More than tens of thousands of people joined a nationalist and fascists march in a demonstration organized by far-right groups in Warsaw on Saturday, as Poles celebrated their country’s Independence Day.
Protesters carried banners that read “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust,” and “White Europe, Europe must be white.”
Far-right leaders from elsewhere in Europe – including the UK’s English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson and Roberto Fiore from Italy were also said to be at the event.
Police estimated the crowd to be more than 60,000, and photos of the large crowd in Warsaw, including neo-fascists in balaclavas, marching in a haze of red smoke from firecrackers, provided dramatic images from a country where millions of people died in concentration camps in World War II.
Mariusz Blaszczak, who is Poland’s Interior minister called the event a ‘beautiful sight’.
“We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday,” he said.
100 Years Independent
The far-right march was one of many events celebrating Poland’s rebirth as a nation in 1918 after being wiped off the map for 123 years.
An official ceremony was hosted elsewhere in Warsaw by President Andrzej Duda which was attended by all living former Poland Presidents and European Union president Donald Tusk.
“Independence Day has always been and will continue to be a celebration of all Poles and not just one party, Mr Tusk said.
“No politician in Poland has ever had nor will ever have a monopoly on patriotism.”