Restoring and Reconnecting: The Legacy of Sousa Mendes

by bicyclemark 5 Comments
Restoring and Reconnecting: The Legacy of Sousa Mendes

Gerald Mendes was born in Canada and raised with the story of his grandfather Aristides de Sousa Mendes. As he grew up he came to learn not only about the history of his family, but also about those that the actions of his grandfather during WWII helped to save. At a restaurant in Paris we sat down recently to talk about his family, his life experiences, and his activities related to the legacy of his grandfather.

We mention:

The Sousa Mendes Committee in France

As well as the book: Aristides de Sousa Mendes, héros “rebelle”, juin 1940 – Souvenirs et témoignages by Manuel Dias Vaz

Sousa Mendes: Defying Orders to Save Lives

by bicyclemark 6 Comments
Sousa Mendes: 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.

Remembering The Journey from Europe

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

With only 48 hours remaining before I take my first ever trip to South East Asia, I have a recommendation for all of you.

My dear friend and podcasting colleague Richard was travelling around Equador, Peru and Colombia during most of this month. During that journey he visited family who had been displaced, like so many Jews trying to get out of Europe in the run up to World War II.  This part of his family would eventually settle in Colombia.

In his most recent video entry you can watch an interview with his relative, as she describes that boat journey from Europe and where and why they ended up in Curacao and eventually Colombia.  Its a very amazing ordeal, especially the part about how no country would allow them entry, and they just sailed on and on hoping for a safe port.

Watch the film, it is well worth your time.

bmtv76 Forgotten Portuguese WWII Hero

by bicyclemark 0 Comments
bmtv76 Forgotten Portuguese WWII Hero

Aristides de Sousa Mendes ignored the orders of the facist Portuguese government during WWII, by helping people escape to Portugal. A diplomat in Bordeaux, he gave visas to thousands of Jewish and nonJewish refugees trying to escape the Nazi occupation. When it was discovered, he was fired, disgraced, and died poor dishonored by his country. More than 50 years later, the truth is finally coming to light of the around 30,000 lives he helped save, and the plight that he suffered at the hands of the facist Portuguese government. This screencast is me getting to know this story, which was the topic of the evening for my family here in Brussels.