WW1

English version of BBC Russian article

SÃO PAULO — Events commemorating the 70th anniversary of VE Day have naturally focused on the Second World War’s key players – Germany, Italy, Britain, the United States, France and the countries of the Former Soviet Union. 

But Brazil – the only South American country to participate militarily in World War II – is not one for military pomp.

President Dilma Rousseff visited Rio de Janeiro on 8 May for a ceremony for the approximately 450 Brazilians soldiers killed in the war, but didn’t travel to Moscow for Victory Day celebrations as had been rumoured.

Brazil, as a whole, was always unlikely to pay much attention to the date.

Few Brazilians know about the 25,000 men who set out from Rio in 1944 to fight alongside the Allied Forces in Italian battlegrounds to break through the Gothic Line. Although the World Wars are taught in schools, Brazil’s role is either a minor detail or overlooked entirely.

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SÃO PAULO — As Remembrance Sunday is commemorated, people around the world continue to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War, honouring the millions of casualties, both military and civilian, and recounting the tales of death and destruction for new generations – lest we forget.

In Brazil, there has been little mention of the “war to end all wars” or the fact the country played a role in the conflict.

Although only a small military contribution, historians believe WWI was a turning point for Brazil, acting as a wake-up call that convinced the country it needed a more substantial role in global politics, as well as driving domestic economic and military reforms.

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