Neo-Nazis Tricked Into Anti-Nazi Fundraiser

Town in Germany turns their march into a charity event
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2014 6:30 PM CST
Neo-Nazis Tricked Into Anti-Nazi Fundraiser
Neo-Nazis protest in Berlin in this 2009 file photo.   (AP Photo)

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Or, if you're the fine citizens of Wunsiedel, Germany, when life hands you neo-Nazis marching uninvited into your town every year, you turn it to your advantage. That's exactly what fed-up residents did to deal with the 200 far-right extremists who showed up Saturday to make their annual pilgrimage to Rudolf Hess' tomb, situated in the middle of town, the Local reports. Wunsiedel has been trying to get rid of the neo-Nazis for years to no avail. The marchers showed up, as they do every year, and started their trek; unbeknownst to them, however, they were taking part in a fundraising walk set up by the Rights Versus Rights charity to help EXIT-Germany—a group that raises money to help people escape extremist lifestyles.

Signs posted along the route cheered the walkers on, thanking the "dear Nazis" for their generosity; a table labeled "Mein Mampf" ("my snack") was stacked high with bananas to keep the marchers fueled and, ostensibly, to keep them going by reminding them of their favorite passages from Hitler's autobiography. By march's end, where the neo-Nazis were covered in confetti before seeing a sign telling them what they had just done, about $12,500 in total had been raised. One of the EXIT-Germany researchers acknowledges "they probably won't go away," but adds, "At least we've created something good out of it." (This city played the Schindler's List theme song during a neo-Nazi rally.)

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