Portuguese American Journal

Sousa Mendes and Martins de Souza honored – Newark, NJ

The Sousa Mendes Foundation and the International Roaul Wallenberg Foundation, in partnership with the Portuguese Sport Club and the Serranos Club, of Newark, NJ, will honor two great WWII heroes at two separate events.

Portuguese diplomat  Aristides de Sousa Mendes will be honored on April 3rd, at 6:00 p.m. at the Portuguese Sport Club, 55 Prospect Street, Newark, NJ. A film celebrating his life will be screened.  Sousa Mendes was the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, France, during the Second World War, is credited with saving an estimated 30,000 lives when Paris fell to the advancing Nazi army in June of 1940, and Jewish and other refugees tried to escape for Spain and Portugal overnight.

Brazilian diplomat, Luis Martins de Souza Dantas, who is credit with having saved 800 lives, will be honored also April 3rd, with a  special 11:30 a.m. Mass by the Brazilian Bishop H.E.D. Edgar Moreira da Cunha at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 82 Congress Street, Newark, NJ.

Both issued visas against their governments’ orders to Jewish and other refugees. Both were recalled by their respective governments, subjected to disciplinary action. Both died in obscurity – within days of each other – Sousa Mendes on April 3rd, 1954, and Souza Dantas on April 14th, 1954.

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