Aristides Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, France, who saved more than 30,000 people from Nazy persecution by issuing visas for safe passage to Portugal during WWII, defying the direct orders of his government presided by the dictator Oliveira Salazar.
In those days, the Consul was a torn man: he knew that the Jewish refugees needed more and more visas to get to Portugal and leave from there to the New World; but he is hindered by Salazar’s infamous Circular 14, which forbade the granting of visas to Jews. The power of Sousa Mendes’ catholic beliefs prevailed since he defied Circular 14.The month of June 1940 turned into a long race against time, in which Sousa Mendes eventually issued 30,000 visas, as the Nazy threat escalated.
Law students learn early Law versus Ethics. Sousa Mendes’ behavior is an example of an illegal but ethical case, whereas Planned Parenthood’s core business, abortion of preborn children, is an example of a legal but unethical case. However, both cases share supreme infamy against Humanity.