Habsburg

DE BRAGANCE, Antonia (age 78)
DEGENFELD, Count Henry (age 50)
HABSBURG, Adelheid (age 26)
HABSBURG, Carl Ludwig (age 22)
HABSBURG, Charlotte (age 19)
HABSBURG, Elizabeth (age 18)
HABSBURG, Felix (age 24)
HABSBURG, Crown Prince Otto (age 28)
HABSBURG, Robert (age 25)
HABSBURG, Rudolf (age 20)
HABSBURG, Empress Zita née BOURBON-PARME (age 48)

The above visas were issued by Aristides de Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux in June 1940, allowing the Imperial Family of Austria to escape the Nazis and effectively saving the life of the Crown Prince Otto von HABSBURG who had been sentenced to death by the Nazis following the Anschluss, the German annexation of Austria.

The HABSBURG family safely crossed into Portugal thanks to the transit visas granted by Aristides de Sousa Mendes. They subsequently went to the United States. Elizabeth HABSBURG traveling under her title of Princess de BAR and Empress Zita HABSBURG traveling under her title of Duchess de BAR flew to New York on the Dixie Clipper on July 20, 1940. Crown Prince Otto, traveling as Otto BAR, flew to New York on the Atlantic Clipper on July 10, 1940. The family would spend the war years safely on the American continent, Otto settling in Washington DC and other members of the family settling first in Massachusetts and eventually in Quebec.

HABSBURG family in Massachusetts, 1940

HABSBURG family in Massachusetts, 1940


























Antonia DE BRAGANCE

Antonia DE BRAGANCE


























Following is the testimonial of Otto von HABSBURG sent to the Sousa Mendes family on May 18, 1968, written by his secretary to Joana Mendes:

His Imperial Highness the Archduke Otto of Habsburg has instructed me to express to you his warmest and sincerest thanks for your very kind letter of March 23, and for the documents enclosed in your letter.

The Archduke … was deeply moved by the content of your letter, which reminded him of those fateful and sad days in Bordeaux in June 1940….

The Archduke Otto of Habsburg will forever be deeply grateful to your father for the noble way in which he had also helped, in this dangerous moment, him and his entire family by giving them immediately the necessary visas for Portugal, so that on the next day the Archduke and his family went to the Spanish border, and from there, then the following morning, to Spain and then to Portugal.