WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish government said Friday that it objects strongly to plans by American white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak at a far-right conference in Warsaw in November, but did not say if it would prevent him from entering the country.
Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski described Spencer as someone “who defames what happened during World War II, defames the Holocaust.”
“He should not appear publicly, and especially not in Poland,” Waszczykowski said.
Spencer, 39, is the white supremacist leader who organized the August rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that turned violent, killing a woman. He was invited by far-right Polish organizations to speak at a conference Nov. 10, a day before Poland’s Independence Day holiday.
In past years a march by far-right extremists on Nov. 11 has become one of the largest extremist gatherings in Europe.
The Foreign Ministry said “as a country which was one of the biggest victims of Nazism, we believe that the ideas promoted by Mr. Spencer and his followers could pose a threat to all those who hold dear the values of human rights and democracy.”
It also said Spencer’s views “are in conflict with the legal order” of Poland.
It was not clear Friday if the ministry’s objection meant action would be taken to ban Spencer from entering the country. A spokeswoman for the Polish Border Guard told The Associated Press that she could not divulge whether Spencer was put on a list of people who would be denied entry to the country, citing privacy regulations.
Hungary in October 2014 banned a conference of Spencer’s think tank, the National Policy Institute. When Spencer tried to hold an informal gathering anyway he was arrested, deported and banned from Europe’s visa-free Schengen zone for three years.