Aristides de Sousa Mendes will have a tour named after him in Paris

Portuguese consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes will be named after him on a tour of the 17th arrondissement of Paris, next to the current Consulate General of Portugal in the French capital, thus paying homage to the Portuguese diplomat who saved thousands of Parisians.

“Someone as important to Paris as General Leclerc left France to meet General De Gaulle on a visa from Consul Sousa Mendes. Thousands of people, many Parisians, and their families owe their lives to the consul. other cities that have already paid him homage,” said Hermano Sanches Ruivo, councilor of the Paris City Council and proponent of this tribute, in statements to Lusa agency.

The Council of Paris approved this honor on Friday, with the green space in the center of Boulevard Batignolles, between streets Andrieux and Plaza Prosper Goubaux, designated as ‘promenade’ (promenade, in Portuguese) Aristides de Sousa Mendes. This tribute will be formalized during the Portugal-France Crusade Season, which takes place between February and October 2022.

This is one of the various initiatives that Hermano Sanches Ruivo wants to promote in Paris to honor the memory of the resistant of World War II of Portuguese origin, a complex task since, as the country did not participate in this war, this individual recognition must be made.

“It is the first stage of a process that we have launched and I want to advance the recognition of Portuguese in World War II in France. We know that several hundred Portuguese were registered in the resistance. All these resisters are a group of people who participate in the memory of France and in our history”, declared the mayor.

Hermano Sanches Ruivo is working with the Liberation Museum, located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, and Portuguese researchers to develop studies on this matter. In Paris, the name of Aristides de Sousa Mendes is inscribed on the Wall of the Just, next to the Memorial da Shoah, in the 4th arrondissement of the French capital.

In France, various tributes, promoted by the Aristides de Sousa Mendes Committee, have been multiplying in cities like Bordeaux and Hendaia, in order to keep alive the memory of the Portuguese diplomat.

In 1940, during World War II, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, then Portuguese consul in Bordeaux, France, issued visas that saved thousands of people from the Holocaust, disobeying the orders of the then president of the council, António de Oliveira Salazar, who led the government. Aristides de Sousa Mendes joined the National Pantheon in Lisbon in October.

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