At present, there is hardly a Democratic head of government who wishes to meet with Jair Bolsonaro. In the European Union, the Brazilian president is cautiously avoided, because that would not please voters. Even fans of Briton Boris Johnson should not have a very good opinion of Bolsonaro, known abroad mainly for two things: the devastation of the Amazon rainforest and his catastrophic handling of the pandemic, with more than 550,000 Brazilians dead.
Since no one wants to meet Bolsonaro, he accepts what comes. In this case, it was Beatrix von Storch, MP and deputy spokesperson for the ultra-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). This is not a normal party: the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – a kind of German Abin – has raised suspicion that the acronym would harbor extremists and pose a threat to the democratic order, even placing it under the surveillance of the secret services.
In addition, the President of Brazil met a woman who called the head of the German government, Angela Merkel, “the greatest criminal in the history of post-war Germany”. The fact that he lets himself be seen alongside this pariah once again underscores the disaster that pocketnarism has perpetuated in Brazilian foreign policy.
The country’s loss of importance is dramatic: Bolsonaro has reduced Brazil from an international heavyweight to a mere flyweight. It is as if Merkel had planned a meeting with Brazilian MP (and clown) Tiririca, to discuss with him the future of Europe and Latin America.
The problem is not the grandparents
As the photos from the meeting show, Bolsonaro and Von Storch had a blast. Rarely have you seen the president smile so broadly, and the German far right so relaxed. The problem with the reunion is not Beatrix von Storch’s ancestry – as several Brazilian press vehicles have pointed out. In fact, his two grandfathers were deeply involved in Nazi crimes: one as a minister of Adolf Hitler (and convicted war criminal), and the other as a convicted member of the National Socialist Party ( NSDAP) and SA militia officer. .
But millions of Germans have ancestors who worshiped Hitler, insulted Jews, and stole their fortunes when they were deported and murdered. The grandfathers and great-grandparents of most Germans were soldiers of the Wehrmacht, the Nazi armed forces, or even members of the NSDAP or the SS paramilitary force.
One of my grandfathers lived for a short time in an apartment in Gleiwitz (now Gliwice, Poland) which belonged to deported Jews. The city is close to the Auschwitz extermination camp, and my mother still remembers that some days it was “raining gray”. No one explained to him why.
My other grandfather returned from a Soviet prison camp five years after the end of World War II, silent and not recognizing his children. He never spoke of the war. We assume he has been through terrible things and may also have participated in atrocities.
“Pearls” of the German ultra-right
Germans today cannot be condemned to collective punishment. You also can’t accuse Beatrix von Storch of having the family she has. What we can blame her for is that she perpetuates the criminal ideology of her grandfather. She said it is legal to shoot refugees and their children trying to cross the border into Germany, and is owned by an acronym, the AfD, whose MPs and officials have said things like this – this :
“After all, we now have so many foreigners in the country that one more Holocaust would be worth it”; “I so want a civil war and millions of dead, women, children. I don’t care. It would be so beautiful. I want to piss on corpses and dance on graves. Sieg Heil!”; “This kind of people [estrangeiros e esquerdistas] of course it is necessary to eliminate ”; “When we arrive, there will be a cleaning, there will be a purge! “; “Homosexuals in prison? We should do it in Germany too! “; “We must attack and destroy the print media”; “The burnt down refugee houses are not an act of aggression”; “Shoot the scum or send them back to Africa with blows. “
It is possible that such statements may not even sound so strange to Brazilian readers. Your president has published things like this before, for example: “Doing the job that the military regime did not do, killing some 30,000, starting with the FHC. Don’t let it out, no, kill. If innocent people will die, that’s good, everything that is war dies innocent. “
Therefore, the kinship of spirit between Bolsonaro and Von Storch is undeniable. Both are representatives of the new global ultra-right, which advocates racism, homophobia and authoritarianism, and for this they use similar tactics, formulations and conspiracy theories. The most absurd thing they share is the claim that they would defend “conservative and Christian values”. They don’t stand for any value!
Jair Bolsonaro and Beatrix von Storch are brother and sister in spirit. The fact that the Brazilian president – as well as his son Eduardo, or the Minister of Science Marcos Pontes – met this pariah of German politics shows above all to what extent this government has become lonely and totally incompetent. He isolates himself because he is unable to engage in dialogue with those who think differently. Diplomacy is an unknown word to you. For Brazil, which a few years ago still had weight in the world as a benchmark country, this is a tragedy.