Although the government banned the parade saying it is harming the image of the country that holds the EU Council's presidency, a court order overturning the ban allows attendees to celebrate a pro-nazi World War II general.

Members of nationalist organisations hold flags and banners picturing Bulgarian politician and General Hristo Lukov, during a march to commemorate him, in the centre of Sofia on February 17, 2018. General Hristo Lukov was a Bulgarian army commander during the World War I, and was killed on February 13, 1943
Members of nationalist organisations hold flags and banners picturing Bulgarian politician and General Hristo Lukov, during a march to commemorate him, in the centre of Sofia on February 17, 2018. General Hristo Lukov was a Bulgarian army commander during the World War I, and was killed on February 13, 1943 (AFP)

Hundreds of Bulgarian nationalists marched on Saturday through their capital to honour a World War II general known for his anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi activities.

The government had banned the rally saying it harms the image of the country which currently holds the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union, but the organisers secured a court order overturning the ban.

The annual "Lukov March," staged by the far-right Bulgarian National Union, attracted on Saturday hundreds of dark-clad supporters who walked through downtown Sofia holding torches and Bulgarian flags, and chanting nationalist slogans.

Police guarded the procession from possible attacks by opponents of the event.

The marchers praised General Hristo Lukov, who had supported Germany during the Second World War and was killed by an anti-fascist resistance movement on 13 February 1943.

The general had served as war minister from 1935 to 1938 and led the pro-Nazi Germany Union of Bulgarian Legions from 1932 until 1943.

Source: AP