Topics: Germany

Germans Buy Up All the Beer to Protest Neo-Nazis

Small German town is being praised for creative means of neutering neo-Nazi gathering

Nati Shohat/FLASH90

Residents in Ostritz, a small town in Saxony on the German-Polish border, protested a neo-Nazi gathering by buying up all the beer in town.

The far-right German rock festival called “Shield and Sword,” or SS, draws neo-Nazi devotees from around the country, and local residents were concerned about the possibility of violence and damage to their quiet town. Police were concerned, too, and enforced a ban on alcohol during the festival after a district court ruled that the event had an “aggressive character” and ordered the police to seize 4,400 liters of beer from festival-goers, according to The Local, a Germany-based online international news portal.

But the residents of the town of about 2,300 were concerned that the white nationalist crowds would simply head to the local supermarket to stock up on alcohol. So they organized a shopping spree and bought up all the beer in town just to make sure the neo-Nazis stayed sober –and thirsty, as beer is Germany’s favorite beverage.

One of the town’s residents told the German daily Bild: “The plan was devised a week in advance. We wanted to dry the Nazis out. We thought, if an alcohol ban is coming, we’ll empty the shelves.”

In the end, only about 500-600 attended the festival, compared to 1,200 last year. About 1,400 police were stationed at the event and reported that there were no major incidents. 

Newspapers around German are now praising the creative way the residents responded with civic responsibility to protect their town. Now they can enjoy their large quantities of beer in peace and quiet. “We will have a wonderful celebration shortly,” said one of the boycott organizers, according to The Local.

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