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The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation pays tribute to

Aristides de Sousa Mendes
A Giant that saved thousands of lives

Aristides de Sousa Mendes

The Consul who helped 30 thousand people to escape from Nazism

They are only papers. Visas signed in September 1940 by Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Consul of Portugal to Bordeaux, France, which allowed the rescue of 30,000 people. Photographs of refugees in Lisbon, showing the loss in their eyes. The order of dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, who expelled him from the diplomatic service because he disobeyed him and condemned him to die in misery. Papers, which constitute testimonies of pain and hope.

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Sheila Fleischacker
and Baruch Tenembaum

Catholic diplomat who saved 30.000 refugees was remembered

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF), a non-governmental organization created in Argentina, and the diplomatic Missions of the Vatican and Portugal to the UN remembered the humanitarian actions of the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes during the Holocaust.

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Baruch Tenembaum and the
Apostolic Nuncio Santos Abril y Castelló.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes commemorative exhibition

Baruch Tenembaum and the Apostolic Nuncio Santos Abril y Castelló. On July 26, 2001 the Embassy of Portugal to Argentina and the Raoul Wallenberg International Foundation (IRWF) presented the exhibition 'Spared lives', a collection of documents belonging to the Diplomatic Historical Files of the Portugal State Department. The opening act took place at the Embassy of Portugal. The exhibition will remain open to the public for fifteen days from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 14:30 to 17:00 from Mondays to Fridays.

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Aristides de Sousa Mendes
by Francisco Sousa Mendes

My grandfather was a Portuguese diplomat in Bordeaux, when the Germans occupied Paris in 1940. Thousands of scared people were fleeing the Nazis, trying to get to Spain and Portugal, and from there to the United States. My grandfather asked Salazar, the prime minister, for permission to issue visas for all those people. Salazar refused, but my grandfather had the courage to disobey.

He understood he had a role to play and decided to save as many lives as possible. He issued about thirty thousand visas and so saved as many lives.

Salazar punished him severely. He was dismissed from the diplomatic career, his numerous children had to start a new life in foreign countries. He died alone and ignored. Only forty years later was he recognized in his own country."

Francisco Sousa Mendes
Grandson of Aristides de Sousa Mendes
Lisbon, Portugal

Mrs. Sheila Fleischhacker Abranches with the Registry Book used by Sousa Mendes for the thousands visas issued on June 17, 1940

Portuguese diplomat who saved thousands in the Holocaust remembered in New York

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation presented a celebration on the 120th anniversary of Aristides de Sousa Mendes birth

On occasion of the 120th anniversary of Portuguese savoir Aristides de Sousa Mendes' birth, The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation hold an event to commemorate the diplomat's heroic deeds. Mrs. Sheila Fleischhacker Abranches, Sousa Mendes' granddaughter, represented the Sousa Mendes family. The commemoration was hold in the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where the Registry Book used by Sousa Mendes for the thousands visas issued on June 17, 1940, and the pen used to enter those names, are exhibited.

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John Crisostomo, Sheila Abranches
and students
Sousa Mendes, with God against Men

Holocaust Savior, Sousa Mendes, commemorated on the anniversary of his death.New York and New Jersey Schools visited

New York and New Jersey Schools visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage today in memory of Aristides de Sousa Mendes. School buses arrived at and the commemoration guided visit began at the Rescuer's Gallery of the Museum, located at 36 Battery Place. The event, aimed at recognizing the anniversary of Sousa Mendes' death, was available to the patrons of the museum.

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Sebastião de Sousa Mendes

Lifelong Champion of Major Holocaust Hero Dies

Sebastião de Sousa Mendes, son of Portuguese diplomat and Holocaust rescuer Aristides de Sousa Mendes died in Scottsdale Arizona today, at the age of eighty-three.

He dedicated the better part of his adult life to vindicating his father who was wrongfully and severely punished by then Portuguese dictator Antonio Oliveira Salazar, for having disobeyed the dictator's explicit orders by saving an estimated thirty thousand refugees from the concentration camps in June of 1940, while he was a diplomat in Bordeaux, France. This was the largest single rescue act of the entire Holocaust.

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The Jews Of Portugal: Contemporary Sites And Events Aristides de Sousa Mendes: A Moral Model For The World

The history of the Jews in Portugal, so imbued with the tragedy of the Inquisition (as outlined in the first article of this series), is especially unique if we consider that during the Holocaust, Portugal served as one of the main escape routes for Jews fleeing the Nazis.

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'Aristides - the Outcast Hero' Premieres 1/27

'Aristides - the Outcast Hero' tells the little know story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux in 1940, who disobeyed his fascist government and issued some 30,000 visas to refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. By cleverly exploiting treaties between Portugal and Spain, Aristides de Sousa Mendes forced open an escape route out of occupied France, through Spain and into neutral Portugal. This was to be used by some 1 million people during WWII.

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Aristides de Sousa Mendes 50th Anniversary stamp of Israel
50th Anniversary Commemorations