Aristides de Sousa Mendes - Resistance Against Nazi Forces

Topics: Nazi Germany, Antisemitism, Portugal Pages: 1 (399 words) Published: April 10, 2007
1. Summary background of Mendes.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes was born on 19. July 1885 in Cabanas de Viriato, Portugal. His family had an aristocratic origin. Mendes' father was a judge and his twin brother was to become a Foreign Minister. Mendes was married to Angelina and had 14 children. He graduated the University of Coimbra and he studied law. He was a Portuguese diplomat and was in consulate of Bordeaux in France last. He had a Rabbi friend called Chaim Kruger and was inspired by him to save the targets of Nazis. He stamped visas for refugees and Jews for entering Portugal during 16-23. June 1994. He saved over 30,000 refugees including 12,000 Jews. He lost his job and was put on the black list so he couldn't have any job in Portugal. Jewish Refugee Agency aided Mendes and his family food and the house rent fee, but he died of poverty on 3. April 1954.

2, Analysis of Mendes's act of resistance.

Mendes' act of resistance does not seem to oppose the identity profile I charted. He was a citizen of Portugal, which was neutral country, and he studied laws which may have made him firmer that Hitler was wrong. He had a Rabbi friend whom he was inspired to save the Jews from being transported to death camps. He traveled many other countries where Nazi parties could not reach such as United States, Kenya and Brazil. I think what affected him the most about the way he viewed the issue of mass murder of Jews committed by Nazis was the travel around the world. Rather than thinking narrow and sticking to the only reason of being right to kill Jews and other targeted victims with no real scientific reason behind, for example the fact that Jews are less than human beings, I guess Aristides de Sousa Mendes was able to see a ‘broader' vision of whether it's right or wrong to discriminate and kill people. Not necessarily, but I believe one of the other reasons Mendes gave up his life to save over 30,000 refugees is because he had many children. He may have felt it...
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