As opposed to custom belief, Swastika insignia use in Antisemitic incitement, murders and vandalism were carried out in 1920 before the rise of the National Socialist Party. Groups like Freikorps Epp carried out Swastika insignia and participated in violent actions and hate speech targeting the people they blamed for the loss of WWI. Some say that antisemitic executions were also carried out in Ukraine and the Baltics (Ober Ost) in 1918 and 1919 when German troops were using similar methods to blame Jews while using Antisemitic indoctrination and terror to prevent or control local unrest.
A prelude for Freikorps antisemitic escalation was the murder of Kurt Eisner, the Jewish prime minister of Bavaria, and the murder of Rosa Luxemburg by the Freikorps. The jail cell given to Hitler was the same cell given to the Von-Valley who murdered Eisner. Privileged cells were given by antisemitic generals, judges and prosecutors to people that carried their agenda. In both cases sentences were shortened.
During the Ruhr Uprising, German Military and paramilitary (Freikorps) units crushed the counter revolution of the Ruhr. The Ruhr red army was created by 50,000 trade union members that started a counter revolution to the Kapp Coup. The Generals that instigated the Kapp coup made a spin of their failed coup with the help of judges and politicians and used it to send their military and paramilitary to deal with the Ruhr Uprising. The most notable paramilitary group was the Epp Freikorps which carried Swastika Insignia in 1920 before the National Socialist party was prominent. Ernst Röhm that was Epp second in command transformed the Epp Freikorps into the SA and Brownshirts which hosted the nucleus of the SS. Epp was involved in political murders in 1923 and had to give way to Rohm as SA leader, and since 1928 was a member of parliament for the National Socialist Party.
The retaliation of the paramilitary in suppressing the Ruhr Uprising, included summary executions of civilians, and Swastika use while vandalizing Jewish stores and cemeteries. Later on, ruthless antisemitic militants and generals will join and lead the Third Reich military using methodology and propaganda carried out by Freikorps and SA. Von Epp the Freikorps commander contracted the same garment factories that were in charge of outfitting the German occupation force in Africa (where Epp participated in genocides) to make the Brown garments of Epp Freikorps and later on SA. Thule organization that also used the Swastika insignia had close ties with the military and paramilitary and funded antisemitic newspapers and broadcasts while buying judges and politicians. The organization helped the process indoctrinating the Lebensraum and the tailoring of the Final Solution between 1919 and 1933.
Members of Freikorps Epp also went around painting swastikas on Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues and gravestones.https://realtimehistory.net/blogs/news/german-polish-proxy-war-in-silesia-freikorps-in-the-neutral-zone-june-1920
Freikorps units were among the first to use swastika insignia even before the Brown shirts were created. Many of their members had risen to SA and SS leadership. They were involved in military conflicts against Poles, Baltic, Checks and were in charge of political cleansing.
Related Sources and Links
“Von Epp and Rohm used official Army funds to hire spies like Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler and later to set up a new Nazi Party newspaper”
Proxy Wars and Freikorps Wars
The Kaiser’s Holocaust
The Thule Society