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Copy of Aristides de Sousa Mendes
Transcript of Copy of Aristides de Sousa Mendes
Aristides de Sousa Mendes was born on the 19th July, 1885
in Carregal do Sal, in the north of Portugal.
Aristides studied law in the University of Coimbra
As a consul, Aristides served in many countries around the world, including Brazil, Spain, the USA and Belgium.
Aristides was Portugal's consul in Bordeaux, France, when Hitler invaded Belgium, the Netherlands and, later, France.
Thousands of refugees, including thousands of Jews, tried to obtain a visa from the Portuguese consulate. This document would allow them safe passage through Spain to Lisbon and from there to America.
Aristides Sousa Mendes decided to disobey his government's orders and promised to grant visas to everyone, regardless of race, religion or nationality.
Aided by his sons and nephews and by Rabi Haim Kruger, Sousa Mendes issued thousands of entrance permits.
Aristides de Sousa Mendes
The Insubordinate Consul
He started his diplomatic career in Lisbon and shortly after his marriage with Maria Angelina de Sousa was appointed consul.
1910 - 1938
He had 14 children.
In 1939 the dictatorial government of Salazar issued a directive -
- which forbade diplomats of passing visas to refugees, including explicitly Jews, Russians, and stateless persons who could not freely return to their countries of origin.
11th - 20th June 1940
He is believed to have saved 30000 people, including 10000 Jews during these days.
8th July 1940
Sousa Mendes is forced to return to Portugal where he faces a severe and merciless disciplinary process.
He is dismissed from his position as a Consul and forbidden to earn a living. His children were blacklisted and prevented from studying or finding decent work. Most of them had to emigrate after the war was over.
On his defense report, Sousa Mendes said:
"It was indeed my aim to save all
those people whose suffering was
1940 - 1954
Sousa Mendes and his family survived thanks to a Jewish relief agency which fed them in their soup kitchen and paid for their medical bills.
He died in misery on 3rd April, 1954
In 1966 he is awarded with the title
Righteous Among the Nations,
by the Israeli Holocaust authority, Yad Vashem.
In 1986 the United States Congress issued a proclamation honoring his heroic act.
In 1988 the Portuguese government apologized to his family, dismissed him
from all his charges and granted him the
Cross of Merit for his actions.