Brazil's culture minister sacked after speech echoing Nazi propagandist Goebbels

Joe Talora
Roberto Alvim, formerly minister of culture, was sacked by President Jair Bolsonaro for his 'unfortunate remarks'  - REX

Brazil’s culture minister has been sacked following his remarks in a video posted to social media where he appeared to echo Nazi propaganda boss Joseph Goebbels.

In a now-deleted video posted to the Brazilian Culture Ministry’s official Twitter page, Roberto Alvim outlined plans to revitalise Brazil’s arts scene by awarding prizes to “heroic” and “national” art.

At one point in the six-minute video, Alvim said: “The Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and will be national, will be endowed with great capacity for emotional involvement... deeply linked to the urgent aspirations of our people, or else it will be nothing."

The line is almost identical to a quote from Joseph Goebbels, published in a biography about the Reich's Minister of Propaganda.

That line reads: “The German art of the next decade will be heroic, it will be steely-romantic, it will be factual and completely free of sentimentality, it will be national with great pathos and committed, or it will be nothing.”

The video was met with widespread condemnation online and Mr Alvim was sacked within 24 hours of it being posted.

Despite the parallels between the quotes, Mr Alvim initially denied any wrongdoing, saying “there was nothing wrong” with the comments and that it was a “rhetorical coincidence”.

“The whole speech was based on a nationalistic ideal for the Brazilian art and there was a coincidence with one sentence of a speech by Goebbels. I didn't quote him and I'd never do it... But the sentence itself is perfect,” said Mr Alvim.

He later backtracked, taking to Facebook to say that he had made an “unintentional error” and that he was unaware of the origin of the quote.

Brazil’s far-Right president Jair Bolsonaro made the announcement that Mr Alvim had been removed from his position on Friday following what he called his "unfortunate remarks".

He added: “I reiterate our rejection of totalitarian and genocidal ideologies.”