German town turns neo-Nazi march into an anti-Nazi charity fundraiser

Every year since the 1990s, extreme right-wing neo-Nazis from around Europe have made a sort-of pilgrimage to a small town in Germany.

German town turns neo-Nazi march into an anti-Nazi charity fundraiser

Wunsiedel, near the Czech border, is the burial place of one of Hitler’s deputies Rudolph Hess and every November, for the last 25 years, neo-Nazi organisations visit and march through the town.

Previously, the residents of the town have protested and tried to stop the march but with no luck. So this year, the town - in association with the group Rechts gegen Rechts, or Rights versus Rights - has come up with an ingenious way of benefitting from the unwanted visitors.

They've turned the march into ‘Germany's most involuntary Walkathon’ with all funds raised going to a charity that helps people leave the neo-Nazi movement.

Brilliant.

In a video released to mark this year’s march, the narrator explains:

"For every meter the neo-Nazi's march, 10 euros go to an exit program aimed at undermining precisely these neo-Nazis: EXIT-Deutschland."

So on November 15th, when as expected, 200 neo-Nazis arrived in the town, the town were ready for them - and the marchers unwittingly raised €10,000.

It was an absolute success," said Inge Schuster, a spokesperson for the mayor of Wunsiedel, told The Local.

"It created something positive out of (the march), including the €10,000 donation for EXIT-Germany."

As the marchers started their ‘charity walk;’ they were encouraged by motivational posters and colourful road markings telling them how much money they were raising.

There was even a table offering bananas with a sign reading ‘Mein Mampf’ - ‘My Snacks’ - a clever pun on the title of Hitler’s autobiography. At the end, the marchers were showered with rainbow confetti and told that the money was being donated to a charity that helps people leave their organisation. Nicely done.

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