Irmela Mensah Schramm

06/2023 Berlin, Germany

Irmela Mensah-Schramm is a 78 year old activist for human rights and former teacher. She has been actively involved for nearly 40 years, with great dedication, particularly against racist and anti- Semitic stickers and graffiti throughout Germany. She meticulously documents over 140,000 removed or painted over hate messages in a comprehensive archive at her home. Whether with a broken knee and crutches or an injured arm, she never lea- ves the house without a camera, brushes, solvent, and a spray can.

Mrs. Mensah-Schramm has received numerous awards for her work, including the Federal Cross of Merit, which she, however, returned. While her commitment is well received by many, she is a target of the Nazi scene and regularly experiences hate messages, death threats, or physical violence. In addition, she has faced several legal proceedings for property damage, often reported by the police themselves, and has been arrested multiple times during demonstrations.

She conducts her activism primarily on her own, independent of specific parties or movements, and funded by donations.

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© Jasper Hill