Saturday, February 1, 2020

Portugal: Conservative politician called saviour of Jews a 'loan shark' of the Jews and praised Salazar (update)


Abel Matos Santos resigned from the CDS-PP executive committee
At issue are the statements that Abel Matos Santos made, from 2012 to 2015, in various publications on the social network Facebook, with praise for Salazar and PIDE. Portugal’s consul in Bordeaux, Aristides Sousa Mendes, also called the “loan shark of the Jews”, who helped save thousands of Jews during World War II.
Calling Aristides de Sousa Mendes a corrupt loan shark for the Jews is revolting.  When died in 1954, he was so poor that he was buried in a Franciscan habit because he did not own a proper suit.

Via Time 24 News:
The CDS “cannot be conniving” with the statements of its leader Abel Matos Santos about Aristides Sousa Mendes, writes this Thursday in a statement to the Israeli Community of Lisbon (CIL).  
It is a reaction to the positions of the member of the centrist executive committee and a former candidate for the leadership of the party, who on social media called the “Jewish loan shark” to the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux, which saved 30,000 lives from the Nazi Holocaust. It is with “amazement and surprise” that CIL reacts to the words of Matos Santos, that Expresso reported on Wednesday.  
Its content, considers this Jewish organization in Portugal, is “offensive to the memory of one of the greatest diplomats in Portugal, the consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Justo entre Nações”. The statement is signed by CIL President José Oulman Carp.  
During World War II, Sousa Mendes disobeyed Salazar’s orders to allow 30,000 Jews to pass through Portugal, issuing visas and allowing them to escape the concentration and extermination camps. He claimed to have done it as an “act of conscience”.  
He ended up demoted by the dictator, but he was one of the first people recognized as Just Among Nations by Yad Vashem, an organization that preserves the memory of the victims of the Shoah, based in Jerusalem. Thus considered in 1966, he is one of four Portuguese distinguished with the title, alongside the also diplomat Carlos Sampayo Garrido (2010), Father Joaquim Carreira (2014) and José Brito-Mendes, of Portuguese origin but listed as French for being emigrant.
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