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28 Jan, 2019 22:36

Police probe Auschwitz far-right protest calling to ‘free Poland’ from Jews

Police probe Auschwitz far-right protest calling to ‘free Poland’ from Jews

Polish police are examining video evidence after some 100 far-right demonstrators marched through Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day, chanting anti-Semitic slogans at the site where Nazis murdered over a million Jews during WWII.

Videos, recordings and photos of the ultra-nationalist rally at the infamous Nazi death camp were sent to Polish prosecutors on Sunday. Authorities say there were some 70-100  demonstrators who took part in the march, which took place at the same time Polish officials and Holocaust survivors marked the 74th anniversary of the camp’s liberation by the Red Army in 1945. The two groups gathered on separate sides of the memorial site and never came into contact.

Photos from the far-right march show demonstrators carrying Polish flags through the gate which bears the infamous description “Arbeit Macht Frei,” while they reportedly singing the Polish national anthem.

The demonstration was led by Piotr Rybak, a Polish nationalist who was arrested in 2015 for burning an effigy representing a Jew.

“The Jewish nation and Israel is doing everything to change the history of the Polish nation. Polish patriots cannot allow this,” Reuters quotes Rybak as saying at the demonstration. “It’s time to fight against Jewry and free Poland from them!” Rybak added, according to local media.

Rybak and his followers were angry with the Polish government, saying it paid tribute to the Jewish victims of the camp while ignoring the 150,000 non-Jewish Poles killed there. Some of their flags had the phrase “Polish holocaust” on them.

The demonstration did not take place on the grounds of the camp, but rather outside its gates, and was therefore legal, tweeted police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka.

Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski defended the actions of local police, saying on Twitter that the gathering represented anti-Semitic “hooliganism” by people “not right in the head,” but did not technically violate the law. After coming under criticism from a number of opposition Civic Platform officials, he said the police response could have been more “adequate.”

Also on rt.com Mass Holocaust-denial ‘infecting’ Eastern Europe – study

A study by the The Holocaust Remembrance Project at Yale University and Grinnell College, published last week, warned about widespread Holocaust denial in Eastern Europe.

Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Lithuania all received a “red” rating, indicating that these countries have a serious incapability of “living up to their tragic histories,” the researchers said.

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