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Tired of being magnet for neo-Nazis, German town turns far-right march into charity walkathon

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BERLIN — A small town in Germany has turned a far-right march into an unwitting walkathon for an exit program for neo-Nazis.

After failing to prevent neo-Nazis from staging an annual pilgrimage to the birthplace of Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess, the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel decided to change tack this year.

Residents and businesses pledged to pay 10 euros ($12.50) for every meter the neo-Nazis walked, and motivational signs were erected along the route of Saturday's march.

PHOTO: In this picture taken Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, police stand in front of banners reading "Donate with every step, march", top left, and "#right against right" top right, during a far-right march Wunsiedel, southern Germany. Letters on the ground say "Thanks for euro 2,500!". After failing to prevent neo-Nazis from staging an annual pilgrimage to the birthplace of Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, the Bavarian town decided to change tack this year. Residents and businesses pledged to pay 10 euro (US dollar 12.50) for every meter the neo-Nazis walked, and motivational signs were erected along the route of Saturday’s march. Inge Schuster, a spokeswoman for the town, said Tuesday that the stunt received “a great response,” raising more than 10,000 euros for the group EXIT-Deutschland that helps people leave the neo-Nazi scene. (AP Photo/dpa, Fricke)
In this picture taken Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, police stand in front of banners reading "Donate with every step, march", top left, and "#right against right" top right, during a far-right march Wunsiedel, southern Germany. Letters on the ground say "Thanks for euro 2,500!". After failing to prevent neo-Nazis from staging an annual pilgrimage to the birthplace of Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, the Bavarian town decided to change tack this year. Residents and businesses pledged to pay 10 euro (US dollar 12.50) for every meter the neo-Nazis walked, and motivational signs were erected along the route of Saturday’s march. Inge Schuster, a spokeswoman for the town, said Tuesday that the stunt received “a great response,” raising more than 10,000 euros for the group EXIT-Deutschland that helps people leave the neo-Nazi scene. (AP Photo/dpa, Fricke)

Inge Schuster, a spokeswoman for the town, said Tuesday that the stunt received "a great response," raising more than 10,000 euros for the group EXIT-Deutschland that helps people leave the neo-Nazi scene.

Hess was buried in Wunsiedel in 1987. Three years ago his remains were exhumed, cremated and scattered at sea.


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