Not a tool of racism. The Rio Carnival
Photo: AP

Judge bans Holocaust float, 'Hitler' in Rio's carnival

Rio judge nixes float, says it 'trivialized Nazi atrocities'. The carnival cannot be 'made a tool in the cult of hate or for any form of racism,' he ads

A Rio judge Thursday banned a float depicting Holocaust victims and an Adolf Hitler costume due to take part in this weekend's carnival parade, saying they trivialized Nazi atrocities.


The carnival "cannot be used as a tool in the cult of hate or for any form of racism ... or for the banalization of barbaric events," Judge Juliana Kalichszteim said, upholding a complaint by the city's Jewish community.


The Unidos do Viradouro samba school, one of 12 competing in the parades to take place Sunday and Monday night, had planned to enter the float and a dancer dressed as Hitler as part of its theme protesting horrifying human actions.


Its creative director, Paulo Barros, had insisted the morbid float -- which depicts skeletal figures piled on top of each other -- was a "very respectful" reminder of the Holocaust and a warning that it should "never be repeated."


But the Israelite Federation of Rio de Janeiro said it found the entry "inappropriate," and launched the legal action.


"The float itself was disagreeable but legal. But taken together with someone dressed up as Hitler close to the 'bodies' of Jews, that made it illegal," a spokesman for the group told AFP.


The judge said the samba school would be fined 200,000 reals (114,000 dollars) if it refused to comply with the order, and 50,000 reals (28,000 dollars) if the Hitler disguise was used.


The Globo television network reported that Viradouro would be modifying the float in line with the judgment, and turn it into an allegorical representation symbolizing "freedom of expression."


Barros complained to reporters after the court order that "this thing has been put about as if there was some sort of aggressive act on my part."


He added: "Unfortunately, people prefer to close their eyes to a historical fact as grave as the Holocaust and prefer to banalize the alert that I had been preparing to show in Viradouro's parade."


פרסום ראשון: 02.01.08, 11:33
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