“Clean Blood.” “White Europe.” “Refugees Get Out!” “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust.”
These are just some of the xenophobic messages tens of thousands of marchers carried on signs at a far-right rally in Warsaw, Poland over the weekend. According to The Guardian, some 60,000 demonstrators from Poland – and across Europe – joined the march, which coincided with Poland’s 99th independence day festivities.
Under clouds of red smoke, the demonstrators were joined by far-right leaders from Italy and the United Kingdom. Violence broke out at one point as well, when the protestors attacked a group of female counter-demonstrators holding a banner that read “Stop Fascism.”
In response to the fascist manifestations, Poland’s right-wing interior minister simply called the movement “a beautiful sight,” according The Washington Post.
Fueled significantly by anti-immigration politics, Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice Party took power back in 2015.
Since then, the country has refused to accept refugees. Government officials argue that Muslims are a threat to Polish society. However, less than one percent of the Polish population is Muslim, according to Al Jazeera.
“The world is changing. We are fighting a culture war. This war is not somewhere far away. It is in your home even though you may not realize it,” a man reportedly chanted to the crowds from a stage at the rally.
“It’s a war against God, against the homeland and honor, which they want to take away from us,” he said.
Tomasz Dorosz of the National-Radical Camp spoke at the event saying Europe and the world are “in decay.”
“Today, we are reclaiming the revolution from our enemies. Today, we are the revolution. We will carry this banner,” an associate of Dorosz’s said. “When we march together with God we are undefeatable.”
While a counter anti-fascist demonstration was organized to coincide with the rally, it drew a relatively meagre crowd of 5,000, less than a 10th of the crowd that joined the white supremacist movement.
During the Nazi occupation of Poland in World War II, at least 3 million Jews were brutally murdered in death camps in the country. Today, some of these camps remain as vivid reminders of the horrors of Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”
It is further estimated that nearly 2 million non-Jewish Polish citizens were murdered by the Nazis, as they were also considered “racially inferior.”
Yet just decades after this unimaginable horror, thousands are marching through the same country calling for a round two.