Portugal Offered Citizenship to Save Dutch Jews from Nazis

The war-time Portuguese government of the late President Antonio Salazar was prepared to grant Portuguese nationality to Dutch Sephardi Jews to save them from Nazi occupation, Amsterdam Sephardi circles have disclosed here. They said the Portuguese offer was contingent on the Jews’ ability to reach Portuguese territory. The Germans refused to let them leave Holland for Portugal and the proposal was thus not carried out.

The Sephardi comment came in response to a statement made here recently by Vienna-Jewish historian and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal who, in the course of a lecture said that such an offer had been made by Spain. Wiesenthal did not quote any sources to support his claim.

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