DR. ARISTIDES DE SOUSA MENDESadmin2023-10-14T19:28:45+00:00
DR. ARISTIDES DE SOUSA MENDES
Consul-General of Portugal in Bordeaux, France, was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations on October 18, 1966. Nazi Germany’s invasion of France in May 1940 caused a massive flight of the population to the south of the country, and the consulates were swamped with refugees – many of whom were Jews – desperately looking for Spanish and Portuguese transit visas. Although Portugal had severely restricted the granting of visas, Sousa Mendes defied the orders and issued more than 2,000 travel permits. When word of his actions reached Lisbon, Sousa Mendes was recalled, charged by a disciplinary court, and dismissed from the foreign service. He died in poverty and was only rehabilitated in 1988, more than three decades after his death.