So there was this portuguese diplomat called Aristides de Sousa de Mendes that no one knows about and that saved thousands of lives in the Nazi time.
Sousa Mendes was married to his cousin and had 14 children he was like very rich and important and had a heart from the size of the world. He was working in Paris and he disobeyed the orders from his president and signed Visas to refugees. To be more precise he worked day and night without barely eating and without sleeping to sign hundreds of visas and never stopped again. In just a few months Sousa Mendes issued an estimated 30,000 visas to Jews and other persecuted minorities. According to him he would grant visas to everyone in need, at whatever cost to himself. He befriend a jew rabi who helped him in his mission. (and his wife too helped him a lot, they had 14 children!!! awww, love~).
Do you think he stayed in Paris? No. He went travelling to where people needed visas.
Cit Wikipedia: "Working feverishly with Rabbi Kruger, the two remaining Sousa Mendes sons and their mother, and a few refugees, the consul formed an assembly line that processed visas all through that day and well into the night. They made whatever changes were necessary to the usual procedure: the consul signing with just his surname, not registering the visas or collecting fees, and stamping visas on pieces of paper. The sense of urgency was heightened even more when Marshal Philippe Pétain announced that day that France would sign a peace agreement with Germany. The assembly line kept working all through the following day. A delegate of the House of Habsburg, after having to wait his turn in the seemingly endless line, left with 19 visas for the imperial family of the Archduke, who later returned in person to obtain an additional stack of visas for Austrian refugees.
On into June 19, the assembly line marched on through stacks and stacks of visas, even as the city was bombed by German planes. At this point, Sousa Mendes rushed to the consulate at Bayonne, near the Spanish border where his visas were being honored for the crowds rushing out of the country. Finding that consulate overwhelmed, he took over responsibility from his subordinate there, Consul Machado, and set up a second assembly line to process thousands more exit documents.”
Then he went to Hendaye and Irun. He even used his own car to transport refugees! This act of extreme kindness cost him everything. His president Salazar removed him from his position, forbid him to practice his job(lawyer) and did the same with ALL his family, forbidding his children to attend college, his brother was fired and Salazar left him in misery removing all his money and houses and ordering that no one in Portugal show him any charity, not even friends or family or they would be severely punished.
So the only ones who helped him were a local Jewish refugee agency — which had begun to feed the family and pay their rent upon discovering the situation — the children moved to other countries in search of opportunities they were now denied in Portugal, though all accounts by them indicate they never blamed their father or regretted his decision. His wife, Angelina, died in 1948 (he really loved her since their childhood and he never discriminated her by her gender treating her as his equal). Stripped of his pension, he died in poverty on April 3, 1954, still in disgrace with his government.
He died completely alone despised by his colleagues, friends and family like he had done something really wrong. He had a stroke before and had a frail health and STAYED COMPLETELY ALONE UNTIL HIS DEATH. None of his children came back to see him and only a niece went to visit him sometimes.
This man who saved thousands of lives and risked his own life and the life of his own family to do it, this man with a heart of the size of the world was FORGOTTEN. Everyone knows who Schindler was and even made a movie about him, a guy who saved 1.200 people, BUT Aristides saved more than 30.000 people AND NO ONE, NO ONE KNOWS WHO HE WAS.
So if you´re still reading this, please spread Aristides Love, reblog, because even though he is dead, he deserves the support he didnt have while he was alive, for being a hero for humanity!