Juscelino Kubitschek

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Juscelino Kubitschek (1956)

Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira (born September 12, 1902 in Diamantina ; † August 22, 1976 at Resende ) was President of Brazil from 1956 to 1961 . The name Kubitschek is the German spelling of the name of his mother Julia Kubíček (1872–1971).


Kubitschek studied medicine at the University of Minas Gerais and after completing his studies worked in hospitals in Paris , Vienna , Berlin and Brazil. In 1933 he was elected to the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. After a coup in 1937 and the establishment of the Estado Novo by Getúlio Dornelles Vargas , Kubitschek lost his seat. In 1939 he became mayor of Belo Horizonte , the capital of Minas Gerais. From 1946 to 1950 he was again a member of parliament and then until 1955 governor of Minas Gerais.


On October 3, 1955, he was elected President of Brazil with 36 percent of the vote as a candidate for a center-left coalition with the slogan "Fifty years of progress in five years". On January 31, 1956, he was sworn in as President of the United States of Brazil.

His five-year presidency was indeed marked by progress. His biggest project was the founding of Brasília , the new capital in the previously largely deserted center of the country. It was inaugurated on April 21, 1960. Large road projects were also completed and the Brazilian automotive industry was established. There was an economic boom. However, this was greatly curbed by the fall in the price of coffee on the world market in the mid and late 1950s. Under Kubitschek's presidency, Brazil's national debt grew to four billion US dollars. Kubitschek's successor was the populist Jânio Quadros in 1961 .

Exile, return, death

When the military came to power in 1964, Kubitschek was banned from any political engagement. He went into exile and then lived in several cities in Europe and in the USA . In 1967 he returned to Brazil, but was no longer able to influence the fate of his country.

On August 22, 1976, Kubitschek was killed in a traffic accident under previously unexplained circumstances. The Brazilian Truth Commission , which took up the case some 35 years later, came to the conclusion in December 2013 that it was not a misfortune, but the result of a plot. According to Gilberto Natalini, the chairman of the commission's investigation group, there was “no doubt” of a conspiracy against Kubitschek. The military regime at the time was the likely client . A letter from 1975 that became known in 1996 suggests that the Chilean secret police DINA was also involved in the accident. In the letter, its boss Manuel Contreras asks the head of the Brazilian secret service SNI, João Figueiredo , to ensure that neither Kubitschek nor the Chilean diplomat and politician Orlando Letelier return to political life. Letelier was murdered by DINA agents in September 1976, one month after Kubitschek's death.


Thirty years later, the directors Denis Carvalho , Vinicius Coimbra and Amora Mautner prepared Kubitschek's biography for Brazilian television. In the multi-part JK (2006), José Wilker plays the Brazilian president, while his wife Sarah is portrayed by the actress Marília Pêra .

The Juscelino-Kubitschek Bridge and the Brasília Airport in the capital Brasília as well as the power plant at the Irapé Dam and the road bridge from Estreito ( Maranhão ) over the Rio Tocantins bear his name in his honor. Also in Brasília is the JK Memorial dedicated to him , designed by Oscar Niemeyer .

Awards (selection)


Web links

Commons : Juscelino Kubitschek  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira on the website of the Brazilian Government's Presidential Library (Portuguese)
  • O Governo de Juscelino Kubitschek . Dossier on the website of the Institute for the Study and Documentation of Contemporary History of Brazil (CPDOC) of the Social Science Institute of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) (Portuguese)

Individual evidence

  1. Tjerk Brühwiller: Ex-President Kubitschek victim of an assassination plot . NZZ , December 10, 2013, accessed April 4, 2014
  2. Murderous Intentions, Der Spiegel, July 8, 1996, accessed April 6, 2014
  3. Jean Schoos : The medals and decorations of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the former Duchy of Nassau in the past and present. Publishing house of Sankt-Paulus Druckerei AG. Luxembourg 1990. ISBN 2-87963-048-7 . P. 343.
predecessor Office successor
Nereu Ramos President of Brazil
Jânio Quadros