Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

World Cup Fans Find Nazi Uniforms at Brazil Exhibit Offensive

An exhibit at Brazilian host city Salvador features Nazi and Mussolini-era uniforms

By: Daniel Koren

Published: June 23rd, 2014 in Sports » World

World Cup Fans Find Nazi Uniforms at Brazil Exhibit Offensive

An exhibit at a shopping mall in Salvador, Brazil, a host city of the current 2014 World Cup games, has been raising some eyebrows and turning several heads, with several tourists and locals alike deeming it offensive.

The exhibit is one of football jerseys, with over a hundred replicas and originals from over the years, dating back to the first ever World Cup tournament in 1930.

Among the sports uniforms is a jersey from the Nazi era, swastika and all, and one commissioned by fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Dr. Duda Sampao is the owner of the collections, and has reportedly said that the Brazilian World Cup committee approved his exhibit of World Cup memorabilia.

Haaretz notes that several visitors were in shock and disbelief after finding Nazi uniforms on display, particularly German tourists as it is currently forbidden in the European country to display any Nazi-themed paraphernalia.

Nearby the German jersey is also an Israeli one from when they made it to the World Cup (their only time) in 1970, and a black Italian uniform commissioned by fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Both jerseys stem from the 1934 World Cup, which took place in Italy a year after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. The tournament would be known for Mussolini’s powerful propaganda campaign. Not surprisingly, Italy won the tournament, with Germany taking third place.

“Yes, there was a little problem about this jersey,” said Dr. Sampao. “It’s a historical jersey and a little before we started this exhibition, we talked about it with the people who were involved and everyone said it’s OK, there’s no problem because it’s a historical jersey.”

While they are certainly historical, it’s also understandable to see how these would be very offensive to tourists, visitors and locals in the area.

Meanwhile, the FIFA governing body has declined to comment on the exhibit.

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