Logo of Oboz-Narodowo Radykalny/National Radical Camp (ONR)
|Founded||14 April 1934 |
1935 (Falanga & ABC)
|Dissolved||10 July 1934 (banned by a decree of the Polish government) |
1939 (Falanga & ABC)
• Polish nationalism (ultranationalistic)
• National Radicalism
• Political Catholicism
|National affiliation||National Movement|
|Colours||Green and White|
The National Radical Camp (Polish: Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny, ONR) refers to at least three groups that are far-right Polish ultranationalist organisations with doctrines stemming from pre-World War II fascism.
The current incarnation revived in 1993 is a far-right movement in Poland much like its historical predecessors. It has often been described as fascist and sometimes as neo-Nazi. As of 2012 it is registered as a common-interest association.
The ONR considers itself an ideological descendant of the 1930s-era National Radical Camp, right-wing political movement which existed in the pre-World War II Second Polish Republic, an illegal Polish anti-communist, and nationalist political party formed on 14 April 1934 mostly by the youth radicals who left the National Party of the National Democracy movement.
The Falanga National Radical Camp (Polish: Ruch Narodowo Radykalny-Falanga), RNR-Falanga or ONR-Falanga colloquially, was a minor Polish third position political grouping of the 1930s, as was National Radical Camp ABC (Polish: Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny ABC) or ONR-ABC for short following the split of the original party in 1934. "Falanga" is Polish for "phalanx", "ABC" refers to a newspaper printed by the organisation at the time.
The party was influenced by the ideas of Italian Fascism. It rejected parliamentary democracy and called for the construction of a "national state," based on the principles of hierarchy, one-person leadership, and elimination of national minorities from public life.
Dominated by youth, National Radical Camp was a "more radical, nazified" outgrowth of the National-Democratic Party, an ultra-nationalist movement that had arisen in the 1920s. The emergence of the National Radical Camp was part of broader movement of the Polish right toward radicalization and fascism in the 1930s. Virulently antisemitic and eliminationist, ONR's members were responsible for an increase in anti-semitic violence after 1935.
The party was created on the insistence of former members of the Camp of Great Poland (Obóz Wielkiej Polski), most notably Jan Mosdorf, Tadeusz Gluziński and Henryk Rossman. It supported "class solidarity," nationalization of foreign and Jewish-owned companies and introduction of anti-semitic laws.
The ONR was popular mostly among the students and other groups of urban youth. ONR openly encouraged anti-Jewish pogroms, and became the main force in the organization of attacks against Jews. It organized fighting squads, attacked Jews and leftist politicians, destroyed Jewish property, and provoked clashes with the police. Because of its involvement in boycott of Jewish-owned stores, as well as numerous attacks on left-wing worker demonstrations, the ONR was outlawed after three months of existence, in July 1934. Several leaders were interned in the Bereza Kartuska Detention Camp, where the organization split into two separate factions: the ONR-Falanga (Ruch Narodowo-Radykalny) led by Bolesław Piasecki, and the ONR-ABC (Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny) formed around the ABC journal and led by Henryk Rossman. Both organizations were officially illegal.
During World War II, both organizations created underground resistance organizations: ONR-ABC was transformed into Grupa Szańca (Rampart Group), whose military arm became the Związek Jaszczurczy (Lizard Union), while the ONR-Falanga created the Konfederacja Narodu (Confederation of the Nation). They were not supportive of the mainstream Polish Underground State related to the Polish government in exile. During the German occupation of Poland, many of the former ONR activists belonged to National Armed Forces resistance groups. After World War II, the forced exile of many ONR members was made permanent by the newly created Polish People's Republic, which branded them enemies of the state.
The RNR-Falanga was formed in the spring of 1935 following a split by members of the National Radical Camp held in Detention Camp Bereza Kartuska. Adopting the name of Oboz Narodowo-Radykalny (National Radical Camp), it soon became known as Falanga after the title of its journal (the rival group would also soon be named after its own journal, thus becoming known as National Radical Camp-ABC).
The Falanga was led by Bolesław Piasecki and advocated a 'Catholic totalitarianism' inspired by Spanish Falangism. However, although clearly derived from Falangism, it has been argued that their Catholicism was even more central than that of the Spanish group and indeed their pronouncement that 'God is the highest form of man' recalled the religious fanaticism of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu. The group is widely considered to have been a fascist movement. Harshly critical of capitalism and supportive of removing citizenship rights from Poland's Jews it presented itself as the vanguard of the opposition to Józef Piłsudski.
Largely based in university campuses, the Falanga followed a policy of anti-Semitism and although it had few members, from its power bases in schools it attempted to launch attacks on Jewish students and businesses. Left-wing activists were also as part of this violent activity.
The group soon came under scrutiny from the Polish government. Indeed, unlike similar movements in other European countries who regularly held public rallies, the ONR-Falanga held only two such gatherings, in 1934 and 1937, both of which were quickly broken up by the police.
For a time the movement became associated with the Camp of National Unity (Polish: Obóz Zjednoczenia Narodowego, OZN) as Colonel Adam Koc, impressed by the organisation of the ONR-Falanga, placed Piasecki in charge of the OZN youth group. Koc called for the creation of a one-party state and hoped to use the youth movement to ensure this although his pronouncements upset many pro-government moderates. As such, Koc was removed from the leadership of the OZN in 1938 and replaced by General Stanisław Skwarczyński who quickly severed any ties to the RNR-Falanga.
As a Polish nationalist movement the RNR-Falanga opposed the German occupation of Poland after the 1939 invasion, and thus was quickly subsumed by the Konfederacja Narodu, a group within the Polish resistance that retained certain far right views.
However, following the establishment of a communist puppet regime in 1945, Piasecki was allowed to lead the PAX Association (Polish: Stowarzyszenie PAX), a supposedly Catholic organisation that was in fact a front group of the NKVD which aimed to promote the new communist regime to Poland's Catholics whilst turning them away from the Vatican.
The ONR-ABC was the second splinter group besides Falanga founded by Henryk Rossman.
The modern National Radical Camp like its predecessors is fascist. The United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers the organization a fascist group promoting racial and national hatred and has called on Poland to de-legalize it.
The party flag of the organization was included in the police handbook as an explicitly racist symbol and have made usage of the Celtic Cross, an old symbol misappropriated by neo-Nazis. The Interior Ministry subsequently pulled the book from circulation after a complaint from MP Adam Andruszkiewicz.
In 2019, the Lublin-Południe District Prosecutor's Office opened proceedings against ONR for "public propagation of a totalitarian regime" after they published a Tweet celebrating Belgian fascist and SS officer Leon Degrelle.
ONR attracted publicity in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for unauthorized marches during the anniversary of the anti-Jewish riot in Myślenice in 1936. In 2005 the group had a couple of hundred members.
An illegal rally held on June 30, 2007 resulted in a court case, in which the ONR leader, Wojciech Mazurkiewicz, was acquitted only because the magistrate warning was issued too late, according to the presiding judge. The 2008 rally led by the same ONR leader was taped by police with the intention of sharing the video with the local prosecutors office according to Lesser Poland Police.
The association has also been known as initiators of marches during the National Independence Day of Poland. One of them (in Warsaw), as a co-initiative of several different nationalist movements in 2010, evolved in 2012 into one of the biggest events during the day, which now attracts a more diverse community. Since 2012 it has been organized by a registered association, which ONR is still part of.
On 11 November 2017, 60,000 people marched in an Independence Day celebration procession co-organized by the ONR alongside with the All-Polish Youth. People from the group "Black Block", which consisted of associations "Niklot" and "Szturmowcy", carried banners that read "White Europe", "Europe Will Be White" and "Clean Blood, Sober mind - sXe. The slogan of the march was "We want God", which comes from an old Polish song and a phrase quoted by US President Donald Trump during his visit to Poland earlier in the year. There were also others who were chanting "Death to enemies of the homeland" and "Catholic Poland, not secular". American white supremacist Richard Spencer planned to speak at the march, but was banned from doing so after the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski said that he 'should not appear publicly' in Poland as he 'defames the Holocaust', with the Ministry announcing in a later statement that Spencer's views were 'in conflict with the legal order of Poland'.