Among the five Portuguese recalled in this special edition are some names already well known, such as Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who lost his position as Portuguese consul in France for having insisted, against the orders of the regime, on granting visas to Jews seeking to flee the country, and Father Joaquim Carreira, whose efforts to save Jews in Rome, at a time when he was rector of the Pontifical Portuguese College, was more recently publicly recognised after the publication of an investigation carried out by journalist António Marujo.
The other three Portuguese depicted in this series of stamps issued as part of the “In Memory of the Holocaust – Never Forget” programme include two Portuguese ambassadors in Budapest. The first, Sampaio Garrido, hid Jews in the Portuguese Legation and fought for their release after they were captured. Garrido was succeeded in office by Alberto Teixeira Branquinho, who continued this work and managed to secure half a thousand safe-conducts for Hungarian Jews who had relatives in Brazil or Portugal, including in the former colonies.
The texts accompanying the issue of these stamps state that this is the “just recognition of those who should be an example of life, citizenship and defence of Human Rights”, in favour of “a world that wants to be democratic and solidary, free of discrimination, intolerance and hate”.
Finally, the fifth stamp of this special issue honours the memory of a Portuguese immigrant in France, married to a French woman, who sheltered and saved a Jewish girl during the Nazi occupation, according to the “7 Margens” website.
(World Jewish Congress)