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Exterior: burgundy fabric with gold printing; Interior: photograph and with hand stamp and signature on left; form with red and green diagonal stripe

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:

Branquinho, an interim diplomatic official chargé d’affaires in the Portuguese Legation in 1944, is credited with having saved as many as 1000 Jewish lives from deportation to Auschwitz during his tenure. He issued Portuguese visas on behalf of Hungarian Jews with family or business relations in Portugal or Brazil or Portuguese colonies. After the Arrow Cross Party takeover, he issued - along with Lutz, Wallenberg, and other diplomats - protective passes to Jews, who were then placed in diplomatically protected buildings in Budapest’s International Ghetto set up by the Arrow Cross Party government. He was also instrumental in establishing an office of the Portuguese Red Cross at the embassy to care for Jewish refugees. As Portugal’s immigration policies under Salazar had become less restrictive during this period, Branquinho issued Portuguese passports and provisional passports to Jewish families whose ultimate destination was Mandatory Palestine.

In late October 1944, Branquinho received instructions from Lisbon to go to Bregenz, Austria. Here an agreement was forged between the Hungarian government and the German ambassador to respect Jews and their family members sheltered in the Portuguese Legation building in Budapest.

This agreement provides the context for the following document: a consular ID signed by Branquinho on October 23, 1944.

This consular ID belonged to “Frau Robert Peto” who is described as the sister of a Dr. Miklos Svab, an employee at the Portuguese Legation in Hungary. An earlier document, a provisional passport also signed by Branquinho in August 1944, has Mrs. Peto’s maiden name as Elizabeth Schonfeld, the current wife of Robert Peto. She is 46 years old, without a profession, and is described as returning to Portuguese territory: Lisbon (though she is originally from Tolcsva, Hungary). Being identified as the sister of an embassy employee - Dr. Svab - afforded an extra measure of protection from the murderous Arrow Cross given for a Jewish woman consistent with the agreement reached in Bregenz.

As a consequence of Branquinho’s heroism, a total of 200 Jews in the Portuguese Legation building in Budapest were saved from deportation to Auschwitz, including 50 who sheltered there and 35 Jewish employees and their families. Among the latter were Mrs. Peto and Dr. Svab.


5 1/2 x 4 1/4"


Frau Robert Peto, Carlos de Liz Teixeira Branquinho



Alberto Carlos de Liz Teixeira Branquinho Righteous of Nations Portuguese Diplomat (1902-1973), Signed Consular ID

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