Portuguese Language Blog

Thank you! Please check your inbox for your confirmation email.
You must click the link in the email to verify your request.

Why was the Brazilian Special Secretary for Culture removed from office? Posted by on Jan 31, 2020 in Brazilian News, Culture, Learning, Politics

Bom dia, pessoal! Good morning, you guys! Perhaps you may find it contradictory that a country so racially diverse like our own could possibly have residents who would show any trace of sympathy for neo-Nazi ideologies. Well, as strange as it sounds, this movement has gained some visibility especially since the last elections. This bizarre and sad episode was highlighted in Brazilian and international notícias (news) last week, when the then Special Secretary of Culture of the governo (government), Roberto Alvim, posted an institutional video announcing a new program to promote Brazilian culture. That seems like it could be a good initiative, isn’t it? However, it did not take long for many people to identify semelhanças (similarities) between this pronunciamento (statement) and the discurso (speech) of none other than Josef Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government.

Roberto Alvim, Secretário especial de cultura. Fotos: Clara Angeleas

No, you’re not crazy, you read that right! A senior government official in the Brazilian government plagiando (plagiarizing) the speech of one of the perverse minds who behind the Nazi regime. Not only judeus (Jewish) groups and entities, but also countless people from other religions and ateus (atheists), and even the German and Brazilian governments themselves repudiated the ato (act), which ended up putting pressão (pressure) on the President of Brazil to exonerar do cargo (dismiss from) office the then Secretary of Culture one day after posting the video. If you are curious to understand o que aconteceu (what happened), then let’s get to the facts:

Much like in the iconography of official Nazi speeches, Roberto Alvim also placed the image of the presidential leader hanging on the wall, a bandeira da nação (the nation’s flag) on one side and uma cruz cristã (a Christian cross) on the other. If this is not evidence enough to bring the two speeches closer, it is worth noting that ao fundo (in the background), an opera by Richard Wagner, a German composer highly praised by the Reich, was playing.

However, what stood out the most in this official video of the minister was the following trecho (excerpt): 

“A arte brasileira da próxima década será heroica e será nacional. Será dotada de grande capacidade de envolvimento emocional e será igualmente imperativa, posto que profundamente vinculada às aspirações urgentes de nosso povo, ou então não será nada“.

(The Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and national. It will be endowed with a great capacity for emotional involvement and will be equally imperative, since it is deeply linked to urgent aspirations of our people, or else it will be nothing).

Compare now with the passage by Josef Goebbels on May 8, 1933: “The German art of the next decade will be heroic, it will be fiercely romantic, it will be objective and free of sentimentality, it will be national with great pathos and equally imperative and binding, or else it will be nothing“.

If the very idea of plagiarism is already considered a crime worthy of punição (punishment), plagiarizing the propaganda minister of one of the most atrocious authoritarian regimes in the last century is grotesque and disrespectful to say the very least. In entrevistas (interviews) after his demissão (resignation), Alvim said he did not plagiarize the Nazi minister, but that it was merely a coincidência retórica (rhetorical coincidence).

You can watch the video of the speech below, but be sure to comment on whether or not you agree with the explanation of the former Minister of Culture of Brazil.


Tags: , , , ,
Share this:
Pin it


  1. Alcir Guedes. I don´t see anything wrong in the speech from Mr Alvim.:

    I don´t see anything wrong that Mr. Alvim said.