Rabbi Asks Brazilan Government to Act Against Neo-nazi Movement

Rabbi Henry I. Sobel, an outspoken advocate of human rights, has formally protested to the Brazilian government, requesting that steps be taken to stop the resurgence of the neo-Nazi movement in Brazil. Sobel’s demand was sparked by the gathering of representatives from neo-Nazi movements from all over the world, for a meeting in Resende, near Rio de Janeiro.

These delegates, representing the “Movement for the Freedom of the German Reich,” met last month at the Tyll Hotel in Resende to celebrate the 89th birthday of Adolf Hitler. According to an article in Folha de Sao Paulo, a major daily newspaper, Sobel, in a statement to the press, assailed the recent statements of Alfred Winkelmann, owner of the hotel where the meeting was held, that the Nazis had not killed six million Jews. Sobel declared:

“Barely 30 years after the end of the Second World War, when memories begin to fade, and the last survivors begin to die, Alfred Winkelmann comes along and denies that they ever existed.”

Sobel expressed grave concern about the indifference of the Brazilian government towards the “attempt on the part of leaders and followers of small anti-Semitic movements all over the world, and in particular in the district of Resende, to deny the guilt of the Nazis in the worst historical crime ever committed.” Sobel called upon Jews, Brazilians and all decent-minded people to take action against “the proliferation of neo-Nazi literature.”

The Folha de Sao Paulo reported that Sobel stated that this Nazi movement must be eradicated from the very beginning, “so that it may not have the capability to grow very fast and become a menace not only to Jews but to all mankind.” Declaring that he believes in democracy and freedom of expression, Sobel noted that the “Freedom of the press does not justify the inflammation of racial animosity by falsehood and deceit.”

He expressed regret that in a world in need of reconciliation and friendship between all peoples, “those who seek to revive the frightening terror of Nazi regimes only serve to incite yet further hatred among all men. This must not be allowed to remain unchallenged.”

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