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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - BRASILIA - Brazil's culture secretary Roberto Alvim resigned on Friday over a speech in which he appeared to quote Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
In a video, Alvim, a member of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's government, announced a new arts funding program to the background of music by Richard Wagner, a composer many associate with Nazism.
"Brazil art over the next decade will be heroic and national," said Alvim, sitting behind a desk as he stared intensely at the camera, with a picture of Bolsonaro behind him, a Brazilian flag to one side and two-barred cross to the other.
"It will be endowed with a great capacity for emotional involvement and will also be imperative, because it will be profoundly linked to the urgent aspirations of our people, or it will be nothing," he said, speaking in Portuguese.
The wording was similar to phrases attributed to Goebbels in a biography written by German holocaust expert Peter Longerich and published originally in German in 2010.
"German art over the next decade will be heroic, it will be resolutely romantic, it will be objective and free of sentimentality," Goebbels was quoted in the book as saying in German.
"It will be national with great poignancy and also imperative or it will be nothing."
Having initially claimed any similarities between the two speeches were a "rhetorical coincidence," Alvim later stepped down.
"Given the huge discomfort caused by this unfortunate episode, I presented my immediate resignation," Alvim wrote on Facebook.
"I deeply repudiate any totalitarian regime and declare my absolute repugnance of the Nazi regime." -AFP
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