Portugals schindler is remembered, decades after his. Portugals schindler is remembered, decades after his lifesaving deeds. We saw the movie with a different english title, disobedience. The sousa mendes foundation is interested in tracking the fates of all visa recipients, no matter their stories. Portuguese diplomat saves refugees from nazi germany i. The german occupation prompted tens of thousands of refugees, including thousands of jews, to flee southward from the northern departements in the hope of exiting france via the only remaining avenue of escape, the southern border into spain and portugal, and. The strain caused the fracturing of his family, and in 1954 sousa mendes died in poverty and obscurity. Yet disobeying orders meant certain personal disaster for sousa mendes, and for his wife and 14 children. Most sought to enter spain, proceed to portugal, and then escape by ship. In portugal, a protector of a people is honored the new york times.
Having graduated in law, in the university of coimbra, in 1907, aristides unlike his father, who was a judge and his twin brother, who embarked in politics chooses to follow a consular career, mainly connected to administrative aspects, in particular the. However, mendes had a keen sense of right and wrong, coupled with solid christian values. Get your kindle here, or download a free kindle reading app. Following the occupation of france in the summer of 1940, foreign consulates were faced with large numbers of jews, desperately trying to obtain visas in order to leave nazi dominated territories.
At the time of the german invasion of france he was the portuguese consul to bordeaux, a catholic gentleman of aristocratic origins in late middle. Sousa mendes saved more lives than schindler so why isnt. He studied law in the centros regions capital, coimbra, and obtained his degree in 1908. Parallels descendants of jews who escaped nazioccupied france recently gathered to. He issued visas to 30,000 refugees, the majority of whom were jews fleeing the nazis, helping them to avoid certain death. They were jews and nonjews, public figures and private citizens, most with passports but many without. After filling posts in various capitals including the united states and europe, he was posted to bordeaux, france, as the portuguese consulgeneral. He was a portuguese diplomat who served his country for 30 years. Born into an aristocratic portuguese family, mendes chose a diplomatic career for himself. Today, mendess name is engraved in gold in the pantheon of the righteous among the nations. Sousa mendes, with god against men the international. Portugals schindler is remembered, decades after his lifesaving. In portugal, a protector of a people is honored the new. Two other portuguese diplomats, carlos sampaio garrido and alberto teixeira branquinho, acted in a.
Between june 16 and 23, 1940, he frantically issued portuguese visas free of charge, to over 30,000 refugees seeking to escape the nazi terror, 12,000 of whom were jews. Those attributes led him to openly defy his government to save the lives of thousands of people. As the portuguese consul stationed in bordeaux, france, he found himself confronted in may and june of 1940 with the reality of many thousands of refugees outside the portuguese consulate attempting to escape the horrors of the nazi war machine. In order to cross the french border into spain, the refugees needed. The sousa mendes visa recipients came from fortynine countries and all walks of life. The guardian reports that his final wish was that his name be restored. Bordeaux, france may 1940 on may 10, 1940, germany invaded france and swiftly advanced south through the country. Holocaust savior, sousa mendes, commemorated on the anniversary of his death. The views expressed here are his own unless otherwise noted. When offered a visa by sousa mendes, the rabbi had refused it because he could not leave his people behind. As the portuguese consulgeneral in bordeaux, france, during world war ii, sousa mendes was responsible for saving the lives of thousands of people.235 323 1122 899 174 788 46 435 32 1512 496 1198 1570 1207 1482 752 2 786 1391 1245 32 1172 99 1306 1001 718 435 419 1605 546 1048 1432 1464 555 458 825 1448 419 464 572 218 163 533 377 1117 1484