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'White Poland': Ethnic nationalists march in Warsaw to mark Polish independence

The march, organised by far-right groups, was one of many events marking Poland’s rebirth as a nation in 1918

    Far right demonstrators marched through Warsaw this weekend (GETTY)
    Far right demonstrators marched through Warsaw this weekend (GETTY)

    Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through Warsaw to mark Poland’s independence day, where chants calling for ethnic purity were heard.

    Police estimated that about 60,000 people took part, according to Reuters – many of whom were young men, with some covering their faces.

    The march, organised by far-right groups, was one of many events marking Poland’s rebirth as a nation in 1918.

    A small number of demonstrators were heard chanting xenophobic messages, such as “pure Poland, white Poland” and “refugees get out”.

    Also among the chants heard were “White Europe of brotherly nations”, “Europe will be white or uninhabited” and “clear blood, sober mind”.

    One banner hung over a bridge read "Pray for Islamic Holocaust", while witnesses reported seeing and hearing antisemitic and anti-gay sentiments expressed.

    Many participants, including families and older Poles, told the local and international press that they were not engaging in the radical-nationalist aspects of the march.

    The falanga, a far-right symbol dating back to the 1930s, was also depicted on a number of flags at the march.

    State broadcaster TVP, which reflects the Polish government’s line, described it as a “great march of patriots”, as it focused on the participation of those not aligned with extremist politics.

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