Power

Brazilian culture secretary loses job after paraphrasing Goebbels

roberto alvim goebbels
Photo: Twitter, @CulturaGovBr

Sitting upright at his desk, the culture secretary addresses the nation. A triumphant portrait of the head of state hangs on the back wall, a national flag lies limp on a pole to the speaker’s right-hand side, and an obscure ecclesiastical two-barred cross sits to his left.

An excerpt from Wagner’s opera Lohengrin plays softly in the background, as the government official stares down the camera, speaking of how the nation’s art must be “heroic, national, with great emotional capacity.”

It is a scene that could be straight out of Nazi Germany—and in many ways, it was—but this occurred...

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