Aracy Moebius de Carvalho: ”Justa entre as nações”

Aracy Moebius de Carvalho Tess was born in Rio Negro, in the south of Brazil in 1908. Born to a German mother, Aracy was able to speak German, English, and French. She later moved to Sao Paulo where she lived with her first husband and their child until 1935, when she separated from her husband. With a new outlook on life, she requested the aid of the Foreign Minister at the time, Jose Carlos de Macedo Soares, who appointed her to the Brazilian Consulate in Hamburg, Germany.

Upon arriving in Germany in 1936, she was made Chief of the Passport Section in the Brazilian Consulate. She started to help Jewish people during Kristallnacht, on November 9th 1938. The Consul of Brazil, Joaquim António of Sousa Ribeiro, denied visas to Jews. Aracy had very close relations with the people living in Germany and started to circulate the passports in secrecy outside the Department of the Brazilian embassy. She would hand out passports to Jews without the red ”J” that identified them as such, so they would be able to receive the visas for Brazil.

In 1938, while working in the Consulate in Hamburg, she met fellow diplomat and assistant Consul Joao Guimarães Rosa. He would later become her second husband and would be one of the most important Brazilian writers of his time. With his help, Aracy saved numerous Jews from certain death. She remained in Germany until 1942, when Brazil broke relations with Germany.

On July 8th, 1982 Aracy Carvalho de Guimarães Rosa was honored by the Yad Vashem with the ”Righteous Among the Nations” award.