by Gabriel Pogrund
Protesters burnt an effigy of an Orthodox Jew at a far-right anti-refugee demonstration in the Polish city of Wroclaw on Wednesday night.
Hundreds of supporters attended the event, organised by the National Radical Camp and All Polish Group, the present day incarnations of group of the same name which held anti-Jewish marches in the 1930s.
Crowds gathering in the Wroclaw town hall cheered as a demonstrator sprayed lighter fuel on a free-standing effigy of an ultra-Orthodox Jew, clad in traditional religious garb and holding an EU flag. The man proceeded to burn the effigy.
The rally was organised in opposition to the Polish government’s decision to accept 5,000 Syrian refugees in addition to the 2,000 it has already accepted.
A protest leader told crowds that Syrians in Europe were terrorists and economic migrants, not refugees, according to Polish newspaper Wyborcza. He warned that Polish citizens would be “raped, beaten and murdered by the Islamic wilderness” if the migrants were allowed to enter the country.
The demonstration came less than a week after the Paris attacks, where 129 people were killed by so-called Islamic State terrorists.
One suicide bomber is reported to have entered Europe using the passport of a Syrian man named Ahmad al Muhammad. The emergency passport, which passed through the Greek island of Lesbos in October, was found by the body outside the Stade de France.
Polish police attended the demonstration and made no arrests.
Earlier this week an anti-refugee banner was photographed hanging from a bridge over a main road in the nearby Polish city of Poznan. The English-language banner read: “Pray for Islamic Holocaust”. It was marked with the Celtic cross, a neo-Nazi symbol which is illegal in Germany.