Image: ColeraAlegria


Nazi and Fascist inscriptions are in the hearts of craftsmen great and small, who embraced the dance of death every day of their degraded lives.

I try, in this text, to contribute to the debate that has already begun about the “extended” perplexity, already in vogue in an accelerated way, about Bolsonarist barbarism and its increasingly visible effects on our “cordial” Brazilian subjectivity, which will follow for a long time. It is a memory text, more of a slightly intellectualized political activist, less of an essay written and subsumed in theoretical pretensions. How was it possible?

I begin with the transcription of a part of the Letter of October 18, 2021, which was sent to me by my friend Professor Flávio Aguiar, residing in Berlin, who offered me the affection of researching some of my family members, of Jewish origin - on the side from my mother – who was the daughter of a “pure” German woman and a “pure” Jew – whose family initially lived – in the XNUMXth century – in the region of Santa Maria, here in our Rio Grande do Sul. My full name is Tarso Fernando Herz Genro and Herz comes from this origin.

My friend Flávio Aguiar's account has a painful solidarity, expressed in its measured dryness, as well as a material precision that leaves there – in that set of words – a testimony of justified radical rejection of everything that smells of Nazism. To everything that relates to fascism and nazi-fascism, whether its blows brought by the fetid presence of the people who reconcile with it, whether by the thousands of Nazi and fascist inscriptions that circulate on the networks are on the walls of soulless cities, in the hate speeches of all classes and are in the hearts of craftsmen great and small, who have embraced the dance of death every day of their degraded life.

My friend says: “Dear Tarso, get ready for more emotions. I'm sending you the link to the most detailed account I found about the Herz. I enclose a photo of your grandfather's nephew, Günther Herz, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944, at the age of 25. I found other accounts more centered on Carl Herz's political life. It's all in German.” At 25 years old!

My direct Jewish ancestors lived in Altona and later, with three children, they moved to Berlin, where they were active in German social democracy, alongside Bebel, Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburgo. Carl Herz, my great-uncle, was forced out of Kreusberg City Hall, where he was Mayor, in March 1933 by a group of SS Nazis. When the Municipal Police intervened, it was to arrest those who were suffering the violence, leaving free the Hitlerite militia that severely beat Carl Herz.

Along with Flávio's letter came a photo of my cousin Günter, murdered by the Nazis, at the age of 25, on March 31, 1944, whose face immediately reminded me of my grandfather Hermann Herz, his uncle, with whom I lived for over two decades ago, in São Borja and then in Santa Maria, where our family moved in 1953.

Flávio's letter comes after the events in Hebraica, where Jair Bolsonaro presented himself on April 3, 2017, with extraordinary Nazi clarity, tactically unleashing his psychopathic hatred, not against Jews, but against black people, people with different sexual identities. , people with some kind of physical disability (in Lula's case, due to an accident at work) and indigenous people from the Amazon and throughout America

Jair Bolsonaro's speech was probably repulsed by most of the Jewish community, but his insults against the left kept him – until the end of the election – with some support in this community, as well as his name spread to other social sectors, richer or poorer, throughout the national territory, making him president of Brazil and at the same time a world pariah.

The people who supported him, “rationally”, had two basic formulations, to respond to his contenders: “at least he is authentic” and “actually he is a type”, he will not do all that “evil”, which he says . These are the two worst and most disqualifying arguments in politics that I have heard throughout my already short life. Both naturalize evil and make it an option against civilization, humanity, urbanity and the minimum community sociality, which emerged from the democratic evolutions that withstood more than 200 years of tests and aggressions of all kinds.

Today I was reminded of my cousin, whom I never met, Günter Herz, who refused to leave Berlin with the other members of his family because he thought he could keep up with the clandestine organizations against Hitler and his assassins in uniform. I remembered him when I saw the photos of the Yanomami children, their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters: emaciated, hungry, sick, dying, who followed the eight hundred thousand Brazilian men and women of all ages, fulminated by Bolsonaro's fascist impiety.

How was it possible for this formidable collective deception to win here in Brazil – as it did in Germany – the most cultured and developed nation at that time? It was and is only possible for death to win because, when it was naturalized in a rational way and on an industrial scale – here as in Germany – it became a harmless fiction in the consciousness of humans. And so, victorious, the spirit of a majority dominates, not naive or deceived – at that moment – ​​but a majority that wanted to see the devil function as a hidden operator in their aimless lives. This is done through politics, propaganda, information.

I see my cousin Günter, whom I never met, in some Nazi execution queue at the Auschwitz Camp. He goes sad, but serene, he knows he lost and that he should have left, but he thinks that what he lived was worth it. Is very. His political conscience as a rebellious and courageous young man also already knows – as we know today forever – that all of this can happen again: both as a dreamed dream and as a lived nightmare. It's no use just generous perplexities or late regrets. What matters is that the imperfect Justice of men is lifted up like a morning light, which will wake us up in an improbable spring that lasts for a while. And that we want it to be forever.

*Tarsus-in-law he was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts).


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