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Anti-Jewish “Propaganda” in Brazil under Dutch Occupation

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Chapter Summary

The Dutch tried to occupy Brazil twice, in 1624 and 1630. They were unsuccessful in their first attempt (Luso-Brazilian troops defeated the Dutch after a year), but in 1630 they succeeded and occupied a large part of northeastern Brazil, where they remained for 24 years. At the time of the occupation, Brazil was quite cosmopolitan, with multiple ethnic groups and cultures coexisting. Jews, eager to find a refuge in Brazil, arrived from countries such as Portugal, Spain, Poland, France, and England. The Christian merchants accused the Jews and New Christians of greed, with the knowledge that their ability to speak both Dutch and Portuguese helped them in their commercial enterprises. A ferocious anti-Jewish attack came from a Calvinist bishop named Vicente Joaquim Soler, who rendered services to the Dutch West India Company. Anti-Semitism flourished vigorously in the economic realm.

Keywords: anti-Jewish attack; anti-Semitism; Brazil; Dutch occupation; Dutch West India Company; Vicente Joaquim Soler



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