Retired Teacher Erases Over 90,000 Displays of Anti-Semitic Graffiti
The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice is pleased to announce that a Front Line Grant has been awarded to 68-year old Irmela Menshah Schramm, a one-woman crusader who has single-handedly fought neo-Nazi hate by documenting and then removing anti-Semitic graffiti, stickers, and posters from the streets of Berlin and greater Germany for over 25 years.
Schramm’s tools are a white bag, camera, paint brushes, paint solvents, and a can of black spray paint. Each morning since 1985, she has made it her mission to find, scratch off, erase, or cover up these hate-filled messages. Schramm pays for her ‘tools’ out of her own money.
The Front Line Fund grant will be used to help Ms. Menshah Schramm offset expenses in her continuing work to remove anti-Semitic graffiti in an effort to eliminate this hatred and promote tolerance in her community.
The work that Ms. Menshah Schramm undertakes often puts her in great personal danger; death threats and brutal beatings are popular scare tactics used by the extremist movements she faces. Despite the probability of violent attacks, her own medical complications, and the general indifference of her society, Ms. Menshah Schramm devotes every day of her life to the cause of combating this poison.
The recent resurgence of anti-Semitic crime and hate-speech is of particular concern to the Lantos Foundation. “Citizens like Irmela Schramm, who actively work to combat hatred and bigotry wherever they come across it are an invaluable force in working to create societies built upon mutual respect and acceptance. The Lantos Foundation is very pleased to offer a Front Line Grant to support the work and mission of Ms. Menshah Schramm,” said Foundation President Katrina Lantos Swett.