A co-organizer of the march was the group All Polish Youth, which also takes its name from an anti-Jewish movement from the same period.
Von Kilmo emphasized that the march's sentiments contradicted those of the sainted Pope who is widely venerated in Poland. He cited John Paul II's April 6, 1993 remarks on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising: "As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing to the world. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to be first a blessing to one another."
In John Paul II's May 5, 1999 general audience, von Kilmo added, the Pope "emphasized the high regard Christians have for Muslims, pleading for dialogue."
The Polish marches organized by the Radical Camp have been taking place since 2009. Initially gathering crowds of only a few hundred, in the last three years march participation has boomed. It is one of the largest nationalist marches in Europe.
The Radical Camp opposes the migration of Syrian refugees into Europe and claims Jewish financiers are driving the phenomenon. It claims these financiers are working with communists in the European Union to bring Muslims to Europe and also to bring Shariah law and homosexuality.
Among the group's activities is a commemoration of a 1936 anti-Jewish pogrom. One of the march banners that bore its symbols read "Pray for Islamic Holocaust."
The group has also adopted the slogan "We want God," used by President Donald Trump in his July speech in Poland. The slogan was also used by crowds of Poles during visits of Pope John Paul II, when the country was under an officially atheist communist government.
The Radical Camp recruits from soccer clubs and youth hangouts. It opposes both the European Union and Russia as threats to Polish sovereignty and advocates the nationalization of foreign corporations' assets and their distribution across an ethnically homogeneous country.
Many marchers were families with young children, as well as young men ranging in age from their teens to early thirties. Some demonstrators dressed in black, wearing combat boots and masking their faces with scarves or balaclavas
Some city government officials were not friendly towards the march, but said the event had to be approved because it fulfilled a legal requirement of celebrating Polish history. Polish state television, however, described the demonstration as a "great march of patriots."
Rafal Pankowski, a political science professor at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, told the Wall Street Journal that Polish parents and grandparents of the marchers are "paradoxically more liberal than their young."
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"This march is just an expression of a bigger social phenomenon, which is definitely very troubling, and is the growing acceptance of extreme nationalism and xenophobia among young people in Poland," he said.
At least 45 people were detained at the march, which in previous years had devolved into clashes with police. However, the Washington Post said only anti-fascist demonstrators were arrested this year.
Von Kilmo said there have been various right-wing groups operating in Poland since the 1980s, similar to those of other East European states as well as then-East Germany and Austria.
"These groups have mostly been marginal and at the fringe of the political system, counting a few thousand supporters," he said, noting that in Poland they have no more than 30-40 seats out of 460 in the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament.
"The march has become a very contested issue between the Polish government, led by the national-conservative Law and Justice Party, and the liberal opposition," he said. While members of the government, like the Minister of the Interior, said the march was a "beautiful" event, Law and Justice Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski voiced regret about some "unfortunate events."
The Law and Justice party, in general, "seems to have targeted so far only liberal and left-wing elements," according to von Kilmo. It is using nationalist language to denounce these elements, as well as EU president Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister, as "traitors."