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Neo-Nazis Tricked Into Raising Thousands for Anti-Extremism Charity

German activists group turns far-right march into Germany’s “most involuntary walkathon”

Neo-Nazis in Bavaria

Neo-Nazis walk through the district of Wundsiedel in Bavaria, Germany.

YouTube/Rechts gegen Rechts

The tiny German town of Wunsiedel turned an annual march held by Neo-Nazis into a clever fundraising campaign, using the goose-steppers as unwitting participants in a walkathon that raised 10,000 euros for an anti-extremist organization, The Guardian reports.

For years, far-right groups from around Europe have traveled to the town in Bavaria where Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, was once buried (his remains, however, were dug up and his grave was razed in 2011). Dismayed Wunsiedel residents have staged counterprotests and filed numerous legal complaints in the past, but this year the group Rechts gegen Rechts — Right against Right — tried a new tactic, hosting what they called Germany’s “most involuntary walkathon.”

Rechts gegen Rechts asked residents and local businesses to sponsor the 250 marchers and pledge €10 for every meter they walked. The proceeds would go to EXIT Deutschland, an organization that helps people safely escape from such extremist organizations.

“We want to show what else you can do, what other courses of action you have,” said Fabian Wichmann, a Rechts gegen Rechts organizer and education researcher for EXIT. “You can do more than just block the street or close the shutters.”

As the above video of the event shows, Rechts gegen Rechts turned the dour march into an cunning spectacle, hanging “motivational” signs throughout the route (“If only the Führer knew!,” “Quick like a greyhound! Tough like leather! And as generous as never before!”) and painting markers on the street so the Neo Nazis would know just how much money they’d raised against themselves. Rechts gegen Rechts were even kind enough to provide sustenance so that the marchers would be sure to finish their trek. A table of bananas was left out with the pun-tastic sign, “Mein Mampf,” which translates to, “My munch.”

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