Sosa Mendes Documentary
"Another of the Intransigent Ones: Sousa Mendes, Lawyer, Diplomat and Savior of 30,000 Wartime Refugees"
Monday, November 24 2014, 6 - 8:30pm
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
55 Fifth Avenue, Jacob Burns Moot Court Room
New York, NY 10003
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
After a screening of Semyon Pinkhasov’s new documentary, “…With God Against Man…”, we will discuss its subject, the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes. During 1939-40, as Consul General from Portugal in Bordeaux, France, Sousa Mendes had to make a fateful decision: should he follow the orders of his government and decline to give life-saving visas to thousands of refugees fleeing Hitler’s Europe, or follow his conscience and disobey these instructions. To contradict his own government meant the end of his career as well as hardship for his large family including his 15 children back in Portugal. Sousa Mendes, intransigently, went with the dictates of his conscience and not of his government. Thanks to this firm adherence to what he knew was right, 30,000 people were brought to safety from Vichy France to Portugal, in whose neutral borders they found at least temporary safety.
This event, like the film that we are featuring, brings to life and further recognizes the steadfastness of an insufficiently acknowledged wartime hero. A panel following the film discusses Sousa Mendes and elaborates his pathway to humanitarianism.
MODERATOR. James Traub, author and contributing foreign correspondent to the SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES, frequent writer for THE NEW YORKER.
Joan Halperin, daughter of Sousa Mendes visa recipients and member of the Sousa Mendes Foundation.
Mordecai Paldiel, professor at Stern College of Yeshiva University, author, consultant to the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, and former head of the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem.
Richard Weisberg, professor at Cardozo Law School and Founding Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Program, and author most recently of IN PRAISE OF INTRANSIGENCE.