A seventy-year-old retired teacher has waged a three decade battle against the spread of racist ideology by defacing neo-Nazi propaganda and graffiti.
Irmela Mensah-Schramm claims to have “painted over or defaced more than 100,000 manifestations of far-right sentiment,” Patrick Strickland reports for Al Jazeera.
“I just said I’d keep doing it,” she told a judge who attempted to get her to stop. Not only did she persist, she’s refusing to pay the fine.
“Mensah-Schramm recalls the first time she defaced neo-Nazi graffiti. It was 1986 and she was on a bus when she noticed a pro-Hitler sticker on a lamp post,” Al Jazeera explained. “She quickly slapped the stop button and jumped off the bus. Within minutes, she had peeled the sticker away. She was scolded for arriving late to work that day, but she was never again able to leave far-right graffiti, stickers or posters intact.”
In the three decades Mensah-Schramm has waged her personal crusade against fascist graffiti across Germany, she said she’s noticed a shift from anti-Semitic propaganda to Islamaphobic propaganda.
And Mensah-Schramm doesn’t just cover up graffiti, she directly confronts neo-Nazi Germans while frequenting anti-fascist contingents at Berlin political demonstrations.
This is the violent hate spewed at a 70-year-old German woman who paints over neo-Nazi graffiti – but yeah, "fascism is a thing of the past" pic.twitter.com/kyJS5gakpW
— Patrick Strickland (@P_Strickland_) July 28, 2017
Watch the trailer for the documentary “The Hate Destroyer” on Irmela Mensah-Schramm: