If far-right protest illegal consequences will be drawn - officials

If regulations were broken, I am convinced the relevant law enforcement services will take care of this, PM's Office head Michał Dworczyk said on Monday about the Sunday assembly of nationalists on the 74th anniversary of the Auschwitz camp liberation.

"If words of incitement to crime, incitement to hatred were spoken there, if the law was broken, the law enforcement agencies and the prosecutor's office, the whole justice system, would definitely draw the consequences," Dworczyk told a radio broadcaster on Monday.

Similar declaration was made on Monday by senior cabinet official Jacek Sasin. "If a crime had been committed in connection with the assembly of nationalists on the the Auschwitz concentration camp liberation anniversary, consequences will be drawn, Sasin stressed.

Commenting on media reports about anti-Semitic slogans that were allegedly used during the nationalist gathering, Deputy Culture Minister Jarosław Sellin said that "if the reports are confirmed that such views were being voiced, then of course there will be a reaction, because it is breaking the law in Poland.

Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin told reporters on Monday in Krakow, southern Poland, that "these types of manifestations are the price we pay for freedom of speech." According to Gowin, the case should be dealt with by the prosecutor's office, then the court, because the slogans which were reportedly used during the gathering are "against the law in Poland", and the whole issue "heavily damages Poland's image abroad."

On Sunday, ceremonies were held to mark the 74th anniversary of liberating the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Brikenau by Soviet troops. The main observances, attended by over 50 former prisoners of this and other camps, were held in the so-called Central Sauna in the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp where from December 1943, the Germans registered camp prisoners. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, clergy of various religions, diplomats, including the ambassadors of Israel and Russia as well as President Andrzej Duda's representative Wojciech Kolarski. January 27 also marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, instituted in 2005 by the UN General Assembly. The annual date of the observances coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp - the main Holocaust site - by the Red Army.

Before the official ceremony started in the southern Polish city of Oświecim, two hundred Polish far right nationalists gathered at the site of the former concentration camp to hold a protest against the government remembering only Jews and forgetting Polish citizens that were not Jewish and were also murdered there. Piotr Rybak of the Polish Independence Movement, who led Sunday's protest said that "Polish patriots cannot allow this." Far right protesters wrapped in Polish flags laid flowers and sang the Polish national anthem.

According to the Polish daily Gazeta Krakowska, Rybak reportedly said during the protest that "it is high time to fight with the Jewry and free Poland of them."