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Aristides de Sousa Mendes

the Portuguese consul who helped the Jews to leave France



Aristides de Sousa Mendes was consul general of Portugal in Bordeaux.
Seeing the situation of the persecuted Jews, he decided to disobey his government's explicit instructions and provided them with transit visas. To those who could not pay for visas, he delivered the documents free of charge. In June 1940, he issued more than 1,500 visas in one week. For his gesture, he lost his job and reputation in his country.
In 1966 Yad Vashem recognized Aristides de Sousa Mendes as a Righteous Among the Nations.

4 February 2022

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