A viral post shared on Twitter by Cleve Jones tells the story of a town called Wunsiedel in northeast Bavaria.
The town has been a neo-Nazi pilgrimage site since it used to be home to the grave of Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.
However, a few years back in 2014, sponsors got together to devise a plan to deter visiting Nazi pilgrims. They agreed to make a financial donation of money for every step marched by the Neo-Nazis.
The Guardian reported at the time that the money would go towards programs that fight Nazis. It was called Germany’s most involuntary walkathon.
According to the Huffington Post, instead of greeting the group with protests, they put up banners actually welcoming them to the “Nazis Against Nazis” walkathon.
Neonazis unterstützen Ausstieg. Wenn das der.. #rechtsgegenrechts #wunsiedel #nonazis pic.twitter.com/3t6kVX81Pj
— Endstation Rechts. (@ER_Bayern) November 15, 2014
Signs throughout the planned route would encourage the marchers to keep walking to raise more money. Organizers went so far as to leave a table of bananas to help them keep up their energy so they could keep walking and in turn keep raising money.
The organisers painted numbers in the ground so the marchers would be informed of how much money they had raised at every milestone.
When the Neo-Nazis had completed their march they were given certificates telling them how much money they raised to fight Nazis.
Heute sind sie alle Sieger!#wunsiedel #rechtsgegenrechts pic.twitter.com/b8Y6Yfaytf
— #HassHilft (@RechtsgegRechts) November 15, 2014
Roughly 10,000 euros, would be given to EXIT Deutschland, a group that aids neo-Nazis in defecting from the movement. According to Britain’s SOFII Foundation, the tactic was so successful that other communities began copying it.
“The campaign inspired other cities in Germany and other countries to have a new, creative and amusing way of handling the problem of Nazi-walks.”
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