Video: Nationalists make Nazi salute, shout 'Hail Trump' at conference

Members of the alt-right conference make the Nazi salute (Supplied)
Members of the alt-right conference make the Nazi salute (Supplied)

Chilling video has emerged showing a crowd of people giving a Nazi salute while shouting "hail Trump" at the conference of a far-right group in the United States.

At the National Policy Institute's annual conference in Washington DC on Saturday, 'alt-right' leader Richard Spencer said America "belongs to white people" who he describes as "children of the sun".

"America was, until this past generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity," Mr Spencer said. "It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us."

His speech was met by Nazi salutes from the audience, who shouted: "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!"

The conference happened in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC - a federal building just blocks from the White House.

The alt-right is a white nationalist movement in the US that includes neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

The National Policy Institute describes itself as "an independent organisation dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world".

On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump distanced himself from the event, saying: "I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn," in an interview with the New York Times.

Mr Trump outraged many Democrats, rights activists and minority groups by appointing Steve Bannon, former head of a website linked to the alt-right, as his chief White House strategist.

A spokesman for the Trump-Pence transition team said on Monday that Trump "continued to denounce racism of any kind" and was elected to be "a leader for every American".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is concerned that white supremacists in the United States are being emboldened by the election of Donald Trump, and is watching developments closely.

The Berlin government declined to give an official reaction to the video showing members of the 'alt-right' movement making the Nazi salute.

However, one senior official close to Ms Merkel described it as "repulsive and worrying".

Yair Lapid, a member of the foreign affairs and defence committee in the Israeli Knesset, called the video "sickening" and "intolerable".

"One of the greatest mistakes humanity ever made was a failure to recognise the danger of fascism early enough and tackle it head on," said Mr Lapid. "We cannot let history repeat itself."

In Germany, which has spent the past 70 years atoning for its Nazi past, using the "Heil Hitler" salute and other Nazi symbols is illegal and can result in a prison sentence of up to six months. Other European countries including Austria and France have similar laws.