In his declaration to the nation, published this Thursday afternoon (9), President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) signs the document with the expression “God, Fatherland, Family”, which is the motto of the Brazilian Integralist Action (AIB) , a movement inspired by Italian fascism, founded in 1932 by Plínio Salgado.
Brazilian integralists used symbols and rituals that brought them closer to their European counterparts, such as the use of green in their clothing, the Greek letter sigma in the movement’s logo and the anauê greeting.
It is not the first time that President Bolsonaro, or people in his circle of trust, have used symbols and expressions that connect them to Integralism, Fascism or Nazism.
On March 24, the international advisor to the Presidency of the Republic, Filipe Martins, appeared at the TV Senate, behind the president of the House, senator Rodrigo Pacheco, when he made an “OK” gesture with his hands, but with three straight fingers, in the shape of a W. The gesture is classified by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an entity based in United States, which fights anti-Semitism, as a form of identification among white supremacists.
The most emblematic case is that of former Special Secretary for Culture, Roberto Alvim, who in January 2020 copied a quote from Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, in a speech to social media to publicize the National Award for Art.
In one of his speeches, Goebbels said: “German art in the next decade will be heroic, it will be fiercely romantic, it will be objective and free from sentimentality, it will be national with great pathos and equally imperative and binding, or else it will be nothing.”
In Alvim’s adaptation, it was like this: “Brazilian art in the next decade will be heroic and it will be national. It will be endowed with a great capacity for emotional involvement and will be equally imperative, since it is deeply linked to the urgent aspirations of our people, or else it will be nothing.”
On May 17, 2020, former comrades-in-arms from Bolsonaro, when the president was a paratrooper in the Armed Forces, went to the Planalto Palace to greet the president. However, at the moment of greeting, they stretched their right arm in the air and shouted “Bolsonaro it’s us”.
The episode was seen by experts as an allusion to Nazism. Among them, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, historian, PhD in anthropology and full professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) at USP. In an article published in Zum Magazine, she makes the relationship between the gesture and the German movement.
“Paratroopers, dressed in military clothes, sing a variation of Heil Hitler from the cry of ‘Bolsonaro it’s us’, sealing a kind of collective commitment, based on the ‘common us’, around the president’s ideals. In this case, however, the gesture does not evoke a religious ritual, but reinforces a military commitment in a nation that is not at war. In this sense, it indicates a possible war on the political horizon, and signals loyalty to the leader”, explained Shwarcz.
For other examples, read: Five times Bolsonaro or people connected with him used Nazi symbols
Edition: Leandro Melito