A witty hairdresser in Bavaria used pictures showing Adolf Hitler's moustache being waxed to campaign against racism. However, she fell foul of German laws banning the use of Nazi imagery, and halted the project.
Waxing can be painful, and waxing a moustache even more so.
That is probably why Bavarian hairdresser Ursula Gresser decided to use waxing to get her revenge against all right-wing extremists, especially Adolf Hitler. Gresser is the owner of Boderwerk, a beauty salon in the Bavarian town of Cham, that briefly launched a novel initiative to campaign against right-wing extremism.
Hitler took over Germany in 1933, killing over six million people, mostly Jews over a span of nearly ten years
"There was once a small hairdressing salon somewhere in Bavaria with the beautiful motto: 'A rebel soul. A Bavarian heart.' The owner had had enough of big words. She wanted to act. Against xenophobia and racism," reads Boderwerk's website "Waxen gegen Rechts."
For every customer who gets a haircut, a shave or a wax from Gresser, one euro is donated to an anti-right-wing group. The ultimate aim is to "make the world more beautiful," she says on her website.
The rebellious hairdresser, as Gresser describes herself, had campaigned for her cause by going around town and distributing flyers with pictures of Adolf Hitler. The picture had a plastic cover just over the dictator's moustache that could be ripped off like a waxing strip. A slogan under the plastic cover said "One-time wax=1 euro contribution against right-wingers."
But Gresser's idea of using a picture of the Führer - illegal in Germany as part of the denazification process after World War II - was not welcomed by Bavarian officials. Earlier this week, prosecutors launched an investigation against the hairdresser on suspicion of using a symbol belonging to an illegal organization.
Gresser agreed to stop using the inventive promotional ploy, and prosecutors dropped the case.
"After the owner of the salon showed understanding and removed the image, we stopped the investigations on grounds of insignificance," Theo Ziegler, a senior public prosecutor in Regensburg, said of the case. He added that Gresser was clearly not a right-winger, although a person's ideology does not impact German law on showing Nazi symbols.
Here is a tweet showing how the concept worked:
As of the time of publication, Gresser's website promoting the program was still online.