Secret anti-racist shirts covertly distributed to neo-Nazis

Anti-racist activists snuck trick t-shirts into a music festival with a large neo-Nazi turnout; the shirts bore a crypto-racist slogan that faded on first washing to reveal a plea to reconsider "militant right-wing lifestyle."
The shirts, which bore a skull and crossbones symbol and the word 'Hardcore Rebels,' faded upon washing to reveal a hidden message: "What happened to your shirt can happen to you. We can help you break with right-wing extremism."

The T-shirts were the work of Exit Deutschland, a group that helps young people transition out of militant right-wing lifestyles.

"With these T-shirts we wanted to make ourselves known among right-wingers, especially amongst young ones who are not yet fully committed to the extreme right," said Exit founder Bernd Wagner.

Right-wing extremists tricked by 'Trojan' T-shirts (Thanks, Cyrus!)


    1. I don’t have an exact product name or anything; but a starch-binder adhesive mixed with titanium dioxide or a similar pigment powder would probably do the trick…

      Reasonably resistant; but would largely dissolve and wash out in a laundry cycle or two(it would also account for the rather dusty/faded appearance of the post-wash black shirt in the demo photo, as some amount of the dissolved binder would likely dry back onto the fabric).

    2. any water-based paint, that could be pulled though a screen press. like poster paint for young children.

    1. For the n00bs just starting to get in over their heads, it might actually work.

      For the already enthusiastic, I’m assuming that the rumors are already circulating about how duplicitous leftists, using special pigments made for them by the jews from the blood of white christian babies, are attempting to destroy the movement…

      1. So, save the n00bs, and troll the rest of them, and win the “media anecdote viral brass ring”  all in one swift move. That’s synergy for you.

  1. Go look at the larger picture in the story – there’s a whole lot of white dye on the washed shirt (which is now very far from black). If that messed up my other clothes in the wash I’m pretty sure I’d be less than amused, Nazi or not.

    I’m pretty sure there’s even a joke about separating your whites from your coloureds in there somewhere.

  2. When I first read this, I was angry that someone would pull such a cruel trick on hapless audience members, posting a message that was not their attempt on clothing they paid good money for.

    Then I realized that I’d miss read the post and it was pulled ON the neo-Nazis, not BY the neo-Nazis. Now I’m conflicted because I still feel the same way. HALP!

    1. Quote ‘Hundreds of FREE T-shirts handed out at a weekend right-wing rock festival…’ 
      Feel better now?

    1. Fair enough, but it’s aimed at those who haven’t yet formed a strong attachment to Nazism – who hopefully haven’t yet stopped laundering their clothes.

    1. I was thinking that, but I guess it’s the combination with the skull and the white flags, and the nature of the event. Also from what I understand “Rebel Pride” is a racist slogan in America, maybe it is in Germany too?

    2. here is the original press release: (translate as needed). “Hardcore Rebels” is just one of these generic names the autonomous nationalist groups give themselves, the subtitle is “Nationalist and free”, the two flags left and right from the skull are a sign of the “free forces” (which are in turn ripped from the anti-fascists who have a red and a white flag in a circle, the fascists then “reclaimed” these, using the same logo but with two white flags. Today most nazis in protest marches look like left-wing protesters apart from little signs like that)

  3. they probable printed the shirts twice. the first time with the image that would stay and was cured in the dryer at the right temperature. then printed a second time and didn’t cure it all the way. that way the ink would be dry but would wash off.

  4. Kieran…”Rebel Pride” isn’t specifically racist in the US. But it’s strongly associated with “southern pride,” e.g. pride to be from (or a fan of the rural culture of) the southern (rebel) states that seceded from the US prior to the Civil War. These states were slave-owning and have had a long troubled history of race relations…which is why the term Rebel Pride can evoke race tensions even though it’s not a racist term.

  5. I think that this is wonderful, but I’m a little confused about the message. Or maybe it’s just that the english translation of the message doesn’t carry the same meaning?

    What happened to your shirt can happen to you.

    Your whiteness will go away? You will fade? You will dissolve in the wash?

    Normally I’m pretty good with metaphors, but this one is lost on me. If it’s lost on the Neonazis as well, it an unfortunate missed opportunity, given how great the setup was.

    1. There’s a smaller box below, it says „wir helfen dir, dich vom Rechtsextremismus zu lösen“, “we’ll help you free yourself from right-wing extremism” (it’s a pun that only works in german: “sich lösen” is getting rid of something as a person, but “farbe auflösen” is dissolving color)

      1. I just logged in to say the same thing – the message being in an active voice makes it more powerful, I think.  It’s not something happening to you/your shirt, it’s you/your shirt having agency and doing something positive.

    2. IANAG (I am not a germanophone) but I think the translation’s slightly off: it’s more like “What your shirt can do, you can too,” as in, change.

    3. It’s not the same shirt, the message changed! I like the idea, but I wonder how many guys will put on their shirt without noticing and get their asses kicked by their Aryan “brothers”? 

  6. Nazi washes shirt, sees message, throws away shirt. What has changed? Nothing (except Nazi is out a few bucks for the shirt)

    ….but all of this is moot. Everyone knows that Neo-nazi dirtbags don’t bathe. Shirt will never get washed.

  7. A snarky T-shirt? How wonderful. That will certainly counter-act the images of London burning, whites being forced to strip in the streets, and the whole EU demanding a bailout from German taxpayers.

    Look, moral superiority and sneering will not address the concerns that drive people to join nationalist parties. As the problems get worse, only real solutions will work. And those who refuse to provide them, and seek refuge in silly stunts, are simply aiding and abetting the nationalists.

    1. Your comment is, well, misguided. The purpose of the FREE shirt was to point out that members CAN leave. Often a lot of these white supremacist groups drill into their members that they cannot leave, that anyone who drops out of the Scene is a traitor. Not much different from most inner city gangs, or the Mafia, or any sort of criminal syndicate if you think of it.

      So yeah, you can talk about fighting the causes, but on the ground the main reason why people fall for the siren call of right wing populists has just as much to do with their marketing as it does with external pressures.

      I for one applaud the group for the pun: “Auflösen” means dissolve, but also “disband” or “break free”. So it’s one way to get the message out and save those who thought there was no alternative, really.

  8. Well, I for one am disappointed that the shirts were handed out free– I like the idea of the neo-Nazis actually paying for something that turns out to be the opposite of what they wanted. 

  9. I read the article in Speigel where they talked about why they did this.  They know no one’s gonna go right out and disavow the movement because of a shirt.  But at some point, if they want to get out of the life, they may remember the name of the organization, so they have someplace to get help and support.  

  10. If only someone would sneak some robes into a Klan rally that all have “I’M WITH STUPID –>” printed in heat-activated dye.

      1. I’m thinking something heat-sensitive enough to be activated by close proximity to a burning cross.

  11. Everyone is joking about this sick shit & yes it seems so stupid, but the bigger problem is this way of thinking is still being promoted in a very sick world. I would believe all this computer access would help promote more intelligent ways of thinking and some bond for people to encourage change…Unfortunately we are so culturally brainwashed that we find the sickest shit to laugh about instead of seeing where this originated from…GENOCIDE!!!

  12. So long as it doesn’t ruin their other laundry, i think that it’s a great idea!
    It was free after all. 

  13. I am a screen printer for 25 years. It could have been a discharge ink that wasn’t fully cured. It is designed to wash off and leave a bleach type “stain” if you will where the imprint was.  If anyone would like a very competitive quote on printed t-shirts please feel free to e-mail michaelATloudmerchDOTcom
      This economy has crippled my business and any new work is well appreciated.



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