Indeed, ”this is a gratifying day”, as proclaimed by the Portuguese Parliament Speaker.
Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a great hero, who granted life-saving visas to Jews during the Holocaust, against explicit orders from his own government.
He belongs to the breed of saviors led by the Swedish diplomat – Raoul Wallenberg.
The International Raoul Wallenberg applauds the decision of the Portuguese Parliament to pay tribute to Sousa Mendes on ocassion of the launching of the government-sponsored virtual museum in his memory.
Education is the best antidote against a new genocide. The lessons of the Holocaust should focus on the corageous feats of these brave heroes, who risked their careers, and even their lives, to save the persecuted.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
Jerusalem – Buenos Aires – New York
February 20, 2008