July 15, 2013

Two Heroes of the Holocaust



Regarding “Recalling a defiant lifesaver” (IHT, July 11): I was interested to read Raphael Minder’s article about the tribute to Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul to Bordeaux who issued visas that saved thousands of Jews from the Nazi invasion of France. Several years ago, I was honored to join the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation in celebrating the courage and humanity of Mr. Sousa Mendes at ceremonies in New York. The event also honored Luíz Martins de Souza Dantas, the Brazilian ambassador to France who defied his government’s orders and provided visas that allowed Jews to escape Nazi-occupied Marseille. Of the 800 visas Mr. Souza Dantas issued, mine was number 447. Thanks to him, my family and I were able to begin new lives as Americans. Now, more than 70 years later, it is heartening to see these two diplomats remembered as the heroes that they were.

Felix G. Rohatyn, New York

Former U.S. ambassador to France