Brazilian schools to teach about Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

Schoolchildren in one of Brazil’s largest cities are to be given compulsory Holocaust education.

Following a spate of neo-Nazi attacks in the area, the authorities in the southern state capital Porto Alegre are to add the topic to the public school curriculum.

The 96 schools in the city will be the first in Brazil that are legally required to teach about the rise of Nazism. As of next year, some 60,000 pupils will take classes on the subject.

Porto Alegre has a Jewish community numbering more than 14,000, a large proportion of the 96,000 Jews living in the South American country.

The law has been proposed by local politician Valter Nagelstein.

He said: "The Holocaust was one of the worst massacres in mankind's history, yet many youths and teachers know nothing about it".

Mr Nagelstein told the JC: "It was was my duty, in order to prevent evil and to plant the seeds of peace in our Brazilians children's hearts."

He said that there had been come opposition to the law. However he added: "This is always present.

"Let them talk, while we fight for life."

He expressed his hope that more schools in Brazil would adopt the plan.

"It's too soon to say. I hope so."

Last updated: 4:54pm, October 20 2010