Brazilian Army Honors German Major Awarded by Hitler

Officer was shot dead in Rio in 1968 in left-wing guerrilla action, mistaken for Bolivian

GUILHERME MAGALHÃES
São Paulo

The Brazilian Army honored on Monday (1st), a German major who, during World War II (1939-1945), defended the Nazi Army.

According to the text published on the website of the Brazilian Army, Eduard Ernest Thilo Otto Maximilian von Westernhagen (1923-1968) was honored as a student of the Army Command and Staff School of Brazil.

On July 1, 1968, while attending school under an exchange regime, Otto was shot and killed in Rio de Janeiro in an action by the armed group of the left Colina (National Liberation Command).

Otto von Westernhagen - Reprodução

The guerrillas, however, intended to kill Bolivian captain Gary Prado, who in 1967 had participated in the capture of communist leader Che Guevara (1928-1967) in Bolivia. Prado, who resembled Otto, attended the same German course at the Army's Command and Staff School.

In an article about Otto's murder in the July 2, 1968 edition, Folha said: "The victim was honored by Hitler during the occupation of France and had suffered severe injuries when the Soviet Army attacked Berlin. When the war ended, he remained in the German Army because he was a shooting expert ".

Folha attempted to reach the communications department of the Brazilian Army, but they did not respond to the questions before the publication of this text.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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