ctrp356 Defying Orders to Save Lives

Aristides de Sousa Mendes

He died disgraced and impoverished, asking his children to one day clear his name. Decades later, the story of how that man, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, helped save thousands upon thousands of lives during World War II, is finally spreading around the world.

Today his family and descendants of those that were saved by his actions are working to restore not only his name, legacy, and to ensure that his story lives on.

My guest on this podcast is one of the founders of the Sousa Mendes Foundation, herself the daughter and grand daughter of Sousa Mendes visa recipients: Olivia Mattis. In this conversation she tells the story of Sousa Mendes, what became of her family after making it to Portugal, and eventually how this foundation came to exist.

For more information on Sousa Mendes as well as theSousa Mendes Foundation, follow the links above. You can also find them on facebook.

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6 thoughts on “ctrp356 Defying Orders to Save Lives

  • November 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm
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    Your interest and recent report ( interview with Olivia Mattis etc) on ASMendes are great. congratulations. An important factor has/ is being left out however. Maybe for the future, as I undesratand you are to visit the Casa do Passal soon, If accuracy and fairness are important: the names of Mariana Abrantes, Antonion Rodrigues, Luisa Pacheco, Manuel Dias, Jacques Riviere and so many others who are neither family members nor descendents of visa recipients, have played an important role. (and you do not even have to mention my name or the source), you have my E mail and my tel are USA 718 899 7777 or cel 917b 257 1501. You can understand this my email if you google my name at amigosdesousamendes or in UP- (TAP magazine,) January 2010 issue.
    Thanks,
    João Crisóstomo

  • November 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm
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    Joao Crisostomo is absolutely right. There is a long list of people who have worked in Portugal, France, the United States and Israel to obtain justice and recognition for this hero including the names he mentions and others such as Anne Treseder, Robert Jacobvitz, Hellen Kaufmann, Mordecai Paldiel, etc. The task of the Sousa Mendes Foundation is made immeasurably easier by the efforts of these people over the past years and decades.

    • November 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm
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      Olivia e João vamos falar no nosso idioma que o 5 mais falado do mundo

      • November 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm
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        Louvável o seu comentário, caro Luís Paulo. E não me parece que eu estja em falta em relação à lingua portuguesa. Durante a campanha para a Independencia de Timor Leste (na qual eu fui o dinamizador nos Estados Unidos, fundador e pres, da LAMETA) a língua portuguesa era um dos temas/ idéias porque lutava , por vezes mesmo em contactos pessoais, com as autoridades portuguesas, brasileiras e os “liders” timorenses Xanana, Ramos Horta,Bispo Belo etc. Sucede que neste caso Olivia Mattis é americana e as ünicas palavras que conhece em portugues são “Aristides….’ e pouco mais. E o mesmo se refere a muitos (pelo menos a maioria, dos americanos) que estão envolvidos do lado de cá do Oceano nesta causa de A.S.Mendes. E como o artigo foi escrito em Inglês, pareceu-me lógico responder na mesma língua.
        Mas agradeço o seu comentári: é gratificante constatar o seu patriotismo.
        João Crisóstomo

      • November 10, 2010 at 2:49 am
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        Ola amigos. Pois aqui no blog adoro ver todas as linguas do mundo.. mesmo esses que não falo!

        João thank you for your comment, I respond in english since I know my non Ot speaking friends like to follow our conversation.. 30 to 45 minutes of course could never do justice to such a layered and globe spanning story. But I was glad to be able to start down that road with the great help of Olivia. And now I learn more thanks to kind people like yourself and others who I see in my email now. Soo.. I’ll keep in mind and communicate in the future that which youve mentioned, and Ill be sure to followup and add voices to this story. Ill also keep your contact info.. there is something very familiar about your name I think we’ll understand better why.. soon. um abraço de Paris!

  • November 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm
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    joão e a todos os meus compatriotas da nossa amada lingua vamos nos unir e difundir a nossa cultura.

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