Brazilian police serving an arrest warrant against a suspected pedophile said Wednesday that they found millions of dollars worth of Nazi memorabilia at the man’s home in Rio de Janeiro.
The trove of more than 1,000 items included everything from Nazi insignia and uniforms to images of Adolf Hitler to flags and medals of the Third Reich, Reuters reported.
The arresting officers also discovered stocks of weapons and ammunition from the era, in addition to child pornography, according to a statement from civil police.
Law enforcement in Rio de Janeiro, a vibrant seaside city, said that they were monitoring the 58-year-old suspect after an investigation showed that he was “approaching children” in the area where he lived and attempting to take them back to his residence.
They believed that he had already raped one minor and possibly abused other children.
According to lead detective Luis Armond, who spoke to Reuters, the man came from a wealthy family of investors. He said that the man likely used his inheritance to amass the collection and that police would need to find a museum to take in the items.
“He is a smart guy and articulate, but he’s a Holocaust denier, he’s homophobic, he’s a pedophile and he says he hunts homosexuals,” Reuters quoted Armond as saying. “I’m no doctor, but he seems to me an insane psychopath.”
The man was charged with sexual assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and inciting racial discrimination or prejudice.
In the years after World War II, South America became a safe haven for Nazi war criminals and officials fleeing prosecution. Germany and Brazil, which had the largest fascist party outside of Europe at the time, also had strong ties prior to the war.
More recently, in 2020, Brazil’s culture secretary was fired after appearing to paraphrase Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s minister of propaganda, in a video speech.