Police are investigating a history student for celebrating her 24th birthday with a cake topped with a photo of Adolf Hitler in uniform.
The young woman celebrated turning 24 years old in the city of Pelotas in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul on an unspecified date last week.
Local media have named her as Caroline Gutknecht, who is a history student at the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel).
Gutknecht is believed to be among the 18 percent of the population of Rio Grande do Sul, some 2.1 million people, with German ancestry.
Photos of the bash show her posing with a smile behind the elaborate cake topped with a photo of Adolf Hitler in uniform, displaying both the iron cross and the swastika.
One photo shows her posing with the cake alongside a man, who is possibly her father.
She is also seen posing with balloons on which the messages “the world belongs to women” and “more love, less war” are written, despite Hitler having started one of the most deadly wars of the modern era.
Both the police and the young woman’s university are investigating the case, and she may be charged with ‘condoning Nazism’, which carries a penalty of two to five years in prison.
Condoning Nazism has been a crime in Brazil since 1989.
At the time of reporting, the history student had not yet been questioned.
Police chief Marcio Steffens said: “We have an inquiry in progress, which will try to understand exactly what the girl’s intentions were, first by making a cake with that photo and then by sharing it on social media.”
A university representative wrote in a statement: “UFPel is against any form of praising Nazism, Fascism and perpetrators of crimes against humanity.”
German migration to Brazil dates to 1818, long before the rise of Nazism. However, some 3,000 German Brazilians would go on to join the Nazi Party, making the Brazilian section the party’s largest foreign branch.
Following Germany’s defeat in World War II, many Nazis wanted by the Allies on suspicion of war crimes fled to Brazil.
The most famous case was that of Josef Mengele, the physician dubbed the ‘Angel of Death’, who conducted deadly experiments on prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: William McGee, Agency: Newsflash
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.