White supremacists have been filmed performing Hitler salutes and shouting “hail Trump!” during a speech by a leading member of the “alt-right” movement.
Richard B Spencer, president of the far-right National Policy Institute, made numerous allusions to Nazi ideology during his half-hour speech at a conference in Washington on Saturday.
“Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” he shouted as members of the audience leapt to their feet applauding, with several making prolonged Hitler salutes.
“No one will honour us for losing gracefully, no one mourns the great crimes committed against us. For us it is conquer or die.”
Mr Spencer went on to attack the “mainstream media” for its treatment Donald Trump.
He used the slur “Lügenpresse”, meaning “lying press in German”, which was originally employed by Nazis and is gaining currency once again among the German far-right to insult reporting on the refugee crisis.
It was also heard being shouted at Trump rallies, where the Republican candidate frequently attacked the press, and has become a hashtag popular among some of his supporters on social media.
“The press has clearly decided to double down and wage war against the legitimacy of Trump and the continued existence of white America,” said Mr Spencer to more cheers. “But they are really opening up the door for us.”
The white nationalist, who claims he coined the term “alt-right”, also described journalists as “soulless Golem” – supernatural creates from Jewish folklore – “animated by some dark power”.
Footage broadcast by The Atlantic as part of an upcoming documentary on Mr Spencer showed his followers repeatedly performing Hitler salutes during the tirade, where he claimed America was a “white country [that] belongs to us”.
“To be white is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror,” he continued.
“We don’t exploit other groups, we don’t gain anything from their presence. They need us and not the other way around.
“Within the very blood in our veins as children of the sun lies the potential for greatness. That is the great struggle we’re called to.
“We’re not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace. We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet.”
The National Policy Institute’s website could not be reached on Tuesday but an archived version showed its homepage describing the organisation as “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world”.
Its stated aim is the “revival and flourishing of our people”, linking with international far-right movements including the UK’s Traditional Britain Group, which claims to be fighting “political correctness and enforced multiculturalism”.
As the group’s leader, Mr Spencer writes regular blogs that have called Martin Luther King a “fraud and degenerate”, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The anti-discrimination group said Mr Spencer calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture, noting that he was arrested and expelled from Hungary when he attempted to hold an NPI conference in Budapest in 2014.
His speech came amid controversy over groups professing support for Mr Trump, including the former head of the KKK.
Responding to Mr Spencer’s speech and other praise by white nationalists, Bryan Lanza, a spokesperson for the transition team, told CNN: “President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every America.
“To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies