Media, Politics

A brief look: Right-wing extremist outreach, Trojan-horse style

By Sipho Hlongwane 10 August 2011

How do you get through to a pack of aggressive, right-wing extremists? Trick them with a Trojan horse message, of course! At least, that is what one outreach group tried at a right-wing festival in Germany over the weekend. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

When 250 free T-shirts with the message, “Hardcore Rebels – National and Free” were given away at a rock festival in eastern Germany attended by neo-Nazis, they were snapped up like hot cakes. The shirts were meant to mirror the right-wing, nationalistic feelings of concert-goers.

Or not, as the shirt owners found out after they had washed the shirts once. The hardcore message, resplendent with skull and crossbones, faded to show another message which said, “If your T-shirt can do it, so can you. We’ll help to free you from right-wing extremism”. The message contained contact details for Exit Deutschland, an activist group that tries to draw people out of the neo-Nazi movement in Germany.

Bernd Wagner, one of Exit Deutschland’s co-founders told Süddeutsche Zeitung that they weren’t expecting sudden changes of heart from those who got the shirts. Rather, this was about putting their names into the minds of these chaps when they were re-evaluating their worldview. “And when they consider leaving the scene at some point, they will remember us,” he said.

The T-shirts were distributed at the Rock für Deutschland concert, which was run by the extremely right-wing National Democratic Party, with about 600 skinheads in attendance.

Can someone please pull off the same thing with the AWB? DM



Read more:

  • Secret anti-racist shirts covertly distributed to neo-Nazi in Boing Boing;
  • Tee’d Off: Right-Wing Extremists Tricked by Trojan Shirts in Der Spiegel.

Photo: The back of the head of defendant Tom W. with the word ‘Skinhead’ tattooed on his scalp is pictured as he awaits the start of a trial in a courtroom in Dresden April 10, 2008. Five members of German far-right extremist brotherhood ‘Storm 34’ are accused of committing right-wing motivated crimes in the town of Mitteida in the eastern state of Saxony. REUTERS/Matthias Hiekel.