Many people already know that the swastika was used by other cultures before the 1930s. This documentary states that the first publication to feature the symbol in Germany was from a group founded by Madam Blavatsky, the figurehead of the Theosophy movement. Earlier, Blavatsky wrote a book titled The Secret Doctrine which features such quaint concepts as "root races" and the mysterious power of ancient symbols. She believed that the swastika was the most powerful of … mehrall these symbols, and in fact the Theosophical Society's logo still retains the swastika to this day.
The swastika isn't the only esoteric symbol that the National Socialists used, and Germany was home to several groups interested in pre-Christian spirituality long before the Third Reich. Guido von List was a turn of the century occultist who believed in a "Germanic religion" which incorporated pagan concepts from Teutonic mythology, including the worship of Wotan (Odin). List wrote a book titled The Secret of the Runes which popularized the study of the Runic alphabet as a way to get in touch with the metaphysical history of Germany. The Hitler Youth, Ministry of Agriculture and the SS all incorporated runes into their iconography. This documentary even shows a photograph of an SS cemetery, with runes at the head of each grave! weniger