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Portugal and the Holocaust: research and memory

In December 2019, Portugal became a member of the International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance and, in line with this organization's mission, has made a greater commitment to promoting further education, remembrance and research on the topic.

The year 2020 was an opportunity to celebrate several Holocaust-related anniversaries: the eighty years since the rescue of thousands of men, women, and children, many of them Jews, under the responsibility of the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes; the seventy-five years since the beginning of the Nuremberg Trials; the seventy-five years since the signing of the United Nations Charter and the creation of the United Nations Organization (UNO); and the sixty-five years since Portugal's admission to the UN.

In this context, the Memory of the Holocaust was the object of the Council of Ministers Resolution no. 51/2020, of June 25, and its program includes a set of initiatives to strengthen knowledge, preserve memory, and disseminate.

With the Holocaust and its conceptual framework as a reference, we intend to promote scientific research, developing new knowledge in several areas in a multidisciplinary perspective, with contributions from history, philosophy, human rights, religion studies, political science, law, sociology, literature, arts, in short, with the developments of social sciences and humanities, reinforcing its presence in the national scientific agenda.

The special support was intended for the following lines of research:

  • The actions of the Portuguese who stood out in several areas, namely: in supporting the victims of Nazi persecution and extermination policies; in the life stories of Portuguese victims of the Nazi concentration camp during World War II; in the role of Portuguese diplomacy, where the figure of consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes stands out; in the actions of journalists, taking into account their influence in shaping public opinion; and in the cultural representation and interpretation that arose from all these events.
  • Study of the various factors that contributed to both inhumane practices and individual and collective acts of self-denial and solidarity (political, ideological, social, cultural, religious, economic, etc.) in the context of the Holocaust.
  • Archival treatment, digitalization, and study of Portuguese documentary collections related to the mentioned themes.
  • Provision of educational resources, in physical or digital format, including the creation and production of artistic content that highlights the importance of knowledge and memory about the Holocaust in the field of education, particularly in education for citizenship.
  • Collaborative research that promotes best practices in knowledge exchange, public engagement, and the impact of research on this topic.

Support Recipients

Higher education institutions and their institutes, state laboratories and other public research institutions, non-profit scientific societies or scientific associations, public or private non-profit institutions, which may apply individually or in partnership.


FCT has edited a brochure presenting the 6 projects selected within the scope of the special support to R&D projects "Portugal and the Holocaust: research and memory", which is available in digital format.

A session to present the projects was held at the Palácio das Galveias Library on November 25th, 2021, and can be viewed here.


  • 6


  • 0,2 M€


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