Primera charla online sobre la vida de Aristides de Sousa Mendes con su nieto

Aristides de Sousa Mendes
Aristides de Sousa Mendes

Aristides de Sousa Mendes, cónsul portugués en Burdeos en 1940, entregó entre 10.000 y 30.000 visas a judíos y salvó sus vidas. Es un Justo Entre las Naciones. Ha sido reconocido por el Papa Francisco en Junio de este año: El portugués, hace ochenta años, decidió seguir la voz de la conciencia y salvó la vida a miles de judíos y otros perseguidos”, dijo Francisco.

Este 29 de Octubre se realizará el primer encuentro online sobre su vida. Organizado por la Embajada de Portugal junto al Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano. Participarán el nieto de De Sousa Mendes, el embajador de Portugal en Argentina y el
Representante del Centro Camões Instituto de Cooperación de la Lengua portuguesa en Argentina y Responsable de los Asuntos Culturales de la Embajada de Portugal, João Ribeirete .

Vis á Vis dialogó con Ribeirete sobre la primera charla que se dará en el marco de la Cátedra de Estudios Judeo-Portugueses, el significado de el Justo Entre las Naciones en su país y el dilema moral que representó tomar la decisión.

  • ¿De qué se trata este primer encuentro online?

La sesión inaugural de la Cátedra consiste en una conversación sobre la vida de Aristides de Sousa Mendes con uno de los nietos del ex Cónsul de Burdeos, el Dr. António de Sousa Mendes. Será moderada por el Sr. Víctor Lopes (un argentino luso-descendiente que siempre estuvo vinculado a la causa de Aristides de Sousa Mendes). También participará el Embajador João Ribeiro de Almeida y yo mismo.

Esta conversación se llevó a cabo en la lengua materna de cada uno de los participantes, siendo posteriormente transcrita, traducida y subtitulada al castellano en el ámbito de la Beca Fernão Mendes Pinto.

Esta primera sesión estará precedida por tres mensajes de apoyo a la nueva Cátedra Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a cargo del Rabino Ariel Stofenmacher, Rector del Seminario Rabínico, del Embajador João Ribeiro de Almeida y de la Dra. Marta Santos Pais, Delegada del Proyecto “Nunca Olvidar”.

  •  ¿Qué significa para Portugal Arístides de Sousa Mendes?

Este año, con motivo del 80 aniversario del heroico acto de conciencia que permitió el rescate de miles de refugiados de la persecución nazi, la Asamblea de la República Portuguesa decidió atribuir al ex cónsul de Burdeos, Arístides de Sousa Mendes, los honores del Panteón Nacional.

Arístides de Sousa Mendes es, ante todo, un héroe nacional. Su vida se considera ejemplar. Los valores que guiaron su vida son valores que queremos en nuestro presente y en nuestro futuro como sociedad.

  • Como diplomático debió enfrentarse a un dilema moral, obedecer a su gobierno o a su conciencia, gracias a eso perdió su carrera diplomática. ¿Qué reflexión nos puede entregar al respecto?

Este dilema moral habría sido aún más agudo, si consideramos que Arístides de Sousa Mendes tenía a su cargo una familia muy numerosa (su esposa Angelina y los 12 hijos del matrimonio).

Su difícil decisión comprometió el bienestar de todos ellos. Arístides de Sousa Mendes sabía que su familia sufriría por su acto de desobediencia y aún así no dudó.

Aunque fuese la opción más fácil y segura, Arístides de Sousa Mendes decidió no permanecer indiferente ante el sufrimiento de todos aquellos que buscaban desesperadamente un visado para viajar a Portugal.

Se dejó guiar por su conciencia, por lo que sabía que era correcto según la realidad en que se encontraba esa Francia ocupada por Hitler.

Tras este acto de desobediencia al dictador portugués, António de Oliveira Salazar, se inició un proceso disciplinario para retirarlo de la Carrera Diplomática. Pretendía que sirva de ejemplo. Posteriormente en 1988, ya en democracia y póstumamente, Arístides de Sousa Mendes fue reintegrado en la Carrera Diplomática como Embajador.

  • ¿Cuáles son los próximos encuentros previstos por la Embajada en el contexto de la pandemia?

La Segunda Sesión de esta Cátedra, prevista para noviembre de 2020, permitirá la presentación, proyección y debate del documental Arístides de Sousa Mendes – Un Hombre Bueno, de Victor Lopes (2016).

Para las siguientes sesiones de esta Cátedra, se solicitará la participación de varias personalidades portuguesas, que serán mencionadas oportunamente.

Leer más: Homenaje de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires al Justo entre las Naciones, Aristides de Sousa Mendes

La charla online será el jueves 29 de octubre a las 14 hs. Para inscribirse se debe ingresar a: www.seminariorabinico.org/sousamendes

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