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The Jerusalem Municipality on Tuesday named a square after Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Souza Mendes, who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. The diplomat challenged the Portuguese dictator Salazar and granted visas to France for people fleeing Nazi persecution. The mayor of Jerusalem said that the square “now bears the hero's name”.
At a ceremony in the Jerusalem district of Kiryat a-Yovel, attended by several descendants of the people saved by the hero and members of the diplomat's family, the courage of Mendes was glorified .
“This little corner of Jerusalem, the eternal city, now bears the name of a hero”,– Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lev said. “Think of the thousands of people who will pass through here every day. Many of them may owe their lives to Mendes.
“History did not immediately recognize his dedication and courage, but today we must not forget such courageous deeds. The shadow of anti-Semitism accompanies us in all spheres of life. Therefore, it is so important to remember the courage of this hero”, – added the mayor.
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