Exiled in the tropics : Nazi protesters and the Getulio Vargas regime in Brazil, 1933-1945 / by Carrie Anne Endries.
This dissertation examines Nazi protesters in Brazil from 1933 to 1945 and their relationship with the Brazilian state, their role within German communities in Brazil, and their interactions with a larger international protest community. The stories of German-speaking refugees who fled to Brazil during the Nazi era have been lost among more ominous tales of escaped Nazi war criminals after 1945. This dissertation fills a gap in the scholarship, documenting the existence of politically active anti-Nazi refugee organizations in Brazil since 1933. These flourished despite the fact that the Vargas government outlawed all political action, employed Brazil's first modern secret police force, and enforced nationalist cultural programs that sought to establish "brasilidade," or Brazilianness. Examined in this context, the dissertation adds to contemporary debates about censorship, repression and the exercise of power under Vargas.Research for this project was conducted in archives in Brazil, Germany and the United States. The heart of the work focuses on anti-Nazi organizations' newspapers, the personal papers of individual refugees, and the recently opened secret police files in Brazil. Because these sources are concentrated in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Porto Alegre, the dissertation focuses on these cities as case studies.The dissertation organizes Nazi protest in Brazil into three distinct stages, correlating to the politics of the Vargas era. The work argues that these refugees were exceptional in the history of German-speaking immigration to Brazil, and contends that Vargas had a contradictory relationship throughout the 1930s with Germany and people of German descent, producing conflict between his domestic and foreign goals. The project supports more recent historiography on the Vargas era by illustrating that the type and level of repression under Vargas varied from state to state and changed over time. It also points to interesting connections between Nazi protesters and Brazilian anti-fascists, and traces the abilities of politically active refugees to adapt to the changing nature of Brazilian politics and policing. In so doing, the dissertation engenders a better understanding of the diversity and contradictions within the Vargas regime and demands a new consideration of political and cultural space during the Estado Novo period.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:19:00
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