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The Lady with the Handbag

‘With the Purse as a weapon’ is a public statue in Alingsås, Sweden. It represents Danuta Danielsson, a Jewish Polish woman who was photographed hitting a nazi punk with her handbag at a demonstration in Växjö in 1985. Her own mother had survived the horrors of a concentration camp and Danuta was furious to see nazis openly parading.

If you are inclined to feel any sympathy for the young man about to be hit, know that he went on to murder a gay Jewish man.

She inadvertently became a hero to many and the photo won ‘Photo of the Year 1985’ as well as ‘Swedish photo of the century’. To this day, the image of ‘the lady with the handbag’ is used as a symbol of resistance against fascism.

Danuta unfortunately suffered from mental health issues and took her own life three years after the photograph was taken.


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