2014 Jewish Film Festival: Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story
Photo courtesy of Jewish Film Festival
The 2014 Jewish Film Festival will present Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story. In May 1940, when Nazi troops invaded France, Portuguese President Salazar ordered all his diplomats to deny visas to any Holocaust refugees seeking to escape Europe. Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, deliberately chose to disregard this order, knowing full well that his actions could have severe consequences for him and his family.
Altogether, Mendes issued visas to some 30,000 refugees, about a third of whom were Jewish. This little-known act of extraordinary heroism has been described by historians as "the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust."