RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Brazil’s culture minister was ousted after sparking outrage across Latin America’s largest nation for paraphrasing a speech by Nazi Germany’s propaganda mastermind.
In a now-deleted video revealing the National Arts Awards posted on the ministry’s Twitter page on Thursday, Roberto Alvim used excerpts of a speech by Joseph Goebbels, but he later called it a “rhetorical coincidence.” Richard Wagner, one of Adolf Hitler’s favorite composers who is commonly associated with German nationalism, played in the background.
“I reiterate our rejection of totalitarian and genocidal ideologies, as well as any kind of explanation for them. We also express our full and unrestricted support for the Jewish community, of which we are friends and share common values,” Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Friday after firing Alvim.
“Emulating Goebbels’ vision is a scary sign of his cultural vision, which must be combated and contained. Such a person cannot command the culture of our country,” read a note released by the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, Brazil’s umbrella Jewish organization.
A large number of governmental authorities, political leaders, and human rights activists also reacted.
“As the first Jewish president of the National Congress, I vehemently express my total rejection of this attitude and ask for his immediate removal from office,” said Brazilian Congress President Davi Alcolumbre.