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Neo-Nazis in Germany Get Tricked By Trojan T-Shirts

Neo-Nazis in Germany Get Tricked By Trojan T-Shirts

Attendees at the Rock for Germany festival took home free t-shirts expressing neo-Nazi messages similar to the ones the concert-goers are spreading around the region. However, by the time the shirts made it home from the concert and in and out of the washer machine, the right-wing extremists discovered a completely different message on the shirts.

The words “Hardcore Rebels” had been replaced by the message “What your T-shirt can do, so can you – We’ll help you break with right-wing extremism.” The German organization Exit Deutschland partnered with the apparel company Trojan T-shirts to help spread the message that right wing militants can get out of their neo-Nazi lifestyles, especially with hopes they could reach teens who might not yet be fully involved in the growing movement.

“We wanted to raise awareness about our program, especially among the young and less committed. There were so many points along the way where our plan could have failed, but it all went perfectly,” said Bernd Wagner, founder of Exit Deutschland.

Exit Deutschland used a fake name and offered the festival organizers 250 free t-shirts for the rockers. The concert was called Rock für Deutschland (Rock for Germany) and was put on by the National Democratic Party( NDP), known as a right wing extremist group.

The NDP is gaining steam in Germany, especially in the eastern areas of the country where in some towns, anyone of a different mindset is quickly being driven out of the region. Neo-Nazis have almost completely taken over the small village of Jamel, said to host the Braunau am Inn, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler. The area is described as being the stomping grounds of right-wing radicals who have complete control over the citizens. Even children in town are seen raising their hands in the Nazi salute as a part of normal everyday life.

Now considered to be a lawless village, even authorities are afraid of entering the town of Jamel. “The police, the authorities, no one dares to intervene,” says Mayor Uwe Wandel. “The Nazis are laughing in our faces.” Most believe the town has come to its current condition under the heavy influence of NDP member Sven Krüger, a right extremist who grew up in the area, saluting each morning in the snow next to his Nazi-radical father. Krüger owns a demolition company with a logo depicting the Star of David being smashed. He boasts the slogan, “We do the dirty work.”

However according to him, “Nothing that’s written about me is true. I don’t stand a chance against the system.” But with no one in the “system” daring to even enter the village, neo-Nazi protesters are finally taking a stand. Just last week, demonstrators gathered against the Nazism in Bad Nenndorf as well as a couple areas in the east, Jamel included.

Are their peaceful demonstrations making a difference? If not, there’s always the more sneaky approach of the Trojan T-shirt company.

Tshirt before and after.


Related Stories:

Growing Up Neo Nazi in Germany

A Disturbing Trend: Neo Nazi Codes

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Image: vegadsl / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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55 comments

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5:16AM PST on Feb 25, 2013

So much for Germany growing up and getting over their swastikas. Nazism is nothing but fascism, which we've seen right here in the good ol' USA. Once in a while, we get a reminder from Couer d'Alene, or somewhere in north GA.

As for being a rocker, I was a fan of The Scorpions, Accept, and McAuley-Schenker Group....back when rock was still good. But such was the 80's, and apparently no more.

12:29PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

I recently learned that Americans stepped inn with their money to help Germany re-build after WWII. This is the repayment. Good for trojan. Some can be saved from this brain washing.

9:28AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

A BIG thumbs up to Exit and Trojan! I can just imagine the reactions of the "rockers" when they took their t shirts out of the dryer. Was ist das??? Mein Gott! Mama, HILFE!!!

8:25AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

This is really worrying...
Anyway, thumbs up for Exit and Trojan T-shirts.

7:44AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

(cont) Some of them could adapt, some of them suffered a hard impact. They had their own migration cultural and financial shock, without moving. In this last group, a few (bad or just wrong?) guys came up with the old Nazi ideas as a kind of fairy tale that could save them from the suffering. The lack of freedom of conscience of the previous regime plus the lack of prevision in the reunion made effect.
I’m not denying them, I just tell that things here are not bad as people think in other countries (and I’m coming from two of them). And I’m sure that, slowly and with many problems still to solve, we move in the correct direction.

7:43AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

(cont) Seeing the remains of a concentration camp “only”, is not quite equal knowing the atrocities that were carried out there. Pupils are deeply taught about it. Did you check how they teach this in the school programs? Did you talk with kids about what they get in the schools? You cannot tell that “only very little has changed since Hitler”. Did you travelled with a time machine? Are we talking about the same country? Which kind of people do you meet?
Unquestioning tolerance, inability to complain, dedication to rules, these topics have nothing to do with racism or xenophobia, isn’t it? If you talk about them as hard rules followers, being too conformists, it’s true. It’s the way they rebuilt the country. How long have you being here? I think you’re still suffering the culture shock. Everywhere you arrive, you could be welcome, but you need to match yourself to the place, not the place to you.
Migration is a hard decision, and then a hard work inside you. Everyone would like to bring the good things from he’s origin and get only the better ones in the new place. This is utopian.
Back to Nazism in Germany: In eastern Germany, old ideas remained hidden in a (small) part of the people, consequence of the imposed regime, the at that time new ideas forced instead convinced, and after many years without allowances and dissent they got left to the wildness of the open economy (1989). Some of them could adapt, some of them suffered a

7:42AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

(cont) I never felt something as you describe, such anti-immigrant sentiment. But even if you got some bad comments there, you can’t think that this represents the whole Germany. Could we think that a experience in Washington DC would represent the entire US map?
I got some reactions at my beginnings here, when I started criticizing all that I did not understand and was different or less convenient for me. This was my own culture shock, driving me to question everything they did as I didn’t expect.
The NPD is bad, but their numbers went worst in the last election. Let see how they do it in the next one. Anyway, a bad racist idea sending Arabs back is not an exclusive German problem. There is more anti-Arab feeling in many other countries than here.
I think that there is a big “made-up thing” result of exaggerations from 'yellow' press. The idea of Europe as a whole being progressive is a goal, an official one (the EU parliament and EU organizations works hard on it). Of course we need to work much more to make it real. Every crisis is pulling us down again, but the general result is not bad, it moves in a good direction, trying to include as much people as possible (even the anti-all ones), not suppressing freedoms, which implies to accept such guys talking free, it means coping with an obstacle instead destroying it. This is our political cross to carry.
Seeing the remains of a concentration camp “only”, is not quite equal knowing the atroci

7:40AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

@TammyD: I didn’t say that Nazism is dead. In my original country we had a military dictator called Rosas around 1850 and still today there is people calling themselves “Rosistas” identifying his ideas. In a free thinking and speech environment, we’ll have some Nazis forever. Trying to “suppress” them would give them more power. Exit Deutschland works well to get out of it in a persuasive and peaceful way as much of them as possible while monitoring their political effects. They did much more than T-shirts with hidden messages.
Now, you can’t mix up Nazism or Racism with trying to keep their culture (traditions, history, Arts). When in Rome do as the Romans do. Being astonish when they see us (foreigners) doing things in a too different way isn’t xenophobia... sometimes it’s just a cultural shock for them. They want us respecting all that they built up during many years of hard work and effort, suffering hunger and scarcities. You maybe need to travel a bit by the country side and talk with the old people. I did it, they never refused dialog.
I agree: Nazism is not only anti-Jew. But the Prussian German idea... I never heard that, maybe because here in the south they don’t like Prussians. It’s a history question, even between them. Did you really get such thing from many people there? I was in Berlin, only once, for some weeks, but not as tourist. I visited local people, had dinner with them at their homes, and I never

2:28AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

Before someone corrects me, yes, one can be a 'Jewish Prussian German'. A 100% German Jew. Ironic then that so many of these Germans were forced out/killed, and then their voids gradually filled by very non-Germans. I wonder, if all the Nazis then knew how it would all shake down, would have continued in the same direction? Would they really have preferred mosques over synagogues?

Poetic justice, if you asked me.

2:19AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

sorry, I live in Berlin and can tell you that Nazism is not dead. It did not have a 'come-back', it never went away. Also, lose this idea that Nazism is about being anti-Jew. It's a fallacy and really misleading. Nazism is anti-everything that's not Prussian German. The NPD is running some wonderfully racist election posters depicting Arabs being sent home on their magic carpets.

Even without Nazis or the NPD, there is a very strong anti-immigrant sentiment here. It's not some made-up thing, or a result of 'exaggerated' details from 'yellow' press. I'm here, I see it. This is the nation's capital. I have German and Austrian friends who I would consider open-minded and left-leaning. I have been shocked by some of the racist, prejudiced, nationalistic things they say. The idea of Europe as a whole being progressive is a bit of joke.

While it appears there are some inaccuracies in the article, I would say the ideas are correct and dispute Ernesto's comments. Seeing the remains of a concentration camp does not quite equal knowing the atrocities that were carried out there. I can see how Nazism took hold here in Germany. What I don't understand is how so very little has changed since then. (I'm not talking about being anti-anything, but more the unquestioning tolerance, the inability to complain, the dedication to rules, etc.) With the massive influx of Arabs into the country (and Spaniards, etc.), it will be interesting to see how/if things change.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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