Poland’s independence day has been marred by a huge White Nationalist rally, in which 60,000 Poles took to the streets to join a march organised by far right groups.
The parade marked 99 years of Polish independence.
“Thousands” of the marchers reportedly called for a “Jew free” Poland, in one of the most stark displays of antisemitism in Europe for years. Whilst the official slogan of the march was “We Want God”, many marchers were heard chanting, “White Europe”, “Pure Poland, Jew free Poland,” and “Jews out of Poland,” and “Refugees get out”.
Whilst in Britain far-right Marches are often outnumbered by anti-Fascist protesters, the contingent who turned up to oppose the 60,000 of the far right march numbered only around 2000.
One participant of the march defended those attending, yet still admitted that 30% could be from the far right.
The march was organised by White Nationalist groups, yet it attracted a large number of members of the governing Law and Justice Party. There have been several antisemitic incidents within the party, including the promotion of a Minister who claimed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be a factual document. In 2015, a banner at one of the party’s marches read “We demand the immediate liquidation of masonic Jewish life in Poland. It threatens Poles”.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry called upon the Polish government to take action against those responsible for organising the parade. In August we reported that Polish Jews have found themselves at a recent “low point” due to escalating antisemitism in the country.
Despite the blatant displays of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s interior minister, said that “independence day…was safe” and described the march as a “beautiful sight”.