Cohen Plan

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Cohen Plan

Cohen Plan, an Integralist Party forgery that alleged plans for a Communist overthrow of the Brazilian government. The Cohen Plan was used to justify the imposition of the Estado Novo. The plan, "discovered" in September 1937, was actually authored by a Brazilian Army captain, Olympio Mourão Filho, head of the Integralist propaganda section.

The fictitious plan was passed to army chief of staff and Getúlio Vargas confidant General Góes Monteiro. It became public on September 29 when War Minister Eurico Dutra, while speaking on a national radio program, urged a renewal of previous national emergency decrees. This request was overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The Cohen Plan was widely accepted by the press and the public as legitimate, and its publication was followed by an executive decree that suspended many of the personal rights granted by the Constitution of 1934.

The "Cohen" part of the plan's title was deliberately chosen to create a linkage between Judaism and communism, a false linkage, but one held to be true by many associated with the Vargas regime. According to Mourão Filho, he originally signed the document with the name of the Hungarian Communist Bela Kun as a joke. Later, he recalled, "I remembered that one of our leaders always referred to Kun as Cohen [so I] crossed out the surname Kun and wrote Cohen." The forgery, when released, appeared to be authorized by the nonexistent Cohen, presumably a Jew and a Communist.

See alsoVargas, Getúlio Dornelles .


Levine, Robert. The Vargas Regime: The Critical Years, 1934–1938 (1970), esp. pp. 138-158.

Trindade, Helgio. Integralismo: O fascismo brasileiro na década de 30 (1979).

Silva, Hélio, Maria Cecília Ribas Carneiro, and José Augusto Drummond, A ameaça vermelha: O Plano Cohen (1980).

Rose, R. S. One of the Forgotten Things: Getúlio Vargas and Brazilian Social Control, 1930–1954. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Williams, Daryle. Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930–1945. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

                                          Jeffrey Lesser