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President of Brazil Bans Dictionary Containing Anti-semitic Definitions

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Brazil’s President Janio Quadros today banned from the country’s public schools the use of a Portuguese-language dictionary which is offensive to Jews because of many anti-Semitic definitions. At the same time, President Quadros ordered the appointment of a special commission to prepare a new dictionary for use in the public schools. The President acted in response to demands by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Brazil.

The dictionary dispute here, under way for several years, came to a head several weeks ago when the compiler of the old dictionary, the well-known lexicographer, Prof. Silviera Bueno, refused to amend his old dictionary as requested by the President. In the old dictionary, the word “Jew” is defined as “swindler,” a synagogue is defined as a place where shady business is transacted, and there are numerous other anti-Semitic definitions.

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