Alvim, who has disavowed Nazism, has defended his speech as merely a ‘rhetorical coincidence’ [File: Eraldo Peres/AP]

Outrage rained on Brazil‘s government from across the political spectrum, after the culture secretary used language similar to that of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels in launching an arts initiative focused on nationalism and religion, forcing President Jair Bolsonaro to fire him on Friday.

The parallels between Thursday’s remarks by Roberto Alvim, who had held the culture post only since November, and those of Goebbels in the 1930s drew irate reactions from Jewish organisations, key lawmakers, political parties, artists and Brazil’s bar association.

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Bolsonaro is normally defiant in the face of criticism, but he quickly removed Alvim.

The far-right president, who often celebrates torturers and killers

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