Neo-Nazis Marched into a German Village, So The Villagers Found a Genius Way to Fight Back

Source: Rechts gegen Rechts/Facebook

When a group of neo-Nazis marched through a small German town last weekend, the townspeople met them with cheers, banners and confetti.

The people of Wunsiedel weren't suddenly receptive to the neo-Nazis' message of hate. In an ingenious decision, the group Rechts gegen Rechts (or Rights versus Rights) set up a fundraiser in which local businesses and residents donated money to an anti-Nazi program for every meter the visiting extremists marched.

Take a look:

Source: YouTube

The fundraiser was a success, raising 10,000 euros (about $12,500) for EXIT-Germany, a nonprofit that provides assistance for people in transitioning out of extremist groups and back into normal life.

The 250 participants in what was called Germany's "most involuntary walkathon" were met with a choice — continue with their march as planned and raise money to help thin their ranks or admit defeat. They chose the former, and the charity was better for it.

The background: Every year, neo-Nazis descend on Wunseidel because Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy, was buried there. While his remains were exhumed in 2011 and the grave destroyed, according to the Guardian, the pilgrimages continue.

The townspeople have tried plenty of other ways to stop the marching, from protesting to filing formal legal challenges. But this year, the best option was tricking the neo-Nazis into supporting a worthy cause.

"We want to show what else you can do, what other courses of action you have," organizer Fabian Wichmann told German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "You can do more than just block the street or close the shutters."

h/t Washington Post

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Matt Connolly

Matt has written for Mother Jones, the Washington Examiner and Chicago Public Radio among many others. He's a resident of Washington, D.C., but much like Bruce Springsteen and pork roll he is a product of New Jersey.

MORE FROM

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.