Aristides de Sousa Mendes
|Aristides de Sousa Mendes|
|Born||Aristides de Sousa Mendes do Amaral e Abranches
July 19, 1885
Cabanas de Viriato, Viseu, Portugal
|Died||April 3, 1954(aged 68)|
|Alma mater||University of Coimbra|
|Known for||Saving the lives of thousands of refugees seeking to escape the Nazi terror during World War II|
|Children||Aristides César, Manuel Silvério, José António, Clotilde Augusta, Isabel Maria, Feliciano Artur Geraldo, Elisa Joana, Pedro Nuno, Carlos Francisco Fernando, Sebastião Miguel Duarte, Teresinha Menino Jesus, Luís Felipe, João Paulo, Raquel Herminia, Marie-Rose|
Aristides de Sousa Mendes do Amaral e Abranches, GCC, OL (July 19, 1885 – April 3, 1954; Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐɾiʃˈtiðɨʒ ðɨ ˈsowzɐ ˈmẽdɨʃ]) was a Portuguese consul. As Portuguese Consul-General in Bordeaux, France, he defied the orders of Portugal's Salazar dictatorship, issuing visas in 1940 to thousands of refugees fleeing from invading German military forces in the early period of World War II. He was punished by his government for his actions but was eventually vindicated after his death. He was honored posthumously by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations, the first diplomat to be so honored.
- 1 Early life
- 2 World War II and Circular 14
- 3 Sousa Mendes' disobedience of the orders of the Salazar dictatorship
- 4 Encounter with Rabbi Chaim Kruger
- 5 Act of conscience
- 6 Disciplinary proceeding and punishment
- 7 Last years
- 8 Number of visa recipients
- 9 Posthumous rehabilitation and recognition
- 10 Notable people issued visas by Sousa Mendes
- 11 Notes
- 12 Sources
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 Further reading
- 16 Filmography
- 17 External links
Aristides de Sousa Mendes was born in Cabanas de Viriato, in Carregal do Sal, in the district of Viseu, Centro Region of Portugal, on July 19, 1885, shortly after midnight. His twin brother César, born a few minutes earlier, had a July 18 birthday. Their ancestry included a notable aristocratic line: their mother, Maria Angelina Ribeiro de Abranches de Abreu Castelo-Branco, was a maternal illegitimate granddaughter of the 2nd Viscount of Midões, a lower rural aristocracy title. Their father, José de Sousa Mendes, was a judge on the Coimbra Court of Appeals. César served as Foreign Minister in 1932, in the early days of António de Oliveira Salazar's regime. Their younger brother, Jose Paulo, became a naval officer.
Sousa Mendes and his twin studied law at the University of Coimbra, and each obtained his degree in 1908. In that same year, Sousa Mendes married his childhood sweetheart, Maria Angelina Coelho de Sousa (born August 20, 1888). They eventually had fourteen children, born in the various countries in which he served. Shortly after his marriage, Sousa Mendes began the Consular Officer career that would take him and his family around the world. Early in his career, he served in Zanzibar, Brazil, Spain, the United States, and Belgium.
In August 1919, while he was posted in Brazil, Sousa Mendes was suspended for using consulate funds for his private use. He explained that he had financial problems and had been "forced to take out a loan in order to provide for his family needs". He returned home to Coimbra where his son Pedro Nuno was born in April 1920. In 1921, Sousa Mendes was assigned to the Portuguese consulate in San Francisco, and two more of his children were born there. In 1923, Sousa Mendes angered some members of the Portuguese-American community because of his insistence that certain applicants contribute to a Portuguese charity. Both sides decided to publish their arguments in local newspapers. Ultimately the conflict lead to the US Department of State canceling his consular exequatur which prevented him from continuing his consular services in the US.
In May 1926 a coup d'état replaced the republic in Portugal with a dictatorship. From the very beginning Sousa Mendes supported the new dicatorial regime and one year after, in March 1927, he was assigned to serve at the consul in Vigo, Spain, where he helped the new regime neutralizing the Oppositionists. He was then sent to Antwerp, Belgium, in 1929 to serve as Dean of the Consular Corps.
1934 was a tragic year for the Sousa Mendes family. The family lost two children. Raquel barely one year old and Manuel just graduated by Louvain University.
He was assigned in 1938 to be Consul-General of Bordeaux, France, with jurisdiction over all of southwest France. In Bordeaux, Sousa Mendes was again disciplined for tardiness in transferring funds to the ministry.
World War II and Circular 14
Beginning in 1932, Portugal was under the dictatorship of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. In 1933 Salazar created his secret police, the Polícia de Vigilância e de Defesa do Estado ("State Defense and Surveillance Police") or PVDE. According to historian Avraham Milgram, by 1938 Salazar "knew the Nazis' approach to the 'Jewish question'... In keeping with his fear of aliens, who, according to his worldview, might undermine his regime, he severely limited their entry. Toward this end, he expanded the apparatus of the PVDE [whose] International Department, in particular, was given greater control over matters relating to border patrol and entry of aliens. Presumably, most aliens wishing to enter Portugal at that time were Jews."
Portugal, like other countries, started to adopt thigher emigration policies that prevented refuges for settling in the country. Circular number 10 of October 28, 1938, addressed to consular representations, settling in Portugal was forbidden to Jews; however, they were allowed entry as tourists for thirty days.
On November 9, 1938, the Nazi government of Germany began open war against its Jewish citizens in the pogrom known as Kristallnacht, when 1000 synagogues were burned, 30,000 Jews were arrested, and at least 91 Jews were murdered. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, home at that time of the largest Jewish community in the world, and World War II began. Salazar reacted sending a telegram to the Portuguese Embassy in Berlin ordering that it should be made clear to the German Reich that Portuguese law did not allow any distinction based on race and therefore Portuguese Jewish citizens could not be discriminated against.
On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, and on September 3 France and United Kingdom declared war on Germany. Britain and France closed their borders triggering a massive influx of refugees into neutral Portugal. Between September 1939 and December 1939, approximately 9,000 refugees entered in Portugal. Passport forgery and false statements had become common and the police felt the need for a tighter control.
On November 11, 1939, the Portuguese government issued Circular 14, an order sent to Portuguese consuls throughout Europe that spelled out the categories of war refugees whom the PVDE considered to be "inconvenient or dangerous." The circular allowed consuls to keep on granting Portuguese transit visas, but established that in the case of "foreigners of indefinite or contested nationality; the stateless; Russians; holder of Nansen passports, or Jews expelled from their countries and also all those alleging that they will be embarking from a Portuguese port but have no consular visa in their passports for their country of destination, or air or sea tickets, or an embarkation guarantee from the respective companies the consuls needed to ask previous permission to the Ministry in Lisbon." With Europe at war, this meant that refugees from Nazism would have a difficult time escaping Europe.
Historian Neill Lochery asserts that Circular 14 “was not issued out of thin air” and that this type of barriers was not unique to Portugal and with the country’s very limited economic resources it was viewed as necessary. It was economic reasons rather than ideology that made the Portuguese avoid accepting more refugees says Lochery. Yad Vasheim Historian Avraham Milgram expressed similar views, he asserted that Portugal’s regime did not distinguish between Jews and non-Jews but rather between immigrant Jews who came and had the means to leave the country and those lacking them. Portugal prevented Jews from putting down roots in the country not because they were Jews but because the regime feared foreign influence in general, and feared the entrance of Bolsheviks and left-wing agitators fleeing from Germany. Milgram believes that antisemitic ideological patterns had no hold in the ruling structure of the "Estado Novo" and a fortiori in the various strata of Portuguese society. Milgram also says that modern anti-Semitism failed "to establish even a toehold in Portugal" while it grew racist and virulent elsewhere in early twentieth-century Europe. Nevertheless although it was not anti-Semitism that motivated the Portuguese government, but the danger of mass emigration to the country, the outcome of the border policy made life difficult for Jews fleeing Nazism.
Sousa Mendes' disobedience of the orders of the Salazar dictatorship
According to Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, past Director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem, "In Portugal of those days, it was unthinkable for a diplomatic official, especially in a sensitive post, to disobey clear-cut instructions and get away with it." Nevertheless, Sousa Mendes began disobeying Circular 14 almost immediately, on the grounds that it was an inhumane and racist directive.
The process that ended with Sousa Mendes’ discharge from his consular career began with two visas: the first issued on November 28, 1939 to Professor Arnold Wiznitzer, an Austrian historian who had been stripped of his nationality by the Nuremberg Laws, and the second on March 1, 1940 to the Spanish Republican Eduardo Neira Laporte, an anti-Franco activist living in France. Sousa Mendes was reprimanded and warned in writing that "any new transgression or violation on this issue will be considered disobedience and will entail a disciplinary procedure where it will not be possible to overlook that you have repeatedly committed acts which have entailed warnings and reprimands."
When Sousa Mendes issued these visas and thousands of others, it was a deliberate act of disobedience to the decree of an authoritarian dictatorship. "Here was a unique act by a man who believed his religion imposed certain obligations," said Paldiel. "He said, 'I'm saving innocent lives,' as simply as he might have said, 'Come, walk with me in my garden.'"
It is also at this time that Andrée Cibial, a French pianist and singer, started to disturb Sousa Mendes' family life. Andrée became his mistress and got pregnant. Andrée did not try to hide it, quite the contrary, she made a public announcement, during a Sunday mass at Riberac`s cathedral.
On May 10, 1940, Germany launched the blitzkrieg offensive against France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and millions of refugees took to the roads. On May 15, Sousa Mendes issued transit visas to Maria Tavares, a Luxembourg citizen of Portuguese origin, and to her husband Paul Miny, also a Luxembourger. Two weeks later, the couple returned to the Bordeaux Consulate asking Sousa Mendes to issue them false papers. Sousa Mendes agreed to their request, and on May 30, 1940, he issued a Portuguese passport listing Paul Miny as Maria's brother, therefore as having Portuguese citizenship. This time Sousa Mendes risked himself a great deal more than he had before, disobeying Circular 14 was one thing, but issuing a passport with a false identity, for someone of military age was a crime. Sousa Mendes later provided the following explanation: “This couple asked me for a Portuguese passport, where they would figure as brother and sister, for fear that the husband, who was still of military age, would be detained on passing the French border, and incorporated in the Luxembourg army then being organized in France." Under the terms imposed by the German occupation of Luxembourg in World War II, that army was under Nazi control.
There were other cases from May 1940 where Sousa Mendes disobeyed Circular 14 issued by the Salazar dictatorship. Examples include issuing visas to the Ertag, Flaksbaum and Landesman families, all granted on May 29, 1940 despite having been rejected in a telegram from the Portuguese dictator Salazar to Sousa Mendes. Another example is the writer Gisèle Quittner, rejected by Salazar, but rescued by Sousa Mendes, to whom she expressed her gratitude: "You are Portugal's best propaganda and an honor to your country. All those who know you praise your courage...."
Encounter with Rabbi Chaim Kruger
As the German army approached Paris, the largest single movement of refugees in Europe since the Dark Ages began. An estimated six to ten million people took to the roads and railways to escape the German invasion. Bordeaux and other southern French cities were overrun by desperate refugees.
One of these was a Chassidic Rabbi, Chaim Kruger, originally from Poland but more recently from Brussels, escaping with his wife and five children. Kruger and Sousa Mendes met by chance in Bordeaux, and quickly became friends. Sousa Mendes offered a visa to the Kruger family in defiance of Circular 14. In response, Kruger took a moral stand and refused to accept the visa unless all of his "brothers and sisters" (the mass of Jewish refugees stranded on the streets of Bordeaux) received visas too. Kruger's response plunged Sousa Mendes into "a moral crisis of incalculable proportions." He secluded himself and prayed, pondering whether or not he should issue visas to everyone he could, saving their lives at the expense of his own career. "Here the situation is horrible and I am in bed because of a strong nervous breakdown," he wrote to his son-in-law on June 13, 1940.
Act of conscience
On June 12, despite the guarantees given to Portuguese Ambassador, Teotónio Pereira, Spain took on the status of a non-belligerent power and invaded Tangiers, further endangering Portuguese neutrality.
On June 16, Sousa Mendes issued 40 visas, including those for the Rothschild family, and because it was a Sunday he thought it was fair for him to receive his customary personal compensation fee for issuing visas on a Sunday.
On June 17 Petain announced in a broadcast to the French people that “It is with a heavy heart that I tell you today that we must stop fighting.” and he calls on the Germans for an armistice that will end the fighting. On that same day Sousa Mendes emerged from his seclusion, impelled by "a divine power," and with his decision made. According to his son Pedro Nuno:
- My father got up, apparently recovering his serenity. He was full of punch. He washed, shaved and got dressed. Then he strode out of his bedroom, flung open the door to the chancellery, and announced in a loud voice: "From now on I'm giving everyone visas. There will be no more nationalities, races or religions." Then our father told us that he had heard a voice, that of his conscience or of God, which dictated to him what course of action he should take, and that everything was clear in his mind.
His daughter Isabel and her husband Jules strongly opposed his decision, and tried to dissuade him from what they considered to be a major mistake. But Sousa Mendes did not listen to them and instead began to work intensively to grant the visas. "I would rather stand with God and against man than with man and against God," he reportedly explained. He set up an assembly line process, aided by his wife, sons Pedro Nuno and José Antonio, his secretary José Seabra, Rabbi Kruger and a few other refugees.
Wednesday, June 19, Sousa Mendes took a morning break. While a mob of four hundred queued in front of the Portuguese Consulate, Sousa Mendes was at the Hotel Splendid having an aperitif with a friend. He was tiered from the previous day overwork, crowds and heat. At the hotel he still managed to help the American writer Eugene Bagger to get a visa. a[›]
Bordeaux was bombed by the Wehrmacht on the night of June 19–20, 1940. In the morning, the demand for Portuguese visas intensified, not only in Bordeaux but also in nearby Bayonne, near the Spanish border. Sousa Mendes rushed to the Portuguese consulate in Bayonne, which was under his jurisdiction, to relieve the Vice-Consul Faria Machado, who was refusing to grant visas to the crush of refugees.
On June 20 the British Embassy in Lisbon sent a letter to the Portuguese Foreign Office saying that: "The Portuguese Consul at Bordeaux has been deferring until after office hours all applications for visas and has then been charging them at a special rate; in at least one case the applicant has also been requested to contribute to a Portuguese charitable fund before the visa was granted”. This was not the first time that Sousa Mendes was being accused of enforcing contributions to charity. The first time was in 1923, while he was posted in San Francisco.
This complaint from the British Embassy and The timing of Sousa Mendes’ unilateral decision could not have been worse for Salazar and his carefully planned attempt to preserve Portuguese Neutrality. Salazar had a special interest in helping British Citizens and he had instructed the consulates in Spain and those in the south of France ― Bordeaux, Bayonne, Perpignan, Marseilles, Nice, etc.-to facilitate transit visas to British citizens.
In issuing visas to the thousands at the Bayonne consulate, Sousa Mendes was aided by the Bayonne consular secretary, Manuel de Vieira Braga. Faria Machado, a Salazar loyalist in charge of the Bayonne consulate, reported this behavior to Portugal's ambassador to Spain, Pedro Teotónio Pereira. Teotónio Pereria a loyalist to the historic Anglo-Portuguese alliance promptly set out for the French/Spanish border to put a stop to this activity. After observing Sousa Mendes' action, Teotónio Pereira sent a telegram to the Lisbon authorities in which he described Sousa Mendes as "giving shelter to the scum of the democratic regimes and defeated elements fleeing before the German victory." He declared Sousa Mendes to be mentally incompetent and, acting on Salazar's authority, he invalidated all further visas.
Sousa Mendes continued on to Hendaye to assist there, thus narrowly missing two cablegrams from Lisbon sent on June 22 to Bordeaux ordering him to stop even as France's armistice with Germany became official. Furthermore, Sousa Mendes ordered the honorary Portuguese vice-consul in Toulouse, Emile Gissot, to issue transit visas to all who applied.
The Armistice is signed on June 22. Under its terms, two thirds of France is to be occupied by the Germans.
On June 26 the British Ambassador in Madrid writes to London “The arrival of the Germans to the pyrenees is a tremendous event in the eyes of every Spaniard. Will it mean the passage of troops through Spain to Portugal or Africa?”
Meanwhile, Teotónio Pereira, following Spanish protests, ordered the French/Spanish border sealed. The New York Times reported that some 10,000 persons attempting to cross over into Spain were excluded because authorities no longer granted recognition to their visas: "Portugal announced that Portuguese visas granted at Bordeaux were invalid, and Spain was permitting bearers of these documents to enter only in exceptional cases."
On June 24, Salazar recalled Sousa Mendes to Portugal, an order he received upon returning to Bordeaux on June 26 but complied with slowly, arriving in Portugal on July 8. Along the way, he continued issuing Portuguese visas to refugees now trapped in occupied France, and even led a large group to a remote border post that had not received Lisbon's order. His son John-Paul Abranches told the story:
- "As his diplomatic car reached the French border town of Hendaye, my father encountered a large group of stranded refugees for whom he had previously issued visas. Those people had been turned away because the Portuguese government had phoned the guards, commanding 'Do not honor Mendes's signature on visas.' ... Ordering his driver to slow down, Father waved the group to follow him to a border checkpoint that had no telephones. In the official black limousine with its diplomatic license tags, Father led those refugees across the border toward freedom."
After the intervention of Augusto d'Esaguy and Amzalak most of the refugees issued visas by Sousa Mendes were allowed to continue on their way to Portugal. and on June 26 the main HIAS-HICEM (Jewish relief organisation) European Office was authorized by Salazar to be transferred from Paris to Lisbon.
Disciplinary proceeding and punishment
Upon returning to Portugal in early July 1940, Sousa Mendes was subjected to a disciplinary proceeding that has been described as "a severe crackdown" and "a merciless disciplinary process." The charges against him included: "the violation of Circular 14; the order to the consul in Bayonne to issue visas to all those who asked for them 'with the claim that it was necessary to save all these people'; the order given to the consul in Bayonne to distribute visas free of charge; the permission given by telephone to the consul in Toulouse that he could issue visas; acting in a way that was dishonorable for Portugal vis-à-vis the Spanish and German authorities." the confessed passport forgery to help Luxembourger Paul Miny escape army mobilization, abandoning his post at Bordeaux without authorization and extortion, this latest one based on the accusation made by the British Embassy. Rui Afonso wrote in 1990's Injustiça (Injustice) that the disciplinary action against Sousa Mendes was less due to the granting of too many visas and more the result of his various financial intrigues such as requiring applicants to donate to charity, and his personal use of public monies. Afonso softened this stance in his 1995 book Um Homem Bom (One Good Man). Historian Avraham Milgram observes that Afonso holds a minority view: the mainstream view is that Sousa Mendes was disciplined for the granting of too many visas, in violation of his instructions.
The accusation asserted that “an atmosphere of panic does in fact provide an extenuating circumstance for the acts committed by the Defendant during the month of June and possibly even for those committed in the second half of the month of May (…), however, the acts committed during that period are no more than a repetition or extension of a procedure that already existed, for which the same extenuating circumstance cannot be invoked. There had been infractions and repetitions long before 15 May (…) as regards his previous good professional conduct, it should be noted that this is the 4th case of disciplinary proceedings brought against the Defendant".
Sousa Mendes submitted his response to the charges on August 12, 1940, in which he clarified his motivation:
- "It was indeed my aim to save all those people whose suffering was indescribable: some had lost their spouses, others had no news of missing children, others had seen their loved ones succumb to the German bombings which occurred every day and did not spare the terrified refugees.... There was another aspect that should not be overlooked: the fate of many people if they fell into the hands of the enemy.... eminent people of many countries with whom we have always been on excellent terms: statesmen, ambassadors and ministers, generals and other high officers, professors, men of letters, ... officers from armies of countries that had been occupied, Austrians, Czechs and Poles, who would be shot as rebels; there were also many Belgians, Dutch, French, Luxembourgers and even English... Many were Jews who were already persecuted and sought to escape the horror of further persecution. Finally an endless number of women attempting to avoid being at the mercy of Teutonic sensuality. I could not differentiate between nationalities as I was obeying the dictates of humanity that distinguish between neither race nor nationality; as for the charge of dishonorable conduct, when I left Bayonne I was applauded by hundreds of people, and through me it was Portugal that was being honored...."
On October 19, 1940, the verdict was handed down: "disobeying higher orders during service." The disciplinary board recommended a demotion. On October 30, 1940, Salazar rejected this recommendation and imposed his own sentence: "I sentence Consul First Class, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, to a penalty of one year of inactivity with the right to one half of his rank's pay, being obliged subsequently to be retired." He further ordered that all files in the case be sealed.
There was also an unofficial punishment: the blacklisting and social banishment of Aristides de Sousa Mendes and his family. "My grandfather ... knew there would be some retribution, but to lose everything and have the family disgraced, he never thought it would go that far," said the hero's grandson, also named Aristides. The family took meals at the soup kitchen of the Jewish community of Lisbon. When told that the soup kitchen was intended for refugees, Sousa Mendes replied, "But we too are refugees."
Sousa Mendes never lost his title as he kept on being listed in the Portuguese Diplomatic Yearbook until 1954 and, after the one-year punishment with half-pay, he kept on receiving a salary: 1,593 Portuguese Escudos per month. According to Rui Afonso, "although it was not a salary of a prince, one should not forget that at that time, in Portugal, the salary of a school teacher was only 500 Escudos”. When he died, in 1954 he was receiving a monthly salary of 2,300 Portuguese Escudos.
According to Milgram, Mendes’ actions were not unique, issuing visas in contravention of instructions was widespread at Portuguese consulates all over Europe.
After the war, with the victory of the Allied forces over the Axis led by Nazi Germany, Salazar took credit for Portugal having received the refugees, and the Portuguese history books were written accordingly. Manuela Franco, Director of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry archives, stated in 2000 that "the image of 'Portugal, a safe haven' was born then in Bordeaux, and it lasts to this day."
Throughout the war years and beyond, Sousa Mendes was optimistic that his punishment would be reversed and his deed would be recognized. In a 1945 letter to the Portuguese Parliament, he explained that he had disobeyed orders because he had considered them to be unconstitutional as the Portuguese Constitution forbade discrimination on the basis of religion. This was the first time that Sousa Mendes used this line of argument and he explained that he hadn’t used it before because, being a public official, he did not want to attract publicity and therefore compromise Portugal’s neutrality.
In 1941 Sousa Mendes applied to the Portuguese bar association and he was admitted to the bar to practice law. But in 1942, he wrote a letter to the bar, explaining that since he was living in a small village (In his mansion at Passal) he wasn’t able to work as a lawyer and he asked for his license to be cancelled. Later, in 1944, he asked again for readmission and readmission was granted again. He then, as a lawyer, won a court case, where he defended two of his sons, Carlos and Sebastian, who were being deprived of Portuguese Citizenship because they had enlisted in the allied armed forces in the UK.
In 1946, a Portuguese journalist tried to raise awareness for Sousa Mendes outside of Portugal by publishing the facts under a pseudonym in a US newspaper. Sousa Mendes' wife Angelina died in 1948.
The following year he married his former mistress Andrée Cibial, with whom he had a daughter, Marie-Rose. Andrée soon clashed with Sousa Mendes' sons and the couple moved to Cabanas de Viriato. It did not take long for Andrée to show to Sousa Mendes's sons that they were not welcome at Passal and soon the youngsters were separated from their father. John Paul joined other brothers and sisters already living in California. Pedro Nuno left to the Congo. Geraldo went to Angola and Clotilde went to Mozambique. On the account of Andrée`s spending habits Sousa Mendes also started to have disputes with his brothers Cesar and Joao Paulo and his cousin Silverio.
As his financial situation deteriorated he would sometimes write to the people he had helped asking for money. In one occasion Maurice de Rothschild sent him 30,000 Portuguese Escudos, a considerable amount of money for Portugal at that time.
In 1950 Sousa Mendes and Andrée travelled to France. Their daughter, Marie-Rose had been raised in France by her aunt and uncle and she was ten when she met her father for the first time; her parents then started to spend the summer months with her each year.
In his final years, Sousa Mendes was abandoned by most of his colleagues and friends and at times was blamed by some of his close relatives. His children moved to other countries in search of opportunities they were now denied in Portugal, although by all accounts they never blamed their father or regretted his decision. He asked his children to help clear the family name and make the story known. In 1951, one of his sons, Sebastião, published a novella about the Bordeaux events, Flight Through Hell. César de Sousa Mendes, twin brother of Aristides, did everything he could to try to get Salazar to reverse his punishment, but to no avail. Sousa Mendes never regretted his action. "I could not have acted otherwise, and I therefore accept all that has befallen me with love," he reportedly said. To his lawyer he wrote:
- In truth, I disobeyed, but my disobedience does not dishonor me. I did not respect orders that to me represented the persecution of true castaways who sought with all their strength to be saved from Hitler's wrath. Above the order, for me, there was God's law, and that's the one I have always sought to adhere to without hesitation. The true value of the Christian religion is to love one's neighbor.
Sousa Mendes always lived with financial problems and Andrée’s spending habits did not help him much. The couple eventually ended up selling all their furniture from their family mansion and raising debts with banks. Sousa Mendes died in poverty on April 3, 1954, owing money to his lenders and still in disgrace with his government.
Number of visa recipients
It is impossible to determine the precise number of refugees who were granted visas by Sousa Mendes, although all sources agree that the number was in the thousands, and most say that it was in the tens of thousands. Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer characterized Sousa Mendes' deed as "perhaps the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust." One generally accepted figure is that he issued visas to approximately 30,000 people, of whom around 10,000 were Jews. This figure includes not only those refugees who successfully transited through Portugal, but also those trapped by the Portuguese government's order to seal the French/Spanish border on June 24, 1940.
In 1999 Yad Vashem historian Avraham Milgram published a study where he asserted that "the discrepancy between the reality and the myth of the number of visas granted by Sousa Mendes is great." To make his point Milgram cross checked the numbers from the Bordeaux ‘s visa register entry books with those of the HICEM reports and although he acknowledged that visas delivered in cities of Bayonne, Hendaye and Toulouse cannot be exactly determined Milgram asserted that the numbers are exaggerated. Again in 2011, Milgram published a densely researched book, “Portugal Salazar and the Jews” and for a second time he asserted that: "authors, especially those who wish to sing the praises of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, tend to overstate the number of visas with figures that not satisfy research criteria, but rather correspond to their wishful thinking". A similar opinion is shared by British historian Neill Lochery, in 2011, Lochery quoted Milgram´s numbers and to further support his view he also cross checked numbers with the Portuguese Emigration Police files and he also concluded that the numbers usually published by popular literature are a “Myth”. Both these historians concur that this does not diminish the greatness of Sousa Mendes´s gesture. Rui Afonso, the first Sousa Mendes biographer, also says, that José Seabra, Sousa Mendes´ deputy at Bordeaux, always testified that the order of magnitude of irregular visas issued at Bordeaux was within hundreds.
In 2008 the Portuguese ambassador João Hall Themido took a stand affirming that in his opinion the Sousa Mendes story was a Myth and asserting his disbelief in the 30,000 figure. A similar path was followed by Portuguese Historian José Hermano Saraiva.
As a reaction to Milgram´s assertion, French writer, Eric Lebreton, in 2010, argued that “Milgram does not account for the visas that were delivered in Bayonne, Hendaye and Toulouse, and on the other hand, he [Milgram] holds firm to the number presented in the one surviving registry book of José Seabra (Sousa Mendes' deputy). Milgram's article, while very interesting in other ways, lacks details and knowledge on this point.”
Posthumous rehabilitation and recognition
From 1954 on, Sousa Mendes' children worked tirelessly to clear his name and make the story known. In the early 1960s a few articles began appearing in the U.S. press. On February 21, 1961, Ben Gurion, the Prime Minister of Israel, ordered that twenty trees be planted by the Keren Kayemet in memory of Sousa Mendes and in recognition of his deed. In 1963, the Israeli Holocaust authority Yad Vashem began recognizing Holocaust rescuers as Righteous Among the Nations, and Sousa Mendes, in 1966, was among the earliest to be so named, thanks in large part to the efforts of daughter Joana. But with Salazar still in power, "the diplomat and his efforts remained unknown even in his own country for years." Moreover, Salazar's representatives gave statements to the press casting doubt on Sousa Mendes' heroism by denying that Circular 14 had ever existed.
Following the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal when the Estado Novo dictatorship was overthrown and democracy was established, Dr. Nuno A. A. de Bessa Lopes, a Portuguese government official, took the initiative of reopening the Sousa Mendes case and making recommendations. His assessment, based on his viewing of previously sealed government files, was that the Salazar government had knowingly sacrificed Sousa Mendes for its own political ends, and that the verdict and punishment were illegal and should be overturned. "Aristides de Sousa Mendes was condemned for having refused to be an accomplice to Nazi war crimes," the report concluded. The report was suppressed by the Portuguese government for over a decade. "The failure to act on the Lopes report reflects the fact that there was never a serious purge of Fascist supporters from government ministries," explained journalist Reese Erlich.
In 1986, inspired by the election of Mário Soares, a civilian president in Portugal, Sousa Mendes' youngest son John Paul began to circulate a petition to the Portuguese president within his adopted country, the United States. "I want people in Portugal to know who he was, what he did, and why he did it," explained John Paul. He and his wife Joan worked with Robert Jacobvitz, an executive at the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay in Oakland, California, and lawyer Anne Treseder to create the "International Committee to Commemorate Dr. Aristides de Sousa Mendes." They were able to gain the support of two members of the California delegation of the United States House of Representatives, Tony Coelho and Henry Waxman, who introduced a resolution in Congress to recognize his humanitarian actions. That same year, Sousa Mendes was honored at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, where John Paul and his brother Sebastião gave impassioned speeches and Waxman spoke as well.
In 1987, the Portuguese Republic began to rehabilitate Sousa Mendes' memory and granted him a posthumous Order of Liberty medal, one of that country's highest honors, although the consul's diplomatic honors still were not restored. In October of that year, the Comité national français en hommage à Aristides de Sousa Mendes was established in Bordeaux, France, presided for the next twenty-five years by Manuel Dias Vaz.
On March 18, 1988, the Portuguese parliament officially dismissed all charges, restoring Sousa Mendes to the diplomatic corps by unanimous vote and honoring him with a standing ovation. He was promoted to the rank of Ministro Plenipotenciário de 2ª classe and awarded the Cross of Merit. In December of that year, the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, Edward Rowell, presented copies of the congressional resolution from the previous year to Pedro Nuno de Sousa Mendes, one of the sons who had helped his father in the assembly line at Bordeaux, and to Portuguese President Mário Soares at the Palácio de Belém. In 1994 former President Mario Soares dedicated a bust of Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux, along with a commemorative plaque at 14 quai Louis‑XVIII, the address at which the consulate at Bordeaux had been housed.
In 1995, Portugal held a week-long National Homage to Sousa Mendes, culminating with an event in a 2000-seat Lisbon theater that was filled to capacity. On that occasion, a commemorative stamp was issued in Portugal.
In 1997, an international homage to Sousa Mendes was organized by the European Union in Strasbourg, France.
Casa do Passal, the mansion that Sousa Mendes had to abandon and sell in his final years, was left for decades to decay into a "ghost of a building," and at one time was to be razed and replaced by a hotel. However, with reparations funds given by the Portuguese government to Sousa Mendes' heirs in 2000, the family decided to create the Fundação Aristides de Sousa Mendes. With assistance from government officials, the foundation purchased the family home in order to develop a museum in his honor.
In April 2004, to mark the 50th anniversary of Sousa Mendes' death, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Angelo Roncalli Committee organized more than 80 commemorations around the world. Religious, cultural and educational activities took place in 30 countries on five continents, spearheaded by João Crisóstomo.
On May 11, 2005, a commemoration in memory of Aristides de Sousa Mendes was held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
On January 14, 2007, Sousa Mendes was voted into the top ten of the poll show Os Grandes Portugueses (the greatest Portuguese). On March 25, 2007, when the final rankings were announced, it was revealed that Sousa Mendes came in third place overall, behind communist leader Álvaro Cunhal (runner-up) and the dictator António de Oliveira Salazar (winner).
In February 2008, Portuguese parliamentary speaker Jaime Gama led a session which launched a virtual museum, on the Internet; it offers access to photographs and other documents chronicling Sousa Mendes' life.
On September 24, 2010, the Sousa Mendes Foundation was formed in the United States with the purpose of raising money for the conversion of the Sousa Mendes home into a museum and site of conscience, and in order to spread his story throughout North America.
On March 3, 2011, the Casa do Passal was designated a National Monument of Portugal.
In May 2012, a campaign was launched to name a Bordeaux bridge after Sousa Mendes.
In January 2013, the United Nations headquarters in New York honored Sousa Mendes and featured Sousa Mendes visa recipient Leon Moed as a keynote speaker during its International Days of Commemoration of Victims and Martyrs of the Holocaust.
On June 20, 2013, a big rally was held in front of the Sousa Mendes home, Casa do Passal, to make a plea for its restoration. An American architect, Eric Moed, spearheaded the event, attended by visa recipient families from all over the world. At this event, a representative of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture publicly pledged $400,000 in European Union funds for the restoration effort.
On October 20, 2013, a playground in Toronto, Canada was renamed in honor of Sousa Mendes. That same month, the Portuguese airline Windavia named an airplane after him. In December 2013, a letter that Sousa Mendes had penned to Pope Pius XII in 1946 begging for help from the Catholic Church was delivered to Pope Francis.
Notable people issued visas by Sousa Mendes
- Sylvain Bromberger, professor emeritus of philosophy, MIT
- Roger Hahn, professor emeritus of history, University of California, Berkeley
- Lissy Feingold Jarvik, professor emeritus of psychiatry, UCLA
- Daniel Mattis, professor emeritus of physics, University of Utah
- Creative artists
- Hélène de Beauvoir, painter, sister of Simone de Beauvoir
- Salvador Dalí, the painter, whose Russian wife Gala was directly threatened by Circular 14
- Marcel Dalio, actor in Casablanca
- Salamon Dembitzer, author of Visas to America
- Otto Eisler, playwright, who moved to Hollywood and became the screenwriter Osso van Eyss
- Grzegorz Fitelberg, conductor and violinist
- Jean-Michel Frank, interior designer
- Simone Gallimard, publisher
- Colette Gaveau, pianist
- Nelly de Grab, fashion designer
- Hugo Haas, actor
- Maria Lani, actress and artist's model for Matisse, Chagall and others
- Madeleine LeBeau, actress in Casablanca
- Alexander Liberman, sculptor and artistic director of Vogue magazine
- Witold Małcużyński, pianist
- Hendrik Marsman, poet
- Leon Moed, architect
- Robert Montgomery, actor
- Carlos Radzitzky, poet and jazz critic
- H. A. Rey and Margret Rey, authors/illustrators of Curious George
- Claire Rommer, actress
- Paul Rosenberg, art dealer
- Antoni Słonimski, poet
- Tereska Torres, novelist
- Julian Tuwim, poet
- Jean-Claude van Itallie, actor and playwright
- King Vidor, film director
- Hamilton Fish Armstrong
- Eugene Bagger
- Marian Dąbrowski
- Boris Smolar
- Sonia Tomara
- Political figures
- Joseph Bech, Foreign Minister of Luxembourg
- Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
- Pierre Dupong, Prime Minister of Luxembourg
- Otto von Habsburg, nemesis of Hitler and heir to the Austrian throne
- Maurice de Rothschild, art collector, vintner, financier, Senator of France
- Henri Torres, French lawyer and key supporter of Charles de Gaulle
- Albert de Vleeschauwer, a leading member of the Belgian government in exile
- Refugee advocates
- Religious leaders
^ a: Wednesday, June 19th, the American writer Eugene Bagger queued at the Portuguese Consulate from 9 a.m. till 11 o’clock, to no avail. He then went to Hotel Splendid to have a drink where he found Sousa Mendes having an aperitif with a friend. Mendes scribbled something in Bagger’s passports and told him to go back to the Consulate and have them stamped. To Bagger’s surprise he was then helped by the Polish consul at Arcachon, M Skalski, who had been honorary Portuguese consul in Poland and had his credentials with him. At the Consulate M. Skalski got him his passports, duly stamped.
- "Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats in World War Documentary Exhibition, Catalogue". Portuguese Diplomatic Institute / Historical and Diplomatic Archive. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
- "Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats in World War Documentary Exhibition, Catalogue". Raoul Wallenberg Foundation/. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
- "Museu Virtual Aristides de Sousa Mendes (Sousa Mendes Web Museum) - Supported by the European Union". /. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
- "Abranches, Aristides de Sousa Mendes do Amaral e - Personal File". Arquivo Digital - Ministério das Finanças / (in Portuguese). Portuguese Ministry of Finance. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
Secondary, by scholars
- Bauer, Yehuda (2002). A History of the Holocaust. United States: Franklin Watts; Revised edition. p. 432. ISBN 9780531155769.
- Leite, Joaquim da Costa. Neutrality by Agreement: Portugal and the British Alliance in World War II 14 (1). American University International Law Review. pp. 185–199. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
- Lochery, Neill (2011). Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945. United States: PublicAffairs; 1 edition. p. 345.
- Madeira, Lina Alves (2007). "Nacionalismo e "Americanismo" numa contenda jornalística Aristides de Sousa Mendes e a comunidade portuguesa de S. Francisco". Estudos do Século XX (in Portuguese) (Coimbra University) 7: 189–203. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- Meneses, Filipe (2009). Salazar: A Political Biography. Enigma Books; 1 edition. p. 544. ISBN 978-1929631902.
- Milgram, Avraham (2011). Portugal, Salazar, and the Jews. Yad Vashem. p. 324. ISBN 9789653083875.
- Milgram, Avraham. Portugal, the Consuls, and the Jewish Refugees,1938-1941. Shoah Resource Center, The International School for Holocaust Studies. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
- Paldiel, Mordecai (2007). Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust. Lisbon: Ktav Pub Inc. ISBN 9780881259094.
- Pimentel, Irene; Ninhos, Claudia (2013). Salazar, Portugal e o Holocausto (in Portuguese). Lisbon. p. 908. ISBN 9789896442217.
- Pimentel, Irene (2006). Judeus em Portugal Durante a II Guerra Mundial (in Portuguese). Lisbon: A Esfera do Livros. ISBN 9789896261054.
- Wheeler, Douglas. "And Who Is My Neighbor? A World War II Hero or Conscience for Portugal". Luso-Brazilian Review (University of Wisconsin Press) 26: 119–139. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
- Alain-Fralon, Jose (2011). A Good Man in Evil Times: Aristides De Sousa Mendes - the Unknown Hero Who Saved Countless Lives in WWII. England: Penguin Books Ltd. p. 192. ISBN 9780140286700.
- Afonso, Rui (2011). Um homem bom: Aristides de Sousa Mendes, o "Wallenberg portugues" (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Editorial Caminho. p. 354. ISBN 9789722110044.
- Lebreton, Eric (2010). Des visas pour la vie : Aristides Sousa Mendes, le Juste de Bordeaux (in French). Paris: Le Cherche Midi. ISBN 9782749117287.
- José-Alain Fralon, A Good Man in Evil Times, London: Viking, 1998, p.1.
- Fralon, p.1.
- Fralon, p.6.
- Fralon, p.4.
- Fralon, p.20.
- Fralon, p.25.
- Fralon, p.7.
- Fralon, p.14.
- Reese Ehrlich, "A Hero Remembered," Hadassah Magazine (November 1987): 26.
- Fralon p.17
- Fralon p.18
- Milgram, Avraham (1999) "Portugal, the Consuls, and the Jewish Refugees, 1938-1941," Yad Vashem Studies, Yad Vashem Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, pp. 123–154, volume 27. Hosted by the Shoah Resource Center.
Also published as
• Milgram, Avraham (2004). "Portugal, the Consuls, and the Jewish Refugees, 1938-1941". In David Cesarani, Sarah Kavanaugh. Holocaust: Responses to the persecution and mass murder of the Jews. Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies 5. Psychology Press. pp. 355–379. ISBN 9780415318716.
- Afonso, Rui - pag 193
- Madeira, Lina Alves p. 189–203
- Fralon p.19
- Afonso, Rui p.195
- Afonso, Rui (1990). Injustiça. o Caso Sousa Mendes. Portugal: Editorial Caminho. pp. 27–28. ISBN 9789722104715.
- Fralon, p.21.
- Fralon, p.39.
- Fralon p39
- Milgram, Avraham (2011). Portugal, Salazar, and the Jews (in English, translated by Naftali Greenwood). Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House. pp. 63–64. ISBN 9789653083875. Translated by Naftali Greenwood.
- Dez anos de Politica Externa, Vol 1, pag 137. Edicao Imprensa Nacional 1961
- Pimentel, Irene Flunser, Judeus em Portugal Durante a II Guerra Mundial, Lisbon: A Esfera do Livros, 2006
- Before 1939 the Portuguese Police had already dismantled several criminal networks responsible for passport forgeries and several consuls had been expelled from service also for falsifying passports.See: Pimentel, "Irene Judeus em Portugal Durante a II Guerra Mundial"
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal, Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats in World War II, Documentary Exhibition, Catalogue, September 2000, p.81.
- Spared Lives pp.81-82
- Lochery, p.42-43.
- Milgram p. 266
- p. 266.
- Milgram, p.13.
- Milgram, p.11.
- Mordecai Paldiel, p.74.
- Rui Afonso, pp. 29-39
- Fralon, p.48.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal, Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats in World War II, Documentary Exhibition, Catalogue, September 2000, p.36.
- Mordecai Paldiel as cited in Gerald Clark, "The Priceless Signature of Aristides de Sousa Mendes," Reader's Digest (December 1988): 66.
- Afonso, pag 39
- Fralon, p. 48 and "Miny," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Afonso, p. 63.
- Afonso, p. 52
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal, Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats in World War II, Documentary Exhibition, Catalogue, September 2000, p.98.
- "Albuquerque-Ertag-Flaksbaum-Landesman-Untermans," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Fralon, p.109 and "Quittner," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Lansing Warren, "Refugee Millions Suffer in France; Roads From Paris to Bordeaux Jammed With Wanderers Pitifully in Need," The New York Times, 19 June 1940.
- Gerald Clark, "The Priceless Signature of Aristides de Sousa Mendes," Reader's Digest (Canadian edition, December 1988): 61-62.
- Mordecai Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, Jerusalem: Collins, 2007, p.264.
- Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations, p.264.
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes to Silvério de Sousa Mendes, 13 June 1940, "De Winter," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Rezola, Maria Inácia. "The Franco–Salazar Meetings: Foreign policy and Iberian relations during the dictatorships (1942-1963)". e-Journal of Portuguese History. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Spared Lives and Lochery p. 48
- César de Sousa Mendes (nephew), as cited in Wheeler, "A Hero of Conscience," p.69.
- Pedro Nuno de Sousa Mendes, as cited in Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations, p.265.
- Mordecai Paldiel, Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust, p.76.
- Robert Jacobvitz, "Reinstating the Name and Honor of a Portuguese Diplomat Who Rescued Jews During World War II: Community Social Work Strategies," Journal of Jewish Communal Service, (Spring 2008): 250.
- Douglas L. Wheeler, "And Who Is My Neighbor? A World War II Hero of Conscience for Portugal," Luso-Brazilian Review 26:1 (Summer, 1989): 70.
- Bagger, Eugene (1941). For the heathen are wrong: An impersonal autobiography. Little, Brown and Co; 1st edition.
- Afonso, p. 104
- Christiano D'Adamo, "The Bombardments of Bordeaux," Regia Marina Italiana. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations, p.265.
- Lochery p.47, Milgram, Portugal Salazar and the Jews, p83; Milgram, Portugal the Consuls and the Jews p. 24;
- Lochery p.46
- Milgram, Portugal the Consuls and the Jews p.20
- Ohare, Samuel (1946). Ambassador on Special Mission. UK: Collins; First Edition edition. p. 320. Hayes, Carlton J.H. (2009). Wartime mission in Spain, 1942-1945. Macmillan Company 1st Edition. p. 313. ISBN 9781121497245.
- Fralon, p.89.
- Pedro Teotónio Pereira telegram to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lisbon, late June 1940, as cited in Mordecai Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations; Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2007, p.266.
- Fralon, p.105. The Jewish Virtual Library article notes that a Spanish newspaper headline the next day announced the sudden insanity of "the Consul of Portugal in Bayonne," an ironic error that labeled Sousa Mendes' accuser as the one who had lost his faculties.
- Fralon, p.91.
- Fralon, pp.106-07.
- Ohare, Samuel (1946). Ambassador on Special Mission. UK: Collins; First Edition edition. p. 36.
- "American Writers Escape Into Spain," The New York Times, 26 June 1940, p.15.
- Ronald Weber, The Lisbon Route: Entry and Escape in Nazi Europe, Lanham: Ivan R. Dee, p.10.
- John Paul Abranches, "A Matter of Conscience," Guideposts (June 1996): 2-6.
- Milgram p. 133
- Milgram 2011, p.289.
- Margarida Ramalho, Lisbon: City During Wartime, p.12.
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes statement of defense, 12 August 1940, as cited in Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations, p.267.
- Fralon, p.114.
- Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations, p.268.
- Fralon, p.115.
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes (grandson) as cited in Mark Fonseca Rendeiro, "The Bravery of a Portuguese War Hero Resonates Today," The Guardian, 29 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Fralon p.118 and Isaac Bitton testimonial, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 17 May 1990, 6:30-9:45. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Portuguese Diplomatic Yearbook, 1954
- Afonso p. 257
- Several secondary and primary published sources mention that Mendes was receiving a salary. Secondary: Afonso p.257, Lochery p. 49, Wheeler p.128, and Primary: a) Sousa Mendes Personal File, online archive, Portuguese Ministry of Finance b) A letter that Sousa Mendes wrote to the Portuguese Bar Association, Ordem dos Advogados - Secretaria do Conselho Geral, Lisboa, Cota - Processo nº 10/1931 Date 1946.04.29 where he says that he is receiving a monthly salary of 1,593 Portuguese Escudos. Fralon also mentions that in 1950 Mendes wrote to his twin saying the following “Pedro Nuno [his son], Maria Adelaide [his daughter in law] and their children [his grand-children] are in financial straits. My salary has been used up to pay for their outings” p. 133.
- Milgram, Portugal Salazar and the Jews, p.89
- Fralon, pp.122 and 126. Sousa Mendes' accuser Teotonio Pereira also took some of the credit: Fralon, p.106.
- Manuela Franco, "Politics and Morals" in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal, Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats in World War II, Documentary Exhibition, Catalogue, September 2000, p.19.
- Wheeler, "And Who Is My Neighbor?" p.76.
- Rui Afonso, Um Homem Bom, pp.283-84. and Wheeler p. 129
- "Letter from Sousa Mendes to the Portuguese Bar Association". Sousa Mendes Virtual Museum. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Afonso, Rui p. 269
- Sousa Mendes` complete track record of admissions can be found at the Portuguese Bar Association summarizes Sousa Mendes’ several admissions. An online version can be found at the Sousa Mendes Virtual Museum in this link .
- Afonos, Rui pp. 269 and 270
- Afonso, Rui p. 275
- A letter writen by Sousa Mendes, saying he is ill and unable to work, can be found at the Portugures Bar Association, an online copy can be found in the Sousa Mendes Virtual Museum at 
- Miguel Valle Ávila, “Was Lisbon Journalist ‘Onix’ Portugal’s Deep Throat? Aristides de Sousa Mendes Defended in the US Press in 1946,” The Portuguese Tribune (1 October 2013): 28.
- Afonso, Rui p.294
- Afonso, pag 303
- Afonso p. 303
- Afonso, p. 306-307
- Afonso p.289 and p.290
- Afonso, Rui p.307
- Luis-Filipe de Sousa Mendes, "Words of Remembrance," 1987, Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Luis-Filipe de Sousa Mendes, "Words of Remembrance", 1987, Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Michael d'Avranches [pseudo. Sebastião de Sousa Mendes], Flight Through Hell, New York: Exposition Press, 1951.
- Sebastian Mendes, "Lifelong Champion of Major Holocaust Hero Dies", 17 December 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Fralon, pp.124-25.
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes, as cited in Paldiel, The Righteous Among the Nations, p.268.
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes, letter to his lawyer Palma Carlos, as cited in Manuel Dias Vaz, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, héros "rebelle," juin 1940, Souvenirs et témoignages, Quercy : éditions Confluences, 2010, p.26.
- Fralon p.136 and p.138
- Fralon, p.142.
- Yehuda Bauer, A History of the Holocaust, Franklin Watts, 2002, p.235.
- Wheeler, "And Who is My Neighbor?" p.6.
- "Spain Halts Flow of War Refugees; Border Guards Hold Up Most of Those Seeking Entrance," The New York Times, 25 June 1940, p.3; "American Writers Escape Into Spain," The New York Times, 26 June 1940, p.15.
- Milgram, Portugal the Consuls and the Jews
- Milgram, Portugal Salazar and the Jews p.121
- Lochery p. 44
- Rui Afonso p 283
- Themido, J. Hall (2008). Uma Autobiografia Disfarçada - A mitificação de Aristides de Sousa Mendes. Lisbon: Instituto Diplomático - Portuguese Foreign Office. ISBN 9789898140012.
- Themido, João Hall (Nov 1, 2008). "Aristides de Sousa Mendes é um "mito criado por judeus"". Expresso (Portuguese newspaper) (in Portuguese) (Lisbon). Retrieved 19 March 2014. - Expresso is the biggest portuguese weekly newspaper.
- Saraiva, José Hermano (20 July 2012). "Recorde a grande entrevista de José Hermano Saraiva ao SOL (2ª parte)". Sol (newspaper) (in Portuguese) (Lisbon). Retrieved 19 March 2014. - Sol is the second portuguese weekly newspaper.
- Saraiva, José Hermano (2007). Album de Memórias (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Portuguese Diplomatic Institute - Portuguese Foreign Ministry.
- Lebreton p.231
- Particularly active were Sebastião, Joana, John Paul, Luis Felipe and Pedro Nuno.
- Examples include Guy Wright, "Straightening the Record on Dictator and a Hero," San Francisco New Call Bulletin, 4 May 1961 and an article in the Portuguese press of Massachusetts: "Um português salvou 10.000 judeus no tempo da guerra, mas foi castigado," Diario de Noticias (New Bedford, MA), 19 May 1961, pp.1 and 5.
- "Um português salvou 10.000 judeus no tempo da guerra, mas foi castigado," Diario de Noticias (New Bedford, MA), 19 May 1961, p.5.
- Robert McG. Thomas Jr., "Joana Mendes, 77, Champion of Father's Effort to Save Jews," The New York Times, 10 April 1997, obituaries, C29. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Portugal's Unforgettable Forgotten Hero," USC Shoah Foundation, 10 July 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Anibal Martins, "Ainda o Caso do Consul Sousa Mendes," letter to the editor, Diário de Noticias (New Bedford, MA), 13 October 1967, p.2.
- Reese Erlich, "Mending the Past; Belatedly, the righteous Dr. Mendes has been recognized. Full recognition, however, has yet to come," Moment, June 1987, p.52.
- Fralon, p.151.
- Bessa Lopes report as cited in Fralon, p.152.
- Reese Erlich, "Portugal's President to Honor Diplomat Who Defied Holocaust," Christian Science Monitor, 19 May 1987, p. 4. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Erlich, "Mending the Past," p.53.
- John Paul Abranches, as cited in Erlich, "Mending the Past," p.54.
- Robert Jacobvitz, "Reinstating the Name and Honor of a Portuguese Diplomat Who Rescued Jews During World War II: Community Social Work Strategies," Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Spring 2008 and Jonathan Curiel, John Paul Abranches, Hero Envoy's Son, Dies," San Francisco Chronicle, 19 February 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "70 Lawmakers Ask Portugal to Honor Posthumously a Portuguese Diplomat Who Saved Jews in WWII," Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2 September 1986. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Video of speeches at Simon Wiesenthal Center followed by television coverage of the event, Los Angeles, 1986. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Comité national français en hommage à Aristides de Sousa Mendes". Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- Mário Soares, "Encerramento da la parte por S. Exa o Presidente da República," Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Homenagem Nacional, Cinema Tivoli, Avenida de Liberdade, Lisbon, Portugal, 23 March 1995, as cited in Sebastian Mendes, "Lifelong Champion of Major Holocaust Hero Dies," International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, 17 December 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Assembleia da República (April 26, 1988). "Reintegração na carreira diplomática, a título póstumo, do ex-cônsul-geral de Portugal em Bordéus Aristides de Sousa Mendes". Diário da República Electrónico. Portuguese Republic. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Fralon, p.155. Picture available at : Aristides de Sousa Mendes - Le juste de Bordeaux Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Homenagem Naçional, Cinema Tivoli, Avenida de Liberdade, Lisbon, Portugal, 23 March 1995.
- Sébastien (5 May 2007). "Aristides de Sousa Mendes". SebPhilately's About Stamps, Covers, News from the Philatelic World. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Sebastian Mendes, "Lifelong Champion of Major Holocaust Hero Dies," International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, 17 December 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Christian House, "Sousa Mendes Saved More Lives Than Schindler So Why Isn't He a Household Name Too?" The Independent (London), 17 October 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Fundaçao Aristides de Sousa Mendes. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Mark Fonseca Rendeiro, "The Bravery of a Portuguese War Hero Resonates Today," The Guardian, 29 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "International Acknowledgment of Sousa Mendes on the 50th Anniversary of His Death", The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Salazar vence concurso 'Os Grandes Portugueses'". Jornalismo Porto Net. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Barry Hatton, "Portugal Honors Diplomat Who Saved Jews," The Associated Press, 28 February 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Casa do Passal," International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Petition: Aristides de Sousa Mendes’ name proposed for Bordeaux’ new bridge – France," Portuguese American Journal, 25 May 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "United Nations to Screen ‘The Rescuers’ to Mark Holocaust Remembrance Day While Honouring Heroic Actions, Moral Courage of 12 Diplomats," United Nations, New York, 8 January 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Alexandre Soares, "A lista de Sousa Mendes," Visão, 13 June 2013, cover story. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Raphael Minder, "In Portugal, a Protector of a People is Honored," The New York Times, 9 July 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Community: City of Toronto to Honor Aristides de Sousa Mendes – Canada", Portuguese American Journal, 18 October 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Windavia Fleet Details," AirFleets.net. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Carta de Sousa Mendes chega ao Papa 67 anos depois," Boas Notícias, 5 December 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Fralon, p.88 and "Bromberger," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Hahn," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- Fralon, p.88 and "Lissy Jarvik" and "Feingold," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Ben Fulton, "U. Prof Meets Kin of Man Who Saved His Family From Nazis," The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 July 2010, retrieved 16 March 2014 and "Matuzewitz/Sternberg," Sousa Mendes Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
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- ... With God Against Man ..., documentary by Semyon Pinkhasov (U.S., 2014).
- I am Alive Thanks to Aristides de Sousa Mendes, short documentary by Priscilla Fontoura (Portugal, 2013).
- Os Nove Dias de Sousa Mendes, documentary by Inês Faro (Canada, 2012).
- The Consul of Bordeaux, fictionalized historical drama by Francisco Manso and João Correa, with Vítor Norte and Antonio Capelo (Portugal, 2011).
- Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story, docudrama by Joël Santoni with Bernard Le Coq and Nanou Garcia (France, 2009).
- Diplomats for the Damned, documentary, The History Channel (U.S., 2000).
- Le consul proscrit, documentary by Diana Andringa and Teresa Olga (Portugal, 1994).
- Sousa Mendes Foundation
- Jewish Virtual Library: Aristides de Sousa Mendes
- Comité national français en hommage à Aristides de Sousa Mendes (in French)
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes Virtual Museum (in Portuguese)
- Fundação Aristides de Sousa Mendes (in Portuguese)