WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Polandâ€™s Foreign Ministry said Monday that it strongly condemns racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic ideas, but insisted that a large weekend march by nationalists in Warsaw was largely an expression of patriotic feeling.
The ministry said that the march Saturday on the Independence Day holiday was â€śa great celebration of Poles, differing in their views, but united around the common values of freedom and loyalty to an independent homeland.â€ť
The event was organized by groups that trace their roots to radical nationalist pre-World War II anti-Semitic groups. About 60,000 people took part, including families. But there were also young men carrying banners with messages including â€śWhite Europe of brotherly nations.â€ť
Some carried the Celtic Cross, a white supremacist symbol, and there were reports that people chanted slogans against Jews and had anti-Islam banners.
Police detained 45 counter-protesters who blocked the marchâ€™s path, but didnâ€™t act against any of those expressing extremist views.
On Monday, a small group of civic rights activists protested what they saw as the authoritiesâ€™ failure to respond properly to the behavior of the nationalists. In a really in front of city hall they chanted â€śWarsaw free from fascism!â€ť One man held a banner saying, â€śPoland, wake up. Fascism is coming.â€ť They then proceeded to a police station to protest there too.