One German’s War against Hate

A powerful video about one 70-year-old woman who has scraped off over 72,000 neo-Nazi symbols throughout Germany.


If you’ve ever thought, “I’m just one person… what difference can I make?” Irmela Mensah-Schramm, a 70-year-old German woman, provides one powerful answer. For decades she has been conducting a lone battle against neo-Nazi’s message of hate in Berlin and other German cities, erasing their symbols with her scraper.

A visit to a concentration camp for the first time in the early 80s convinced her to take action. She was shocked to see a sticker at her bus stop that demanded the release of Rudolf Hess, the imprisoned Nazi war criminal. At the end of the day, on her way home, she scraped it off. She has removed over 72,000 symbols.

Watch this short video about Irmela Mensah-Schramm.
 

Another way to combat messages of hate is with love. Last year, Ibo Omari founded an organization that sponsors artists to transform swastikas into street art. He credits Irmela Mensah-Schramm as “the grandmother of this project.”

Watch this video about rehabilitated symbols.


Comments (3)

(3) Sarah, January 27, 2018 5:47 PM

Thank you, Ms. Irmela Mensah-Schramm, for doing the right thing and taking a stand against hate. May you be blessed.

(2) Dvirah, June 26, 2016 4:13 PM

Good and Better

What Irmela Mensah-Schramm does is commendable; but Ibo Omari goes her one better. I wondered while watching the first video why Irmela chooses to use ugly black paint rather than bright colors that would equally mask the signs but be far more cheerful.

(1) Gunther, June 26, 2016 3:28 PM

Incredible

I am amaze how the various German state governments let all that Nazi graffiti stay on the public spaces when the Germans pride themselves on being clean or the police don't trie to catch the people doing it. Next time, the German nation might not exist if they don't do something about their Nazis past since the word Germany as reference to a nation have been in name only from 1870 to 1945 and becoming a word again as a nation since 1990.

 

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