A small northeastern town near the Czech border, to pay homage to Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy.
Despite local residents’ requests and legal actions to put an end to the annual “hate march,” the right-wing extremists have successfully carried out the demonstrations year after year.
However, this time around, Wunsiedel's inhabitants turned the tables by tricking the neo-Nazi protesters into raising money for a charity committed to working against them.
Here’s how it happened: Anti-Nazi group Rights versus Rights (Rechts gegen Rechts) put up posters with slogans encouraging the demonstrators to keep on going. For every meter the 200 neo-Nazis walked, local business and residents donated around $12 to EXIT-Germany – an initiative assisting people who want to leave the extreme right-wing movement and start a new life.
Clearly, this trick left the neo-Nazis with two obvious choices: either they moved on, inadvertently raising money for the fundraiser, or they turned back, acknowledging their defeat. They chose to go with the second option eventually.
“It was an absolute success,” Inge Schuster, 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.”
The charity supporters and activists cheered the neo-Nazis for marching against themselves.
“We wanted to create an alternative to counter-demonstrations,” Fabian Wichmann, an education researcher at EXIT Germany was quoted as saying.
“They probably won't go away. The history of the town is too important to them, but at least we've created something good out of it,” said EXIT's Wichmann.