Why did Hitler and the Neo Nazis use the Swastika?
There was the idea of a hypothetical Aryan race which was supposed to have invaded India, although this idea was based on a (probably deliberate) misreading of the ancient Hindu texts by British colonial scholars. (Arya in Sanskrit means noble or refined, and does not refer to a race of people.) It had also become clear that there were many commonalities between some aspects of Indian civilization and European civilizations, such as language. Hence some German nationalists subscribed to the idea that there was one Aryan race that stretched between Europe and India and that was somehow a “pure” race. The German nationalists further believed that Germans best embodied this pure heritage. The Germans had only recently (1871) formed a country, and national pride was rampant. They therefore clung to the idea of a separate, “pure” heritage distinct from the Judeo-Christian heritage. As a result, Hitler adopted the swastika, which has been used by Hindus for thousands of years and supposedly
The swastika and the “heil Hitler” hand sign were the symbols of the Zealator grade in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. From there, they were both adopted by the German Thule Society (which was partly patterned after the Golden Dawn), from which most of the founding members of the Nazi party were recruited.
The swastika is over 5000 years old. People of power often take symbols of power and use them for their own purposes. Although it is unfortunate that the image is tarnished, that tragedy will eventually settle and more people will realize its true meaning and the irony of those that seek after power. Greed, ignorance, and hatred, those are the three fetters of mankind. If mankind can release themselves from those binds, they can be truly free and happy.