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  • The photo from the now-suspended Instagram account.

    The photo from the now-suspended Instagram account. | Photo: RT

Published 7 March 2020
Opinion

A group of 11 students from a Brazilian school made the Nazi salute in support of a classmate who ran to become their ‘Führer.’

A prestigious school in Brazil got dragged into a scandal after one of its students ran an election campaign styled after Adolf Hitler, recruiting a dozen supporters eager to have him as their ‘Führer’ ("leader" or "guide," associated with the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler).

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The scandal occurred at the Colegio Santa Maria, a private Christian school in the city of Recife in northeastern Brazil.

A photo of the candidate greeting his backers with a Nazi salute in a school classroom, with them responding likewise, was apparently made public by the teen himself. He thought it was a good idea not only to play at Nazism with his mates, but also to upload the proof on his campaign’s Instagram page.

The text comment with the photo said the would-be class speaker “promises to be the new Führer,” who would take classmates “on a journey towards the construction of a new and innovative Reich.” The candidate was further described as a “friend of the people” and a “good orator” who promises to be the best class speaker in the school’s history, with the hashtag #Aryan and #FourthReich added for good measure.

The incriminating photo popped up on Wednesday and by Thursday the school management was aware of it. All 11 boys seen in the photo, aged between 16 and 17, according to Brazilian media, have been suspended from classes. So was the Instagram account where the picture had been posted.

The school management released a short statement that said "we apologize to all those who were offended. Our school does not admit any behaviour that goes against Christian and ethical values and in relation to the value of life and respect for all races, peoples and beliefs."

However, according to some analysts, events like this are not surprising after an authoritarian government like Bolsonario, immersed in a chain of scandals since he took office, for his alliances with the armed forces, racist speeches and authorities who have made references to the Nazi regime.

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