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September 2019

Lecture: Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Man of Courage

September 8, 2019
World War II Veterans Hall,
Chino, CA United States
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Lee Sterling

Sousa Mendes visa recipient Lee Sterling tells the story of his family’s exodus from Nazi-occupied Europe in 1940 and the role played by Aristides de Sousa Mendes in his survival.

November 2019
free and open to the public

Sousa Mendes exhibition in Luxembourg

November 28, 2019 - February 22, 2020
Archives nationales,
Plateau du Saint-Esprit
Luxembourg, 2010 Luxembourg
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Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg, 1940

The National Archives of Luxembourg presents a large and comprehensive exhibition:  Aristides de Sousa Mendes : un consul portugais entre la conscience humaine et la raison d’Etat.  The Sousa Mendes Foundation has contributed objects, photographs and testimonials to the project.  Other lenders include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lisbon, Portugal and the Sousa Mendes family.  The exhibition is presented on the occasion of Luxembourg assuming the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

One of the families saved by Aristides de Sousa Mendes in 1940 is the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg (pictured above), headed at the time by Grand Duchess Charlotte. She wrote of Sousa Mendes:

“His merits, in a time of tragedy and panic, will always be remembered by the Luxembourg refugees, many of them of Jewish faith, by the members of the Luxembourg Government and by my own family, who were saved by his initiative from certain persecution and thus enabled to reach the free countries.” 

The exhibition will be held at the National Archives of Luxembourg, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 8:30-11:30 a.m., from November 28, 2019 until February 22, 2020.  It is free and open to the public.  Free guided tours are available by reservation at relations.publiques@an.etat.lu.

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December 2019
free but reservation required

Film screening and discussion at Roosevelt House, New York City

December 10, 2019 @ 5:45 pm - 8:15 pm
Roosevelt House,
47-49 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065 United States
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Human-Rights-Day-768x468 (1)

Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, the Sousa Mendes Foundation, and Hunter College Jewish Studies Center present a screening of the documentary film, Nobody Wants Us (2019, dir. Laura Seltzer-Duny) at the Roosevelt House at 47-49 East 65th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues, New York City.  The event will be held on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2019.  The event will begin with a reception at 5:45 p.m., with the program to follow at 6:30 p.m.

 

Synopsis:  In 1940, a ship called the S.S. Quanza left the port of Lisbon carrying several hundred Jewish refugees to freedom.  Most of them held life-saving visas issued by the Holocaust rescuer Aristides de Sousa Mendes.  But events went terribly wrong, and the passengers became trapped on the ship because no country would take them in.  Nobody Wants Us tells the gripping true story of how Eleanor Roosevelt stepped in to save the passengers on board because of her moral conviction that they were not “undesirables” (as the US State Department labeled them) but rather, “future patriotic Americans.”  This is an episode in American history that everyone needs to know.  

 

“We are delighted to bring this important film, Nobody Wants Us, to Roosevelt House, and to share it with the rest of the Hunter community,” says Harold Holzer, the Jonathan F. Fanton Director of Roosevelt House.  “The film offers a fresh perspective not just on the issue of immigration, but the action taken by Eleanor Roosevelt to save the lives of immigrants in need of sanctuary,” he adds. 

 

Program:  The film, which is 37 minutes in length, will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Leah Garrett, Director of the Hunter College Jewish Studies Center.  Other participants will include:

Blanche Wiesen Cook, the leading authority on Eleanor Roosevelt and author of her three-volume biography.

Annette Lachmann, who was a passenger on the Quanza in 1940.

Laura Seltzer-Duny, the filmmaker.

 

Significance of the story:  According to Michael Dobbs of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “The Quanza incident is a timely reminder that individuals make a difference.  Without visas supplied by the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, many of the Jewish passengers on board the Quanza might well have been stranded in Nazi-occupied Europe. Without the legal brilliance of a maritime lawyer named Jacob Morewitz, the ship would have been obliged to sail back to Europe. Without the intervention of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the passengers would not have been permitted to land.   It took three people, from entirely different backgrounds, to save dozens of lives that might otherwise have been lost.”

 

Roosevelt House, an integral part of Hunter College since 1943, re-opened in 2010 as a public policy institute honoring the distinguished legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Its mission is three-fold: to educate students in public policy and human rights, to support faculty research, and to foster creative dialogue. The institute provides opportunities for students to analyze public policy  and experience meaningful civic engagement; for faculty to research, teach, and write about important issues of the day; and for scholarly and public audiences to participate in high-profile lectures, seminars and conferences.

 

The Sousa Mendes Foundation, established in 2010, is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the memory of the Holocaust rescuer Aristides de Sousa Mendes and to teaching the importance of moral courage in a civilized world. Named “Organization of the Year” in 2012 by The Portuguese Tribune, the Foundation is engaged in a worldwide search for families who escaped the Holocaust through Portugal. Through concerts, lectures, films and other educational programming it promotes the important lesson, particularly to young people, that one person can make a difference.

 

Ticket information:  The event is free of charge, but seating is limited, and is by advance reservation. For more information and to reserve tickets, please click here.

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January 2020
$7

Film screening in Green Valley, Arizona

January 5 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Tucson International Jewish Film Festival,
1751 N Rio Mayo
Green Valley, AZ 85614 United States
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Disobedience-avatar-large

The 2020 Tucson International Jewish Film Festival presents Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story.  Leading a post-screening discussion will be Peter Barrett, whose grandparents from Vienna received life-saving visas from Aristides de Sousa Mendes as they escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe in 1940.  The venue is accessible to patrons with disabilities, and parking is readily available.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information, contact Katie Spector, TIJFF Director, (502) 299-3000 or kspector@TucsonJCC.org

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February 2020
$15 - $20

Film screening at Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington, NY

February 2 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cinema Arts Centre,
423 Park Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743 United States
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Nobody Wants Us

The Cinema Arts Centre presents a screening of the documentary film, Nobody Wants Us (2019, dir. Laura Seltzer-Duny). 

Synopsis:  In 1940, a ship called the S.S. Quanza left the port of Lisbon carrying several hundred Jewish refugees to freedom.  Most of them held life-saving visas issued by the Holocaust rescuer Aristides de Sousa Mendes.  But events went terribly wrong, and the passengers became trapped on the ship because no country would take them in. Nobody Wants Us tells the gripping true story of how Eleanor Roosevelt stepped in to save the passengers on board because of her moral conviction that they were not “undesirables” (as the US State Department labeled them) but rather, “future patriotic Americans.” This is an episode in American history that everyone needs to know.  

Program:  The event is part of the “Sunday Schmooze” film-and-discussion series at the Cinema Arts Centre hosted by Fred Craden.  Schedule:

10 a.m. Bagel brunch.

11 a.m. Screening followed by Q&A with filmmaker Laura Seltzer-Duny and Olivia Mattis, President of the Sousa Mendes Foundation.  Special guest:  Gerald Mendes, grandson of Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

Cost:  $15 for members; $20 for non-members.

Tickets:  For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.

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Booksigning at US Holocaust Memorial Museum

February 9 @ 10:00 am - February 10 @ 4:00 pm
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024 United States
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joan

Joan Arnay Halperin will be in person at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum signing copies of her book, My Sister’s Eyes:  A Family Chronicle of Rescue and Loss During World War II — her tribute to the sister she never knew and to Aristides de Sousa Mendes who saved her family.  Her brother, Richard Arnay, will be at her side on Sunday.

free and open to the public

Noontime talk in Portland, OR

February 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education,
724 NW Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209 United States
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Jill

How Aristides de Sousa Mendes Saved Thousands from the Nazis

Jill Neuwelt will discuss her trip last year with the Sousa Mendes Foundation to commemorate the work of Aristides de Sousa Mendes. She and a group met in Bordeaux and travelled along the route that the refugees took to Lisbon. Among those on the trip was Henry Dyner, whose parents received a visa when he was 3 years old. He and his family eventually moved to Paraguay, then to Brazil and finally to the US. The group included three other descendants of visa recipients. During the talk, Jill will share the work of Aristides de Sousa Mendes and the stories of the survivors.

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March 2020
$10

Film screening in Vancouver, BC

March 2 @ 8:45 pm - 11:00 pm
Fifth Ave Cinemas,
2110 Burrard St,
Vancouver, BC Canada
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Disobedience-avatar-large

The Vancouver Jewish Film Festival presents the award-winning docudrama Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story telling the dramatic true story of a daring and large-scale rescue action during World War II.  Leading a post-film discussion will be Holocaust educator Myra Bard Michaelson.

Librarian Training Seminar on Long Island

March 11 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Nassau BOCES Robert E. Lupinskie Center,
1 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590 United States
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joan

In this workshop for Holocaust educators and librarians, Joan Arnay Halperin will be presenting her book, My Sister’s Eyes, dealing with how her family was saved during the war by Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese diplomat, who permitted thousands of desperate refugees safe passage via France from the Nazis.  The role of Rescuers will be discussed. Who is considered a Righteous Among the Nations? Most importantly the difference individuals and communities can make when they believe in moral responsibility and right conduct.  Note:  This event is restricted to Long Island-based school librarians.

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$5 - $7

Film screening in Boca Raton, FL

March 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Temple Beth Shalom,
19140 Lyons Road
Boca Raton, FL 33434 United States
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Disobedience-avatar-large

Temple Beth Shalom presents the award-winning docudrama Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story.  There will be a question & answer session following the showing led by Robert Jacobvitz, chair of the Sousa Mendes International Advisory Council.  Light refreshments will be served.  Parking available.  The synagogue is disability accessible.

Directions:  The Temple is located within Century Village in Boca Raton, between Yamato Road and Kimberly Boulevard. Upon arriving at the entrance, announce to the gate attendant you are visiting to see the movie at Temple Beth Shalom.  Directions will be given.

Cost $5 for members, $7 for non-members, cash or check.

Contact for inquiries:  Michael Hamerman, event coordinator: cellular phone: 908-451-0721 or mikehamerman@gmail.com

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