It seems to me that you have become unduly reactive towards Ellen and her objections to your " slant" on US policy.Sertorio wrote: ↑Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:35 am
Thank you for your kind words, Neverfail. I don't usually go around drawing the attention for any good things my country may have done, but Ellen pissed me. Because she disagrees with my criticism of American policies - not American people -, and because she has no valid arguments to counter my views,she decided to swing at Portugal for its apparent passivity while the US was freeing people from concentration camps. She preferred to forget that many people did not need being freed by US forces, because they had been able to escape occupied Europe via Portugal. I would not be surprised if some of Ellen's relatives or acquaintances lived because of the help Portugal gave them, but Ellen is one of those persons who never remembers or ever apologizes...
The US can afford to posture heroic. It was never even remotely in danger of being invaded and overrun by Nazi Germany or any of its other Axis partners in crime. It's unique combination of geographic location; size, demography and economic productivity made this country unassailable to would-be invaders while positioning it to "strike out" against enemy states once it had rid itself of isolationist hang-ups. But to defy Nazi policy when you are living in the shadow of the Third Reich would have required real guts.
Sertorio, the role played by Portugal can still be contraversial. While researching online I found this reference to Aristides de Sousa Mendes'; Portugal's now highly esteemed consul in Bordeaux in 1940:
Mendes was not thanked by his country for the common decency he demonstrated back in 1940..When he was called back to Portugal in June 1940, Sousa Mendes was tried on 15 charges including violating Portugal's prohibition on visas for Jews and other stateless people. He was found guilty and dismissed from the diplomatic service. A father of 15, he was stripped of his pension and lived in poverty until his death in 1954.
It seems that at that early stage in WW2 it was not Portuguise government policy to assist Jewish and other refugees to escape the Nazis. (In mitigation though, no one knew about or foresaw the death camps at this time.)
However, Portugal's role as an escape route and embarkation point for escapees from the Third Reich was not and could not have been indivisable from that of its neighbour Spain. (After all, to reach Portugal from any part of Nazi occupied Europe you normally need to travel across Spainish territory.) The Spanish civil war had ended only a matter of weeks before WW2 began and Spain's economy and infrastructure would have been in utter ruins (at least Portugal escaped that fate). Despite that and despite the fact that Spain's dictator General Francisco franco was indebted to Berlin for helping him win that conflict Franco still stood up to Hitler:
Spain allowed almost 30,000 Jewish refugees to enter, primarily from 1939 to 1941. These refugees, mostly from France, were permitted to cross Spain on their way to Portugal. German pressure reduced the number of Jews admitted entry into Spain to fewer than 7,500 during the years 1942–44, although Spanish consuls distributed 4,000-5,000 identity documents (crucial to escape) to Jews in various parts of Europe. Portugal (a neutral country friendly to the Allies) permitted many thousands of Jews to reach the port of Lisbon. A number of American and French Jewish organizations helped the refugees, once in Lisbon, to reach the United States and South America.
https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/ ... ied-europe