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history unkown
When the Nazis were in Brazil

by Lygia Cabus







The inscription on the cross says: Joseph Greiner. Died here on 02/01/36. In Research Service of the German Studies of Jary-Amazon. Expedition: 1935-37.


A wooden cross with the Nazi swastika marks the tomb of the German Joseph Greiner on a shore in Rio Jari, near the waterfall of Santo Antonio. This is a hidden history - almost unknown - The route of Nazism in Amapa.







AMAPA state. In the mid 1930's, a German expedition, led by German Otto Schulz-Kampfhenkel, entered the Jari River with the supposed purpose of realize a scientific research. The German expedition was supported by President Getulio Vargas, a Nazi sympathizer, and happened at a time when Hitler was expanding the dominions in Europe, including France.


Entering the Jari River, the Germans were aimed at the recognition of the border area of ​​Guyana and of the French overseas territory. In the epoch, France was Germany's historical enemy, because the French troops had humiliated the Germans during the process of surrender of the First World War in 1918.


They arrived in Belém, capital of Pará state, in 1935. From there, the germans boarded the ship Colonel José Julio, that took them to St. Anthony's waterfalls, in the amazonic region of the state of Amapa. Following the river, advancing deep in the forest, they established their camp at a place known as waterfall Macaquara.





To assist in the operation and make less unconfortable the stay in a hostile environment, full of snakes, predators, mosquitoes and other agents of tropical diseases, were recruited indigenous of Aparai tribe and - even - around of 30 woodsmen, experient jungle guides. Otto had a servant even to install his sleep hammock (for sleep). 


In addition to Otto, two of them came from Germany and Gerd Kahle, Gerhard Krause. The fourth team member, Joseph Greiner, though German, was a auslandsdeutscher (a German educated abroad), and - because he spoke a good Portuguese, was recruited in Brazil (Rätsel der Urwaldhölle, Berlim, 1953 Apud FULLGRAF/HISTORIA VIVA, 2009).







The Germans came equipped: they had a seaplane model "Seekadett" which was called "Aquamarine" (left-above) among other features. And they did not forgot the personal comfort, including in the baggage, camel hair blankets and other items of bed.


Despite the support of natives, the forest environment, very treacherous, transformed the mission truly, in a hell.


The first and the most painful loss was the seaplane that clashed with submerged trees in the river.






Otto and his two companions reached to the Jari region in 1936. Later, while they were mapping the course of the Jary river, the boat suffered an serious accident. Finally, Grainer, victimized by a fever, died.


Otto Schulz-Kampfhenkel and his assistants returned to Europe in 1937 taking hundreds of boxes containing furs, skulls, bones, teeth, feathers and bodies preserved in alcohol, materials destinated to the museums of natural sciences in Germany.


Left among the natives Apari a pregnant woman, the daugther of the indigenous chief (cacique) Aocapotu, who gave birth to a white girl with blue eyes that became known as "Cessé".










But it wasn't only in the Amazon that the Nazism left the mark of their presence at Brazil. At states of south and southeast of the country are also found traces of the degenerated swastika symbol - a fact that which still surprise many Brazilians. However, this reality is well known to historians.

In São Paulo, in the rural area of "Campina do Monte Alegre" city, in the farm "Cruzeiro do Sul", there are more than 20 years, were discovered bricks and old photographs of animals marked with the cursed cross (photo above). Moreover, in the same place, black children, orphans, that not had the right, nor to posses a name, identified only by numbers, were enslaved in the work of farming.



This was confirmed by testimonies of former slaves of the farm, that nowadays are septuagenarians  ̶  as Mr. Aluizio Silva, borned at Rio de Janeiro state, at the time known only as "the number Seven", that was taken to the farm when had only 10 years old.


Ph.D. in history of Universidade de São Paulo (São Paulo University, USP), Ana Maria Dietrich, who studies the issue for over two decades, explains that the largest nazi cell in Brazil was located in the state (São Paulo). "The main organization stood at the capital, but existed other nuclei (in cities like) Santo André, Santos, Campinas, Jundiai, Presidente Bernardes, President Wenceslau and Assis.







The Legend of the Nazi Tunnels in Blumenau


SANTA CATARINA. Blumenau is a city in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, south of the country. It was founded by German immigrants in September 1950. There, mysterious underground galleries guard the secret from a legend according to which the tunnels were built to server the strategic purposes of Adolf Hitler and his followers, when the Third Reich, finally, would made ​​his foray in Latin America, expanding its domain overseas to the west, conquering Brazil.  IMAGE: The Nazi tunnel









One of the crossing points of the tunnel is the Teatro Carlos Gomes, located in the city center, opened in 1939, when began the World War II. Some scholars observe that the facade of this theater has the shaped like a kepi (military kepi) Nazi.



The route of the tunnel: From german school passing by the Nuns school, finishing near the river Itajaí Açu.








Despite being a chapter of history that Blumenau, wants to forget, there is evidence of the involvement of the population with nazist ideology, as photographs showing parades of supporters in wich the swastika appears prominently. 



Aconteceu no Jari: expedição nazista.

INFORMANDO E EDUCANDO, published in 13/11/2011.

[]. Accessed IN 11/05/2012.


A Rota do Nazismo no Amapá. YOUTUBE, 2007 Apud Rota Brasil Oeste.

Published IN 21/09/2007. Accessed IN 11/05/2012.



FULLGRAF, Frederico. Nazistas na Amazônia. (Revista Brasileiros). História Viva, published in 09/12/2009. Accessed in 11/05/2012. []


PISSÓCARO, Marcio. Marcas do nazismo chamam a atenção no interior de São Paulo. G1/Globo, published in 02/04/2012. Accessed in 13/05/2012.






english edition  | april 2012
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