RIO DE JANEIRO — Three paintings featuring swastikas were removed from an exhibit at one of Rio’s most traditional cultural centers.
Having paintings with swastikas in them “became even more serious because public school students pay regular visits to the venue,” said Herry Rosenberg, president of the Rio Jewish federation. “We reiterate our commitment to fight continuously any expression of anti-Semitism in our state.”
The exhibit was closed for one day but later reopened without the paintings. The complaint was made though the federation’s WhatsApp channel for reporting anti-Semitic incidents.
In July, Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella laid the cornerstone of a long-awaited Holocaust memorial in Brazil’s second-largest city.
“The greatest homage we can render to the six million victims of the Nazis is to shout to the world: Holocaust, never again,” Crivella said during the ceremony.
In June, vandals spray painted a swastika inside a Star of David on the entrance wall of the Brazilian Israelite Club, a Jewish institution attended by Jews and non-Jews and whose doors commonly remain open for neighborhood events.
“The symbol of the terrible Nazi regime is offensive not only to Jews but also to gypsies, homosexuals and all groups persecuted by the Third Reich,” Rosenberg said then. “Even if the criminal drew the swastika in the reverse way, the symbol offends all humankind.”
According to Brazilian law, promoting Nazi or Nazi-related propaganda is subject to punishment by a prison sentence of two to five years, plus a fine.