German Town Punks Neo-Nazis, Raises Funds To Fight Neo-Nazis

We have to admit we love a good caper where the bad guys get burned -- that moment at the end of The Sting (spoiler warning for a 1973 movie everyone should've seen by the age of 14 anyway) where Robert Shaw realizes that his great big bet is all gone, for instance. We'd like to think that a similar look was on the faces of a bunch of neo-Nazis last weekend when they learned that, by marching to the gravesite of Rudolf Hess in Wunseidel, Germany, they had unwittingly been participating in an anti-Nazi fundraiser for an organization devoted to fight extremism. Nicely played, city of Wunseidel.

The Nazis march to the tomb where (until 2011) Hess was buried; they've been doing it every year, despite counter-demonstrations, attempts to ignore them, and even lawsuits aimed at shutting them down.

This year, a group called "Rights versus Rights" (Rechts gegen Rechts) came up with a creative approach: the day of the march would be a walkathon to raise money for EXIT Germany, a group that helps extremists leave hate groups:

For every meter the neo-Nazis walked, local businesses and residents would donate $12.50 to a nongovernmental organization devoted to making it easier for neo-Nazis to leave behind their hateful politics. The scene was captured on video by the group:

The rightwing marchers only found out about the prank once they started marching, when signs urging them to keep walking came out. Oh yes, there was trolling:

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 members of EXIT acknowledged that the neo-Nazis "probably won't go away" even if the fundraiser goes on next year, but that at least the march had been turned into a way of opposing the racists and making them look even dumber than usual. Yr Wonkette agrees, although there is, of course always something to be said for just driving a black and white 1974 Dodge Monaco toward them, too. Needless to say, we only recommend this if there's a river handy.

[WaPo / Newser]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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