Carlos Mendes on his father Aristides de Sousa Mendes

Carlos Mendes explains the sadness he feels for his father’s overlooked heroism and the pride he feels for the work his father did.

 Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese diplomat stationed in Bordeaux in the late 1930s who issued tens of thousands of visas to Jewish families, in direct violation of anti-Jewish laws instituted by Portugal’s fascist government at the time. For this act of resistance, Sousa Mendes faced trials and conviction, leaving him to live out the rest of his life in poverty and disgrace, and his 15 children scattered all over Europe and the U.S.

Language: English