New Strategy

Ashwin mulls 'one-sided' ploy against big-hitters.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage