Visa Recipients

  • KLEINBERG, Béatrice P
    Age 2
    Age 27
  • KLEINBERG, Georges P T
    Age 27
  • KLEINBERG, Henri Simon P A
    Age 40 | Visa #1909
    Age 68
  • LEINKRAM, Matylde née WELLNER A
    Age 66 | Visa #2147
  • TOLKOWSKY, Charles A
    Age 52 | Visa #2145
    Age 42 | Visa #2148
  • TOLKOWSKY, Huguette V P
    Age 9
  • TOLKOWSKY, Léonie née GLAS P
    Age 64
  • TOLKOWSKY, Lucienne Joy A
    Age 18 | Visa #2146
  • TOLKOWSKY, Marcel P A
    Age 42 | Visa #1256
    Age 38 | Visa #1255
  • TOLKOWSKY, Nicole P
    Age 11

About the Family

Most of these visas were issued by Aristides de Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux on June 7 and June 18, 1940. Those of Georges KLEINBERG and his mother Rosa were issued in Bayonne in June 1940, exact date unknown.

The TOLKOWSKY family crossed into Portugal. Marcel and Marthe TOLKOWSKY and their daughters Nicole and Huguette sailed on the vessel Excambion from Lisbon to New York in July 1940.

Flora and Beatrice KLEINBERG traveled from Bordeaux to New York on the Washington in June 1940. Henri KLEINBERG crossed into Portugal and traveled from Lisbon to New York in August of that year on the vessel Nea Hellas.

Charles and Felicie TOLKOWSKY traveled with their daughter Lucienne on the Serpa Pinto from Lisbon to New York in March 1941.

Rosa and Georges KLEINBERG went to London. Georges perished during the war, and Rosa later emigrated to the US.

Rosa KLEINBERG's daughter, Julia GOLDMUNTZ, sailed with her family from Lisbon to New York on the Quanza in August 1940.

Léonie TOLKOWSKY sailed from Trinidad to New York in June 1941 on the ship Evangeline.

  • Video
  • Photos
  • Artifacts

Visa issued to Marcel TOLKOWSKY in Bordeaux

Visa issued to Marthe TOLKOWSKY in Bordeaux


Page of Sousa Mendes Visa Registry Book listing this family and others - Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives, Lisbon


Page of Sousa Mendes Visa Registry Book listing this family and others - Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives, Lisbon


Page of Sousa Mendes Visa Registry Book listing this family and others - Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives, Lisbon

  • Testimonial

Testimonial of Georges KLEINBERG

In Bayonne I met my mother again, and continued my trip to London with her. I also met numerous acquaintances, a large number of them for the first time since Belgium. But when I try to picture Bayonne, when the spectacle of its streets and of its sufferings presents itself again to my mind, I can find no other name for it than the "Gates of Hell." For many, the gate is closed forever, against the last hope.

An unbelievable crowd filled the town. This was a new act of the tragedy of France that was being played out. All those who wanted to leave, those who wanted to fight on, those who were afraid flowed toward the only exit that still existed. Present there were the diplomatic corps, writers, artists, and financiers. There was the innumerable procession of Jews of Belgium and France, over whom floated the shadows of pogroms and assassinations. They had seen, as I was able to see myself, the German refugees and their still open scars. One had to FLEE, flee towards it did not matter where, always further away, to the furthest point of Europe. But visas became more and more difficult to obtain.

The first visa that all of these unfortunate people had to obtain was that of Portugal. In front of the consulate, thousands of people were standing in line. The irritated soldiers who were on guard threatened to charge them with the bayonets. There were tears and fainting. I have seen old people stand on line for THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS, without interruption, taking turns in going to look for food, in order to finally have their visa refused because their passport carried a stamp that had been useless for a long time, dating from the Spanish Civil War, stating, "valid for all countries except Spain."

Then there was a dramatic incident. The consul of Portugal lived in a small villa in Anglet outside the town. All night people were coming under his window, pulling the bell, and shouting. Suddenly, the consul appeared, in pajamas, and shouted: "Enter, all of you, enter! I will give visas to everyone." He had gone mad.