Germanic immigrants first arrived in Brazil starting at the beginning of the 1800’s. From 1824 to 1969, a modest estimation is that some 250.000 Germans arrived in Brazil – the fourth largest immigrant community to settle in the country, after the Portuguese, Italians and Spaniards. A majority of them arrived between the I and the II World War.
Early German immigrants settled mostly in rural areas of Brazil, making their living as farmers. Those arriving in the 20th century mostly settled in big towns, being middle-class labourers from urban areas of Germany. During the 1920s and 1930s, Brazil also attracted a significant number of German Jews, who settled mostly in São Paulo.
Many aspects of Brazil’s culture has been influenced by Germans, especially so in the southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul: the Brazilian Oktoberfest in Blumenau is second only to Munich in size. Roughly 5-10 million Brazilians are believed to have German ancestry and the Germanic influence in Brazil is undeniable, as two of Brazil’s most famous personalities can attest to: architect Oscar Niemeyer and über-model Gisele Bündchen.
With all this “germanification” going on in Brazil for centuries, how come Palmeiras have never played in Germany? Good question! The Verdão have played German teams 8 times (4 victories, 3 draws and 1 defeat) and the list includes heavy-hitters like Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund. However, not one clash has taken place on German soil.