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Aristides de Sousa Mendes Foundation-US

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Migration & Refugee Issues

Mission: The Sousa Mendes Foundation, dedicated to honoring the memory of Aristides de Sousa Mendes and to educating the world about his good work, has a two-fold mission: raising funds for the restoration of the Casa do Passal and the creation within its walls of a museum and memorial site; and sponsoring US-based projects that perpetuate his legacy.

Programs: Museum exhibitions, publications, weekly film-and-discussion programs on inspiring true stories of rescue and resistance and a pilgrimage tour through France, Spain and Portugal, "Journey on the Road to Freedom," retracing the footsteps of Aristides de Sousa Mendes and the refugees of 1940.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Monique Rubens K.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sousa Mendes Foundation has done a terrific job of telling the remarkable story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who singlehandedly saved more people during WWII than any other person by signing visas for them which allowed them to flee the oncoming Nazi army and escape to Portugal.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Sousa Mendes Foundation has achieved a most relevant status in perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust and the stories of those who, like my parents and sisters, managed to escape Europe thanks to the altruistic attitude of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, who knowingly jeopardized his own diplomatic career and even his personal wellbeing to defy a pro-Nazi dictatorial establishment in support of over 30.000 would-be victims, around one-third of whom were Jewish. The Portuguese authorities have finally recognized his exemplary role, and the efforts of the Sousa Mendes Foundations were key for that to happen. Israel, the USA and many other countries have followed the Portuguese steps. Actually, Some of them even preceded Portugal in that recognition.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former Holocaust educator on the college level for more than 30 years, and a volunteer educator in Lifelong Learning Institutes now, I have found the Sousa Mendes Foundation resources invaluable in enhancing the learning experience. The story of Aristides Sousa Mendes’ bravery, defiance to authority, compassion, and goodness are highlights of humanity during the Holocaust. The work of the foundation honors his memory of rescue and moral courage giving visas to thousands of refugees to enter Portugal and escape the horrors of Naziism. At this time, the Foundation is developing curricula materials for grades 6-12. In its quest to find more visa recipients the Foundation is fighting denial and revisionism of the Holocaust. Sousa Mendes paid a severe price for his disobedience to Salazar but today he is being recognized and honored globally thanks to the Foundation.
Joanne Tuck

1 Orly S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’ve visited the excellent exhibition in Peniche, Portugal this week and was very moved by all the information that was given to the audience in many ways- visual, sound- perfect.
Thank you for telling this hero noble man story.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

During these troubled times when hateful speech & violence is on the rise, it’s so important to learn about the courage & decency of de Sousa Mendes. He risked his own safety & diplomatic career to defy hatred & help innocent people live. Truly an inspiration!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have followed the work of the foundation for several years. I have recently connected with them to visit an extraordinary art installation overseas and was impressed with the scope. Dedicated to the heroic work of Aristides de Sousa Mendes the foundation deserves the greatest accolades and honor. Amir Cohen-Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization has dedicated itself to educating the world about the heroic action of a Portuguese diplomat who rescued thousand of people during WW2. By teaching our youth about moral courage, as demonstrated by Sousa Mendes, we hope to transform a generation of people into those who care/save/protect current-day refugees and families desperate to flee their dire circumstances.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Middle School History Teacher and a member of of the Aristedes de Sousa Mendes Foundation has afforded me the opportunity to develop and implement the learnings from this organization into my Lesson Plans

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Sousa Mendes Foundation is dedicated to honoring the memory of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a diplomat who saved thousands of lives during the WWII. He did the right thing even though it cost him his job and his living. Sousa Mendes chose to follow his moral conscience by signing thousands of false visas even though the dictator Salazar issued a directive not to.

I have learned about the life of Aristides De Sousa Mendes, a remarkable human being, through the Foundation. I was lucky enough to travel with the Foundation and walk in the footsteps of the refugees whose lives he saved. I am bringing his story to my students so that they will know you always have a choice and should choose to do the right thing even though it may not be the popular decision. Thank you.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In June 1940, my mother, 6 cousins and 4 uncles received visas for Portugal from Aristides de Sousa Mendes. these visas enabled them to escape from Bayonne and reach Porto on a sardine schooner! It is thanks to the act of conscience of this man, that I am here today. The Arisitides de Sousa Mendes Foundation has helped me and thousands of others discover and understand the hidden stories behind the chaotic escape of our parents and families from Europe in 1940.
Thank you to the Aristides de Sousa Mendes Foundation for your hard work and continuous drive to uncover these stories.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Sousa Mendes Foundation promotes the legacy of the Holocaust hero Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Consul General of Portugal in Bordeaux, France when Germany invaded Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg on May 10, 1940. Sousa Mendes' act of selfless courage saved the lives of thousands of desperate refugees. My family was among those who received visas to neutral Portugal. The Sousa Mendes Foundation works to counteract Holocaust denial by telling the stories of those who were saved and who remember those members of their families who were trapped by the Nazis and did not survive.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese diplomat who rescued thousands of refugees in 1940, going against the illegal regulations of the dictator Salazar. He was punished and died forgotten and in poverty. The ASMF-US does valuable work to rescue and preserve the legacy of this unique rescuer and to build a community of the descendants of ASM, the descendants of the refugee families, holocaust educators, and other admirers of Sousa Mendes and his remarkable and courageous act of conscience.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sousa Mendes Foundation perpetuates the memory of a great hero, and nowadays we need heroes!