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German Town Plays Charitable Prank on Neo-Nazis

Screen shot of neo-Nazis in Wunsiedel, Germany, taken from The Independent’s video.


If you can’t beat ’em, make ’em raise money against their own cause.

That was the clever, and classy, approach that locals from the small German town of Wunsiedel took when confronted yet again with an annual spectacle that they didn’t ask for and can’t yet do away with altogether: the yearly march of neo-Nazis through their home turf, which happens to be the initial resting place of Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man Rudolf Hess.

As The Independent reported Tuesday, Hess doesn’t rest there anymore, but that still hasn’t fully resolved the issue for residents, so they resorted to creative measures this year:

In 2011, the roughly 1,000 inhabitants of the town managed – with the agreement of family members – to get Hess’ remains exhumed and his gravestone destroyed. However, marchers still flock to the town, albeit in smaller numbers.

So this year, come the march on November 15, a campaign called “Rechts gegen Rechts” (Right against Right) decided to turn the neo-Nazi rally into a charity walk.

Instead of protesting against the demonstration, shop owners and residents in Wunsiedel pledged to donate 10 euro for each metre the neo-Nazis marched.

They managed to raise 10,000 euros. The money went towards EXIT-Deutschland, a charity that helps people leave neo-Nazi groups.

The neo-Nazi visitors were made aware of the reason why their Wunsiedel hosts were acting so accommodating only at the end of the march, when they were informed about where the funds they raised would be sent.

Additional bonus points are in order for the villager who thought of offering the marchers sustenance under a banner reading “Mein Mampf” (“My Food”).

Watch The Independent’s video coverage of the story here.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Kasia Anderson
Executive Editor
Dr. Kasia Anderson is Truthdig's executive editor. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1997 with a degree in English literature and sociology, she worked as a Web journalist in San Francisco until…
Kasia Anderson

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