MEDIA RELEASE: The Rise of Neo-Nazism in Poland – An Alarming Development

17 November 2017

“The recent 60,000 strong march in Warsaw, Poland, championing Neo-Nazism and white supremacy is truly alarming “says New Zealand Holocaust Centre Chairman, Jeremy Smith.

“Of all European countries, Poland’s Jewish population felt the full brutality of the Nazi regime – around 3.4 million (90%) of Polish Jewry were killed during the Holocaust. Many of the Holocaust survivors who sought a safe haven in New Zealand originally came from Poland. To now see a march of this size on the streets of Warsaw – including explicit anti-Semitic banners and chants calling for the expulsion of Polish Jews in the name white racial purity– is simply horrendous”.

This march serves to underscore, in the starkest terms, how we must stay vigilant about race-hate groups and political movements. In Poland itself, the neo-Nazi movement is literally “white washing” Polish history, disavowing any moral responsibility for the Holocaust in Poland, Mr Smith noted.

“Neo-Nazism is not just confined to Poland; we are also witnessing the rise of white supremacy groups with obvious anti-Semitic views in other parts of Europe and in the Unites States. New Zealand is not immune” says Mr Smith.

“As New Zealand’s leading Holocaust organisation, we ask for the New Zealand Government to express its deep concern and complete repudiation of neo-Nazism to both representatives of the Polish Government here and in other appropriate international forums”, concluded Mr Smith.

For further comment, please contact Jeremy Smith on 027 293 1346