Brazil's Culture Secretary Roberto Alvim was fired Friday after posting a video that strongly resembled a speech given by notorious Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels while music from Adolf Hitler's favorite composer played in the background.
The video of the six-minute speech, which touted a new cultural initiative, was released Thursday. It quickly went viral and caused a huge backlash as millions demanded Alvim's removal.
Alvim was appointed special secretary of culture by Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
"It is an unfortunate pronouncement, even with his apologies, making his tenure unsustainable," Bolsonaro tweeted Friday. "I reiterate our condemnation of totalitarian ideologies and genocide, like Nazism and Communism, as well as any type of allusion to them."
In his eyebrow-raising speech, Alvim, seated at a desk before a Lorraine cross, promised that Brazilian art would soon become its vanguard.
"The Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and national," he said. "It will be endowed with great capacity for emotional involvement, and it will also be imperative since it will be profoundly connected to the urgent aspirations of our people--or it will be nothing."
He later added that "culture cannot ignore the mighty intellectual and political upheavals we are experiencing."
During the Nazi regime, Goebbels told theater directors that "German art of the next decade will be heroic, will be wildly romantic, will have objective and free of sentimentality, will be national with great pathos and equally imperative and binding, or else it will be nothing."
Under Hitler, Goebbels led the Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda, which was designed to sway people into idolizing the ruthless dictator. It also censored the press and controlled radio broadcasts.
Jan. 27 will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.