The Swastika has been in use by humans since prehistory.
The word Swastika has its roots in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, but the actual symbol is older.
Swastikas have been found on vases, coins, and other artifacts all over the world.
Various cultures that probably didn't communicate used swastikas or similar symbols independent of each other.
The Swastika has been a Hindu symbol for thousands of years.
Perhaps the Swastika is an archetypal image in man's collective unconscious (as described by Carl Jung).. another words, the human brain tends to have an affinity for the swastika and similar shapes.
The Nazi use of the swastika has stained the symbol's reputation for a long damned time. Hitler's adoption of the swastika is logical when looked at in a historical context.
A few German magical groups in the late 1800's started to adopt the swastika.
The symbol was the pagan sign for the German Thunder God Donner (or Thor).
Wilhelm Schwaner displayed a swastika on the title page of "Der Volkserzieher" in 1897, an early "volkisch" periodical.
These periodicals were designed to instill their readers with German and Nordic pride.
After this, the Swastika started to appear often on Volkisch periodicals and other items meant to signify racial and national pride.
The German generation that fought in World War were familiar with swastikas, and they became more common after World War I.
The new Finnish and Latvian flags featured Swastikas.
Some occult groups continued to favor the Swastika as well as various dissident and militant groups.
Dr. Friedrich Krohn designed the classic Nazi Swastika in 1919. Unlike the rest of Germany, Dr. Krohn acknowledged the ancient Buddhist use of the symbol, and argued that the Nazi Swastika should point "anti-clock-wise" because to Buddhists this signifies "fortune and well-being". Hitler demanded that the Nazi Swastika point "clock-wise", which to Buddhists signifies "cessation" or "away from God".