Brazil honors diplomats who saved Jews from Nazis

Two officials who issued hundreds of visas to fleeing Holocaust survivors celebrated at Remembrance Day ceremony

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Two Brazilian diplomats who helped save hundreds of Jews from ending up in Nazi concentration camps have been honored during an International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony.

The Wednesday night ceremony paid tribute to Aracy Guimaraes Rosa, a staff member of the Brazilian consulate in Hamburg in the 1930s and 1940s and Luis Martins de Souza Dantas, Brazil’s ambassador to France during the same period. Both issued hundreds of visas to Jews.

President Dilma Rousseff attended the ceremony organized by Brazil’s Jewish Confederation and Brasilia’s Jewish Cultural Association.

Claudio Lottenberg, president of the Jewish confederation, said the two diplomats had “the courage to disobey foreign ministry orders to restrict the entrance of Jews into Brazil.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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