Brazilian authorities will investigate video of crowd doing apparent Nazi salute after video went viral on Monday.
The footage shows crowds in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza shouting “Hitler” and “Death to the Jews” during a ceremony to commemorate the killing of a Jewish man there in 1944.
The video appears to show the “death” gesture mimicking the Nazi salute, and was first posted on Facebook by a user who said he was part of the party. The footage was later reposted by the party, which said it was only a moment in the video and the video’s owner had been suspended.
“I am outraged by what happened in Fortaleza in which a student was punished for his ‘exuberant’ enthusiasm on behalf of the movement for a return of fascist ideology practiced by Nazis,” said Brazilian president Michel Temer on Twitter. “We can’t allow ourselves to become an enclave of Nazism.”
He added: “Brazil has always stood for freedom and democracy. We will not succumb to this form of fascism.”
Jair Bolsonaro’s government has previously defended Brazil’s history of anti-Semitism, despite the country being home to hundreds of thousands of Jewish migrants. A 2017 World Jewish Congress report claimed anti-Semitic crimes in Brazil “ranged from verbal assaults and graffiti to beatings, assaults, murders, vandalism, and attempts to destroy synagogues”.
The Jewish National Fund (FJN) said it was “surprised” to hear Bolsonaro would take such a position.
“We are glad that the President is doing what he said: we stand completely with him in rejecting the far-right, neo-fascist groups that have been attacking our community for the last several years,” FJN CEO Richard Wepfler said in a statement.
The United States Commission on International