Brazil lawmakers repudiate Nazi echoes in culture secretary’s address

Calls have been made for Roberto Alvim to be dismissed from his post

Published in 17/01/2020 - 13:48 By Luciano Nascimento - Brasília

Brazil’s Senate President Davi Alcolumbre and lower house speaker Rodrigo Maia today (Jan. 17) released notes calling for Special Secretary for Culture Roberto Alvim to be removed from office. The statements come after a video was launched online Friday reminiscent of excerpts from an address by Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany Joseph Goebbels.

Maia used his social networking accounts to declare the government must dismiss Alvim from his post. “The culture secretary has crossed all boundaries. It’s unacceptable. The Brazilian government should remove him from his position urgently.”

In his note, Alcolumbre said he learned about Alvim’s address, which he described as a “deliberate, inappropriate, and unfortunate address appallingly inspired by Nazism.”

“As the first Jewish president of the National Congress, I would like to utterly repudiate this attitude, and I request his immediate removal from office. It is thoroughly unacceptable that we should have representatives with this kind of reasoning in present times, availing himself of a position he may hold to outrageously show sympathy for Nazi ideology, replicating ideas the information and propaganda minister of Adolf Hitler, who is responsible for the biggest scourge on humanity,” the senator stated.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Dias Toffoli also made a statement. “One must vehemently repudiate the unacceptable attack represented by the post published by the culture minister. It is an offense to the Brazilian people, especially the Jewish community.”

In the video, Alvim talks about the launch of the National Arts Award and the secretariat's artistic ideals. For the background, the secretary selected an opera by Wagner, the favorite composer of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler.

“Brazilian art in the next decade will be heroic and national. It will be endowed with great capacity for emotional involvement and just as imperative, as it is deeply linked to the urgent aspirations of our people—or it will be nothing,” Alvim said.

In a pronouncement, Goebbels once said “The German art of the next decade will be heroic; it will be steely-romantic; it will be factual and completely free of sentimentality; it will be national with great pathos and committed—or it will be nothing.”

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Juliana Andrade / Nira Foster

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