Jews and Portugal


In his recent book about Portuguese people during the Holocaust days [see here], Esther Muznick writes about international committees for the relief of the Jews during the 2nd World War. One was JOINT, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee [see here for details]. Accordingly with The Holocauts Encylopedia the JDC, who had links with Polish underground [see here and here] «provided material support and facilitated the emigration of refugees who had escaped to neutral countries including Portugal and Turkey or who had found refuge in other Axis countries, including Vichy France and Japan. Between 1939 and 1944, JDC officials helped 81,000 European Jews to find asylum through emigration to various parts of the world».
This was only one of the bodies to assist Jews in these hard times. HICEM, Jewish Agency, Unitarian Service Committee and Quakers, Red Cross, are others to be mentioned. Portuguese neutrality provided a political opportunity to the routes of escape and evasion and to the support of these in danger in occupied territories.