HAVANA TIMES – Brazil’s culture minister was sacked after a video that surfaced of him making a speech apparently paraphrasing Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels caused a national uproar, reported dpa news.
In the video, Roberto Alvim said: “Brazilian art will be heroic in the coming decade and it will be national. […] Or it will be nothing.”
Brazilian media outlets such as the daily Folha de S Paulo compared the phrase to one made by Goebbels, citing a biography by German historian Peter Longerich that quoted the Nazi minister as saying to theatre directors in 1933: “German art of the next decade will be heroic, it will have steely romanticism. […] Or it will be nothing.”
The aesthetic of the video, the tone of the speech and the background music – Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” – was all reminiscent of Nazi propaganda.
Alvim later explained that the similarities were all a coincidence and that he had not known where the phrase came from.
Had he known, he would not have said it, Alvim added on Facebook.
The video had been intended to publicize a new art prize created by President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
The German embassy in Brazil condemned Alvim’s speech on social media and said it was important to resist any attempts to trivialize or even glorify a time that brought unendless suffering to humanity.