RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (JTA) — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said that "the Holocaust is repeated when denied, relativized or softened."
Roussef’s comments were made on Jan. 30 during an event in Brasilia in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event was attended by several Brazilian government officials and Jewish representatives from across the country.
Backed by the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s Jewish umbrella institution, the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony takes place in a different Brazilian city every year.
"We must always remember that the Holocaust is repeated when denied, relativized or when one tried to soften it," Rousseff stated.
Rousseff added that democracy is the best means to prevent tragedies like the Holocaust, the three centuries of black slavery in Brazil, and the 1964-1985 period when the country lived under dictatorship.
The ceremony also honored Brazil’s only two ‘Righteous Among the Nations,’ the designation used by Israel’s national Holocaust museum to recognize non-Jews who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
Luis Martins Souza Dantas, who served as Brazil’s ambassador in France, and Aracy Guimarães Rosa, who worked at the Brazilian consulate in Hamburg, saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust by issuing visas to Brazil.