Bolsonaro: Holocaust crimes can be forgiven, not forgotten

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that the crimes of the Holocaust should be forgiven but should not be forgotten, according to an Associated Press report.

“We can forgive, but we cannot forget. That quote is mine. Those who forget their past are sentenced not to have a future,” Bolsonaro said on Thursday while meeting with evangelical pastors in Rio de Janeiro.


The right-wing Brazilian leader added that actions are needed to ensure that the Holocaust is not repeated.

Bolsonaro’s comments come days after he visited the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Brazilian president made headlines after the visit when he said that there was “no doubt” that Nazism was born from a leftist movement.

Bolsonaro reportedly noted that the Nazi party's formal name included the term "socialist." Nazis followed a fascist ideology despite the word "socialist" appearing in the party's official name, which was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. 

His claims have been rejected by historians who state that Nazism stemmed from right-wing radical groups reacting to the rise of communism, Reuters noted.