Photo Of The Day

Photo: Hans Runesson.

Photo: Hans Runesson.

A Woman Hitting a Neo-Nazi With Her Handbag

Hans Runesson?s classic image from the Nordic National Party rally in V?xj?, The iconic image was?named the “century’s image.”

(Swedish😕Kvinnan med handv?skan) is a famous photograph taken in?V?xj?,?Sweden?on 13 April 1985 by Hans Runesson. It depicts an elderly woman hitting a marching Nazi-skinhead with a handbag. The photograph was taken during a demonstration of the?Nordic Reich Party?supporters. It was published in the next day’s Dagens Nyheter?and a day later in some British newspapers. Runesson’s photograph was selected as the Swedish Picture of the Year (?rets bild) 1985 and later as the Picture of the Century by the magazine?Vi?and the Photographic Historical Society of Sweden.?Today it is known as a popular?internet meme.

The woman in the photograph is Danuta Danielsson (died 1988). Not much is known of her as Danielsson didn’t want to come out in public and speak to journalists. She was of?Polish-Jewish origin and her mother had been in a concentration camp during the World War II.

The brave lady became a topic of conversation throughout the country.? Runesson and the reporter were looking all over the place the next day before they found her. “She was embarrassed by all the commotion the picture caused. It felt great to meet her and talk a little. She really showed what she thought and did it, like no-one else dared. She had no weapons, just her purse.

The woman had roots in Poland and was painfully aware of what Nazism accomplished in her home country during World War II, All ?Her family had been severely affected, including her mother who had ended up in one of the ?concentration camps, and the nightmare made ??itself felt when demonstrators grimly stepped up in the usually sedate Sm?land city.

In 2014 the Swedish sculptor Susanna Arwin made a miniature bronze statue of Danielsson based on the photograph. There has been an initiative to erect a life-size version on Arwin’s statue in the city of V?xj?,?but the project has been blocked by local politicians under the pretext that erecting a monument to Danuta Danielsson might promote political violence.

A petition to protest against the decision has already collected thousands of names and several municipalities have contacted us to get the statue instead. ? If it will not be Vaxjo, it will end up in another municipality, Susanna Arwin said.

Last Thursday night, a trend began in ?land, where several statues have been adorned with “violent” handbags”, which apparently signal the violence.?Elsewhere in the country they have shown up, including in Malm? and V?xj?.

Pictures of various statues which have the ‘terrible weapon?purse’?adorning them, have spread over the hashtag #?Aunt vacations ?on social media.