The swastika is a holy symbol in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. In the West, it is more widely known as the badge of the Nazi movement.
The motif seems to have first been used by early inhabitants of Eurasia. However, it was also adopted in Native American cultures, seemingly independently. The swastika is now used universally in religious and civil ceremonies in India. Most Indian temples, wedding, festivals and celebrations are decorated with swastikas. By the early 20th century it was widely used worldwide, and was regarded as a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness.
Since the rise of the National Socialist German Workers Party, the swastika has been associated with fascism, racism, World War II, and the Holocaust in much of the western world. Before this, it was particularly well-recognized in Europe from the archaeological work of Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered the symbol in the site of ancient Troy and who associated it with the ancient migrations of Indo-European ("Aryan") peoples. Nazi use derived from earlier German völkisch movements, for which the swastika was a symbol of "Aryan" identity, a concept that came to be equated by theorists like Alfred Rosenberg with a Nordic master race originating in northern Europe. The swastika remains a core symbol of Neo-Nazi groups, and is also regularly used by activist groups to signify the supposed Nazi-like behaviour of organizations and individuals they oppose.