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    ‘The Woman with the Handbag’ – Danuta Danielsson

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    ‘The Woman with the Handbag’ is an iconic photograph taken by Hans Runesson in 1985, which later turned into a statue in Västerås, Sweden. The woman in the photograph is a Polish immigrant, Danuta Danielsson, who became well-known for her stance against neo-Nazis.

    The photograph was taken during a rally held by the Nordic Reich Party, a white supremacist group in Sweden. Danielsson, who was walking down the street, saw the neo-Nazis and became visibly angry. She approached one of them, Anders Carlsson, and hit him with her handbag. The moment was captured by Runesson, and the image quickly became a symbol of anti-racism.

    Danielsson’s actions were widely celebrated, and she became a national hero in Sweden. She was hailed as a courageous woman who stood up against discrimination and hate. However, her sudden fame also came at a cost. She later expressed her frustration at being constantly recognized as “the woman with the handbag” and said that the incident overshadowed her other accomplishments in life.

    Despite the controversies surrounding the photograph, “The Woman with the Handbag” remains a powerful symbol of resistance against hate and intolerance. The statue in Västerås, which was erected in 2005, stands as a testament to Danielsson’s bravery and serves as a reminder of the dangers of extremism.

    In a world where racism and discrimination continue to exist, the story of Danuta Danielsson is a source of inspiration for many. Her bold and unapologetic stance against bigotry is a testament to the power of individual action and the importance of speaking out against hatred. Today, her legacy lives on, and her story continues to inspire people around the world to stand up for what is right.

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