Chapter 4: “Will We Get Transit Visas?”
Challenges of refugees obtaining visas; choices made by officials
Quotes From The Film
“Through some luck, I got us transit visas through Spain to Portugal... We’ve trekked over 1,000 kilometers and we must keep moving.”
Irving Redel, 17 years old in 1940
“I will obey my conscience and grant these Jews visas. As a Christian I do not have the right to let so many women, children and men die. How can I choose not to help them because of an order that has been issued by the authorities?”
Aristides de Sousa Mendes
Portuguese Ambassador in France
Put Yourself in Their Shoes:
Why do you think that Sousa Mendes chose to help so many endangered people?
How do you think he felt about what he had done?
If you were a diplomat, would you risk breaking your country's law and face pentalty in order to help save lives? Why or why not?
Aristides de Sousa Mendes said:
“I would rather stand with God against man than with man against God.”
What do you think he meant by this?
What was the legal penalty for helping Jews on 1940?
How did Portuguese officials use Circular 14 to help or harm refugees?
What price did Sousa Mendes pay for listening to his conscience?
Do you know of others in positions of power who helped save Jews during WWII?
What's happening now?
What are other examples of refugees fleeing for fear of persecution today?
What can be learned from Sousa Mendes about how we respond to the refugee crisis today?