This German city is so good at handling neo-Nazis other ones are copying them

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Saturday 19 August 2017 11:15
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Picture:(Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

For decades, the German town of Wunsiedel has been an unwelcome host to neo-Nazis.

It’s the original burial place of Rudolf Hess, who was one of Adolf Hitler’s deputies. Every year, neo-nazis march to his grave site – despite the town exhuming Hess’s body in 2011, and removing his gravestone.

So in 2014, the town had a better idea to deal with their unwelcome problem - they turned to humour. Because we all know hatred doesn't like humour.

The annual parade turned into a day of fundraising and fun.

It became a mock sporting event with funny signs and slogans along the route, and rainbow confetti at the end.

For every metre the neo-Nazis marched, residents and business reportedly donated 10 euros to EXIT Deutschland, which helps people leave right-wing extremist groups.

They raised €10,000.

Recht gegen Rechts, the group who organised the campaign, said:

On November 15th, neo-Nazis walked through the streets of Wunsiedel. We could not stop them - but we could make them walk for something meaningful: and that is how for the first time a right-wing memorial march became a charity walk - without knowing of the participants.

Here's a video showing footage of the day:

It was such a success that it inspired other towns in Germany, and one in Falun, Sweden:

The Wunsiedel approach has been back in the news this week following the violent Charlottesville protest with neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Experts say this could be the best way for America to respond to such marches and protests in the future.

More: Man says Nazis were socialist, gets schooled by history writer

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