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Presented herein is quick history of the Reichshammerbund. Hopefully it will be of some interest.
The RHB was founded by several people, but the driving personality behind it was Theodor Fritsch. Fritsch was a well-known figure in political circles in Germany during the first years of the 20th century. He strongly favored protection of tradesmen, was pro-monarchy, anti-capitalist, and a strong anti-semite. He was also a follower of Guido von List.
Von List is credited with uniting pan-Germanism with occult thinking. He was the grandfather of the aryan myth in the latter part of the 19th century and the swastika played a role in his theories. From this beginning, the swastika gained in popularity among adherents to völkisch ideas.
In the last years of the 19th century a few political partys developed on a platform of anti-semitism. Fritsch did not run as a candidate for these parties because he thought that the platform was too narrow for the parties to enjoy long term success. By 1902, Fritsch was trying to create a wider anti-semitic movement that was beyond a political party. He began publishing a journal called the Hammer. Within a few years, subscribers to the Hammer were loosely organised into Hammer discussion groups.
In 1912 there occurred a number of events in Germany that appeared as crises in the eyes of the Hammer groups and among fellow travelers. There had been a blow to German national prestige in a dispute over rights in Morocco and the conservatives took a pounding from Liberals in the German parliament. In response, the Hammer groups were formed into the Reichshammerbund, the organisation's constitution was written in February 1912 and the organisation formally came into being at Leipzig in May of that year. In order to become a member, one had to prove their Aryan credentials.
The Reichshammerbund was a fairly public organisation, but it had a secret twin. There were those in the völkisch movement who wanted to form their own anti-semitic lodges based loosely on the framework of the Masons. By 1911, the Hammer group in Madgeburg had formed the Wotan lodge, incorporating anti-semitic ideas and German pagan ritual. A short time later, Fritsch became the Grand Master of the Lodge and in March 1912 changed the name to the Germanenorden. The ritual of the Germanenorden included the use of the swastika symbol. Later in 1916, a swastika with a cross superimposed on it began to appear on the cover of the GO's newsletter. At the end of 1918, the Thule Society became the successor to the GO.
The foregoing is based on the Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. The subject is much more involved and I have tried to give a brief overview of the evolution of these groups.