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In the Harry Potter universe, the Deathly Hallows were something coveted by Gellert Grindewald, who also had a strong "rule Muggles for their own good" ideology. Grindewald took the symbol used for the Hallows as his own, even though prior to his association with it the symbol was largely neutral. The symbol could then be seen a reminder of the terror he caused (reference Krum’s reaction at the wedding).

The HP Wiki (which we know is a dubious source) also makes this claim:

Considering the parallels to Grindelwald and Hitler, the symbol of the Hallows is very much akin to the Swastika, which was an ancient symbol that Hitler used and is now solely associated with Nazism rather than its historical nature. This sentiment to the swastika is reflected by Viktor Krum’s anger at the sight of the symbol which he considers to be a sign of supporting Grindlewald.

But is there any more support for this than Krum’s reaction? To counter Krum’s reaction is Xenophilius Lovegood, whose use and explanation of the symbol seemed to be along the lines of “for those who believe in the existence of the Hallows”.

Are the Deathly Hallows symbol considered a symbol of hate (similar to how the swastika is viewed in the West after WWII) within the Wizarding world (or at least by non-trivial portion of it)?

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    My original POB reasoning: primarily because of a lack of evidence in the texts and the necessity of reading the minds of other characters. There is simply too much to account for. Clearly, we only see Krum react at the wedding, but that doesn't mean others didn't: we just don't see it. There could be regional differences as well that we are simply unaware of (ie - Grindelwald may be more infamous in Eastern Europe, etc...) - also, as an analogy, in the southern USA there are differences on confederate flags, etc....there's just a lot of speculation and little data associated with this topic – NKCampbell Oct 18 '17 at 17:26
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    @Adamant I have tried to further define that by saying "similar to the swastika". Prior to WWII it was netural symbol and used in religion, after WII (in the west at least) it is a symbol used by those to show support for Hilter's ideas and has been made illegal to display (outside of museums) in Germany. – Skooba Oct 18 '17 at 17:28
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    @NKCampbell you just described 99.9999999999999999999999999999% of the harry potter questions on this site. – KutuluMike Oct 18 '17 at 17:41
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    @NKCampbell - We don't close vote because there probably isn't an answer. – Valorum Oct 18 '17 at 17:50
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    @NKCampbell - Bellatrix's excellent answer addresses the in-universe part. Out of universe, it's not entirely clear that JKR would even have considered its wider associations. – Valorum Oct 18 '17 at 18:00
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Rowling intended Grindelwald as a metaphor for Hitler, and his Deathly Hallows symbol parallels Hitler's Swastika.

J.K. Rowling: You know Owen who won the [UK television] competition to interview me? He asked about Grindelwald He said, “Is it coincidence that he died in 1945,” and I said no. It amuses me to make allusions to things that were happening in the Muggle world, so my feeling would be that while there's a global Muggle war going on, there's also a global wizarding war going on.
The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling - 16 July 2005

This metaphor is explained in depth in Alexwlchan's answer.

As part of this metaphor, The "Deathly Hallows symbol" is a parallel to the Swastika.

The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, where it has been and remains a sacred symbol of spiritual principles in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. In the Western world, it was historically a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck, but in the 1930s, it became the main feature of Nazi symbolism as an emblem of Aryan race identity, and as a result, it has become stigmatized in the West by association with ideas of racism, hate, and mass murder.
Wikipedia

Like the Swastika, the Deathly Hallows symbol was an ancient spiritual icon.

There is nothing Dark about the Hallows — at least, not in that crude sense. One simply uses the symbol to reveal oneself to other believers, in the hope that they might help one with the Quest.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 22

Also, like the Swastika, the Deathly Hallows symbol is now viewed as symbol of racism, hate, and mass murder, ever since it was adopted by Grindelwald/Hitler as the symbol of their pureblood ideology.

Krum’s jaw muscles worked as if he were chewing, then he said, “Grindelvald killed many people, my grandfather, for instance. Of course, he vos never poverful in this country, they said he feared Dumbledore — and rightly, seeing how he vos finished. But this” — he pointed a finger at Xenophilius — “this is his symbol, I recognized it at vunce: Grindelvald carved it into a vall at Durmstrang ven he vos a pupil there. Some idiots copied it onto their books and clothes, thinking to shock, make themselves impressive — until those of us who had lost family members to Grindelvald taught them better.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 8

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    That makes me wonder. Did Grindelwald use powerful magic to engrave the symbol on the wall? It was still there decades later.... Or did people like Karkaroff, say, not really care? – Adamant Oct 18 '17 at 18:17
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    @Adamant - Probably used some equivalent of a permanent sticking charm. Magic that fifteen year olds can use. – ibid Oct 18 '17 at 18:19
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    Makes me think about all the people I've seen get a Deathly Hallows symbol tattoo, what would they think if they knew it was an allusion to a swastika? – DasBeasto Oct 18 '17 at 20:29
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    @ibid If 15 year olds can really do a Permanent Sticking Charm, you'd think there'd be a lot more things stuck to the walls of Hogwarts. – Azor Ahai Oct 18 '17 at 22:20
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    As Bellatrix's answer illustrates, the symbol itself was not associated with Grindelwald by the public, so I don't think the allusion to Nazism carries to the Deathly Hallows symbol even if it does to Grindelwald. – ArrowCase Oct 19 '17 at 16:20
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It doesn't seem like it's widely associated with Grindelwald.

It was carved at Durmstrang, so the students there knew it as a sign of Grindelwald, but it seems like the association between Grindelwald and the Deathly Hallows symbol is fairly limited. Grindelwald having any sort of mark is never mentioned in anything Hermione's read about him.

“Then it’s Grindelwald’s mark.’

She stared at him, open-mouthed.

‘What?’

‘Krum told me …’ He recounted the story that Viktor Krum had told him at the wedding. Hermione looked astonished.

Grindelwald’s mark?’ She looked from Harry to the weird symbol and back again. ‘I’ve never heard that Grindelwald had a mark. There’s no mention of it in anything I’ve ever read about him.’

‘Well, like I say, Krum reckoned that symbol was carved on a wall at Durmstrang, and Grindelwald put it there.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)

She did recognize that "For The Greater Good" was Grindelwald's slogan, and was otherwise well-informed on him, so it seems unlikely that he claimed the symbol as his own.

In addition, Rufus Scrimgeour didn't recognize the symbol as one of a Dark wizard, either.

“That’s very odd. If it’s a symbol of Dark Magic, what’s it doing in a book of children’s stories?’

‘Yeah, it is weird,’ said Harry. ‘And you’d think Scrimgeour would have recognised it. He was Minister, he ought to have been expert on Dark stuff.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)

So it doesn't seem like Grindelwald used it as a public symbol, the way that the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters cast the Dark Mark into the sky as their sign.

It actually seems like Grindelwald used it more as a somewhat personal symbol, likely representing his quest for the Hallows, than as a symbol representing him or his ideological beliefs in public. Dumbledore also replaced the "A" in his name with the symbol, but those are the only two uses of the symbol we see in connection to Grindelwald.

Some people who recognize it would associate it with Grindelwald, though.

Krum sees Xenophilius Lovegood wearing a necklace with the Deathly Hallows symbol, and presumes him to be a supporter of Grindelwald.

“Krum’s jaw muscles worked as if he were chewing, then he said, ‘Grindelvald killed many people, my grandfather, for instance. Of course, he vos never poverful in this country, they said he feared Dumbledore – and rightly, seeing how he vos finished. But this –’ He pointed a finger at Xenophilius.

‘This is his symbol, I recognised it at vunce: Grindelvald carved it into a vall at Durmstrang ven he vos a pupil there. Some idiots copied it on to their books and clothes, thinking to shock, make themselves impressive – until those of us who had lost family members to Grindelvald taught them better.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)

However, Krum went to school at Durmstrang, the same school Grindelwald went to, and saw Grindelwald's carving of it on the wall and other students at Durmstrang copying it. It's likely that other Durmstrang students would recognize it as well, and presume it to be a symbol of Grindelwald. It was known that Grindelwald had made the carving, so everyone there associated it with him. Since Krum hadn't seen it in any other context, he would have associated it with Grindelwald, and even if it wasn't officially Grindelwald's symbol, most people at Durmstrang would likely presume the odd thing a young Grindelwald carved was his mark.

However, the symbol predates him, and is actually used to represent the Deathly Hallows.

The symbol of the Deathly Hallows wasn't created by Grindelwald - it isn't like the Dark Mark. It was on Ignotus Peverell's gravestone, and Xenophilius knew it to represent the Deathly Hallows.

“The Deathly Hallows?’

‘That’s right,’ said Xenophilius. ‘You haven’t heard of them? I’m not surprised. Very, very few wizards believe. Witness that knuckle-headed young man at your brother’s wedding,’ he nodded at Ron, ‘who attacked me for sporting the symbol of a well-known Dark wizard! Such ignorance. There is nothing Dark about the Hallows – at least, not in that crude sense. One simply uses the symbol to reveal oneself to other believers, in the hope that they might help one with the Quest.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)

This, in fact, seems to be how Grindelwald himself was using it - as a symbol of his (and Dumbledore's at one point) search for the Hallows.

In addition, it's not clear that the average wizard (at least in Britain) would even recognize it.

In addition, when Harry asks Xenophilius about his Deathly Hallows necklace, Xenophilius says very few wizards believe in their existence, and the symbol is used by those who do to identify each other. Krum is the only one to recognize the symbol of all the guests at Bill and Fleur's wedding, other than Xenophilius, who was wearing it.

“Krum cracked his knuckles menacingly and glowered at Xenophilius. Harry felt perplexed. It seemed incredibly unlikely that Luna’s father was a supporter of the Dark Arts, and nobody else in the tent seemed to have recognised the triangular, rune-like shape.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)

Hermione, who's read more books than most wizards didn't recognize it as anything specific - either about the Deathly Hallows or Grindelwald.

“The grave was extremely old, weathered so that Harry could hardly make out the name. Hermione showed him the symbol beneath it.

‘Harry, that’s the mark in the book!

He peered at the place she indicated: the stone was so worn that it was hard to make out what was engraved there, though there did seem to be a triangular mark beneath the nearly illegible name. ‘Yeah … it could be …”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)

She only recognized it as the symbol in The Tales of Beedle the Bard she got from Dumbledore.

It isn't known enough to be a feared symbol like the Dark Mark.

There seems to be a very small number of wizards who even recognize the Deathly Hallows symbol. If, for example, someone was to cast the Deathly Hallows symbol into the sky, like the Death Eaters cast the Dark Mark into the sky to declare their victory, it would likely cause nowhere near the same reaction.

When the Dark Mark is cast into the sky, almost everyone recognizes it. There's mass panic, people start screaming, it causes chaos.

“Then he realised that it was a colossal skull, composed of what looked like emerald stars, with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue. As they watched, it rose higher and higher, blazing in a haze of greenish smoke, etched against the black sky like a new constellation.

Suddenly, the wood all around them erupted with screams. Harry didn’t understand why, but the only possible cause was the sudden appearance of the skull, which had now risen high enough to illuminate the entire wood, like some grisly neon sign. He scanned the darkness for the person who had conjured the skull, but he couldn’t see anyone.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)

Harry didn't know what it meant, but Hermione knew immediately, and she goes pale and is terrified as she gets Harry to safety.

“What’s the matter?’ Harry said, startled to see her face so white and terrified.’

‘It’s the Dark Mark, Harry!’ Hermione moaned, pulling him as hard as she could. ‘You-Know-Who’s sign!”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)

Even after it's over, the appearance of the Dark Mark is a huge part of the Daily Prophet report on the incident at the Quidditch World Cup. It's widely known as the symbol of the Dark Lord. Just seeing it was enough to strike fear into the hearts of many wizards.

“Of course people panicked … it was almost like seeing You-Know-Who back again.’

‘I don’t get it,’ said Ron, frowning. ‘I mean … it’s still only a shape in the sky …’

‘Ron, You-Know-Who and his followers sent the Dark Mark into the air whenever they killed,’ said Mr Weasley. ‘The terror it inspired … you have no idea, you’re too young. Just picture coming home, and finding the Dark Mark hovering over your house, and knowing what you’re about to find inside …’ Mr Weasley winced. ‘Everyone’s worst fear … the very worst …”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)

Seeing how few people even can recognize the Deathly Hallows symbol, it's not going to cause anything close to the same reaction in most of the wizarding world.

Out-of-universe, JKR says she might have subconsciously based it on the Masonic symbol.

JKR never mentioned anything about the Deathly Hallows symbol representing a "symbol of hate", but she does say she might have subconsciously based it off of the Masonic symbol after having seen it in the movie The Man Who Would Be King as a significant part of the movie.

"The Masonic symbol is very important in that movie," said Rowling. "And it was literally 20 years later that I looked at the sign of the Deathly Hallows and realised how similar they were."

"When I saw the movie again and saw the Masonic symbol, I went cold all over and I thought, 'Is that why the Hallows symbol is what it is?'" Rowling continued.

"And I've got a feeling that, on some deep, subconscious level, they are connected. So I feel as though I worked my way back over 20 years to that night, because the Potter series is hugely about loss, and – I've said this before – if my mother hadn't died I think the stories would be utterly different and not what they are."
- This is the secret inspiration for Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows symbol (Digital Spy)

The Masonic compass symbol doesn't represent an ideology of hate, either. Put simply, the set square represents measuring their actions against Masonic standards, and the compass represents keeping their actions within the boundaries of proper behavior. Together they represent convergence of the spiritual and earthly worlds, with God being the divine architect.

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    This is the best answer. Grindelwald put the sign up because he sought the hallows, not to say "I am Grindelwald." The swastika is the very obvious symbol of the Nazis. You can't study Hitler and not come across a swastika, but Hermione's ignorance of the symbol despite her intelligence shows that the symbol is not widely regarded as a hate symbol, or else we might assume that Draco would have drawn it for Hermione at some point. Some Durmstrang students are the only ones mentioned to see an association between Grindelwald and the symbol, and he drew it to say he was seeking hallows +1 – Cosmic Oct 19 '17 at 16:15
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    @user23804 Thanks a lot! :) I did a lot of research on this. Grindelwald drew it for the same reason other wizards would, and for it to be considered a symbol of Grindelwald, more people would have to associate it with him. – Bellatrix Oct 20 '17 at 16:44
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Unless you were directly affected by Grindelwald, I don't think that the wizarding world in general really had any meaning for anyone other than the people who were the 'Seekers' of the three Hallows.

Excerpts from Deathly Hallows (Emphasis mine):

Grindelvald. That is Grindelvald’s sign.’

‘Grindelwald ... the Dark wizard Dumbledore defeated?’

‘Exactly.’

Krum’s jaw muscles worked as if he were chewing, then he said, ‘Grindelvald killed many people, my grandfather, for instance. Of course, he vos never poverful in this country, they said he feared Dumbledore – and rightly, seeing how he vos finished. But this –’ He pointed a finger at Xenophilius. ‘This is his symbol, I recognised it at vunce: Grindelvald carved it into a vall at Durmstrang ven he vos a pupil there. Some idiots copied it on to their books and clothes, thinking to shock, make themselves impressive – until those of us who had lost family members to Grindelvald taught them better.’ Krum cracked his knuckles menacingly and glowered at Xenophilius. Harry felt perplexed. It seemed incredibly unlikely that Luna’s father was a supporter of the Dark Arts, and nobody else in the tent seemed to have recognised the triangular, rune-like shape.

And from the section on the Tale of the Three Brothers (Emphasis again mine):

‘Well, of course not,’ said Xenophilius, maddeningly smug.

‘That is a children’s tale, told to amuse rather than to instruct. Those of us who understand these matters, however, recognise that the ancient story refers to three objects, or Hallows, which, if united, will make the possessor master of Death.’

So in general, the wizarding world regards the Hallows symbol as something akin to the Muggle search for the Holy Grail. Believers/seekers see the symbols with meaning, non seekers just see it as something from a kids tale.

The only ones that see it as something different were the ones that were directly affected by it. While they react much the same as people do to swastikas now, it's a small subset. The swastika use as a symbol of the Nazi party represented a group that has become generally abhorrent to all society, not just the Jewish population. That has overshadowed the true meaning for society in general, which does not happen with the Hallows symbol.

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