PETITION RE ANTI-JUDAIC MASSACRE OF LISBON OF 1506

“To: The mayor of Lisbon

The proposal to construct a memorial to the victims of the Jewish massacre of Lisbon in 1506, slated for discussion and approval by the municipal Council of Lisbon on the 31st of October, 2007, was adjourned without a return date and is at risk of being forgotten or subverted in its civic sense.
In the name of the memory of the victims of the horrendous crime committed in Lisbon on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of April 1506, which victimized thousands of New Christians forcibly baptized by King D. Manuel I in 1497, the citizen signatories to this petition demand from his Worship, the Mayor of Lisbon, to maintain and execute the proposal as it was conceived and on the symbolic date of April 19, 2008.”

Translated from Portuguese from the petition created by Dr. Jorge Martins, author of “Portugal e os Judeus” (The Jews of Portugal), 2006, in 3 volumes (in Portuguese).

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION. GO TO
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/samusque/

Proposal n. º 423/2007
(Translation by mlopesazevedo)

(Preamble numbered 1 to 3 is at the end of this page)

4. In the year of 1506, the city of Lisbon was the stage for the most dramatic and bloody anti-Judaic episode of all those that are known in our territory:

5. During three days, 19th, 20th and the 21st of April, these events, that started next to St. Domenic's Convent (presently St. Domenic's square), resulted in about two thousand Lisbonites, for mere suspicion of professing Judaism, being barbarously assassinated and burned in two enormous fires in Rossio and Ribeira.

6. Evoking this heinous crime which constituted the massacre of 1506, inscribed in the politics of intolerance, that, according to Antero de Quental, contributed to the decadence of the Peninsular people, to posthumously do justice to all the victims of intolerance and to constitute an unequivocal affirmation of a cosmopolitan, multiethnic and multicultural Lisbon.

The councillors of the Socialist Party, councillor Helena Rosetta, and councillor Jose Sa Fernandes, pursuant to paragraph no. 7 of article 64 of Statute 169/99 of the 18th of September, ratified by Statute 5-A/2002 of the 11th of January, have the honour of proposing to the City Council of Lisbon, at its meeting of the 31st of October 2007, (that) it resolve:

1. To install in the city of Lisbon a Memorial to the Victims of Intolerance, evocative of the Jewish massacre of Lisbon of 1506 and all victims who suffered discrimination and personal villainy because of their origin, conviction or ideas.

a. The Memorial to be located in the St. Dominic's square, should have as a central element an olive tree of great bearing and contemplate an engraved stone evocative of the Jewish massacre of Lisbon of 1506, as well as an urbanistic setting of the surrounding area, its conception, execution and installation to be carried out by municipal services.

b. The inauguration of the memorial will be on the 19th day of April 2008, in a ceremony promoted by the City Council of Lisbon, to which will be invited all ethnic and religious communities of the city.

The Councillors

(PREAMBLE)
1. November 16 next is International day of Tolerance, universally understood, in terms of the declaration of the principles of tolerance adopted by UNESCO, not with concession, condescendence or indulgence, but rather with an attitude of respect and mutual recognition, animated by the recognition of the universal rights of the human being and of fundamental liberties;

2. International Day of Tolerance is a universal call to one of the greatest virtues of humanity, substantiated in the active pledge and in the comprehension of the richness and diversity of humanity,

3. The pedagogy of combating racism, discrimination, xenophobia and all analogous forms of intolerance, constitutes a fundamental axis of democracy and of the peaceful coexistence amongst peoples:

IF YOU WISH TO EMAIL THE MAYOR OF LISBON AND THE SUPPORTING COUNCILORS see below for the email addresses.

Memorial-Lisbon Massacre 1506-Ralf Wokan

Sehr geehrter Herr Stadtdirektor Costa,

der Stadtverwaltung liegt ordnungsgemäß ein Antrag (proposta 423/2007) zur Abstimmung vor.
Inhalt dieses Antrags ist die Errichtung eines Monuments zum Gedenken des Massakers an jüdischen Mitmenschen im Jahr 1506.
Dieser Antrag ist dem Stadtparlament am 31.10.2007 zur Entscheidung vorgelegt worden.
Bis heute -nach meinem Wissensstand- ist über den Antrag nicht entschieden.
Als ausländischer Bürger, der in Portugal lebt, erlaube ich mir höflichst, Sie als verantwortlichen Stadtdirektor zu erinnern, diesen Antrag Nr. 423 mit Wohlwollen und zeitnah positiv zu bescheiden.
Auf die Ausführungen in
LADINA, (.pt) und FRIENDS OF MARRANOS (.en) sowie Rua da Judiaria (.pt) nehme ich ausdrücklich Bezug.

In der Hoffnung, keine Fehlbitte geleistet zu haben
verbleibe ich hochachtungsvoll
und mit freundlichen Grüßen

Ralf Wokan

Memorial-Lisbon Massacre 1506-Alma Gottlieb

Dear Mayor Costa,
I have recently learned that the City Council of Lisbon was planning to pass a motion on October 30 to install, in St. Dominic's Square, a memorial to the Jews who were massacred on that very square in Lisbon in 1506, and to all who have suffered discrimination and personal villainy in Portugal because of their origin, conviction or ideas. I applaud this effort and urge you to carry it forward.
As a scholar who lived in Lisbon last year while starting a new research project focusing on Cape Verdeans who have some Jewish ancestry, I have come to care about Portugal deeply, and it gratified me to learn that the country was beginning to come to terms with its intolerant past in this modest but symbolically resonant and appropriate way. It now grieves me to learn that the motion is currently being blocked because of intervention by the Catholic church.
As many historians have written, those who are ignorant of their history are doomed to repeat it. A public reminder of the country's grave mistakes will serve as an important lesson and warning to the citizens of the future.
I lived in Lisbon during the period when you were elected as president of the City Council, and I was highly impressed by the integrity you demonstrated concerning many diverse issues. I am confident that your ethical instincts will prevail, and that you will manage to put this important initiative back up for discussion and, ultimately, that you will count as one of your prouder achievements that the aforementioned monument will have been commissioned and installed under your wise leadership.

Sincerely,
Alma Gottlieb
Professor of Anthropology, Women's Studies and African Studies
Member, Campus Honors Faculty; Interdisciplinary Concentration in
Cultural Studies and Interpretive Research
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
109 Davenport Hall
Urbana, IL 61801
USA
Tel. (private line): 217-244-3515
Tel. (dept. sec'y): 217-333-3616
Office fax: 217-244-3490
Home fax: 217-367-7638
Website with videos and photos of Beng babies: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/gottlieb/gottlieb_videos.html

Memorial-Lisbon Massacre 1506-Rona Hart

Re: Lisbon Anti-Judaic Massacre of 1506

"Rona Hart"

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:11 pm (PST)


Thanks for this information and opportunity. I have forwarded the email to the Board
of Deputies (UK), Council of Christians and Jews in London, the Office of the Chief
Rabbi and various individuals including religious leaders and hope they will all write!

Maybe others could also try their local community leaders, etc. to generate a
powerful response.

Regards to all, RLH


A request to the Mayor

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:12 pm (PST)


To Mayor Antonio Costa, Lisbon
Councillor Jose Fernandes
Councillor Maria Rosetta

Your Worship and Councillors,

I'm sorry I can't write to you in your own language, but my ancestors left Portugal for Holland and England some generations ago, and my mother tongue is English.

I was gratified to learn that the City Council of Lisbon was planning to commemorate the martyrdom of thousands of Jews who died for their faith in 1506, together with all those who had suffered because of their convictions or ideas.

This seems a very appropriate gesture - one which would lead to reconciliation and goodwill among faith groups, and would be welcomed by many.

If there is any doubt that this timely and humanitarian project will be postponed or cancelled, I hope all problems will be overcome and hope you will be able to see that this excellent idea is carried through.

In Essex, south east England, where I live, there are memorials to individuals who went to the stake for their faith during the reign of Mary Tudor of England (1555-58). One plaque quotes the words of the ordinary Englishman who declared that if each one of the hairs of his head was a life, he would give them all, in order to worship as he believed was right.

There are other memorials, some in quite small villages, to recall the deaths of one or two individuals.

Accordingly, it would be altogether fitting that Lisbon should honour the thousands of her citizens who perished in 1506 and thereafter.

With kind regards

R. Linda Hart (descendant of Mendes Coutinho family)

ANTI-JUDAIC MASSACRE OF LISBON IN 1506

National theatre Maria II, Rossio square, formerly Estaus Palace, tribunal of the Inquisition. The underground prison was slightly to the west, i.e. left. It was the site of one of the bonfires of the mass burnings in April of 1506 of 2, 000 to 4,000 New Christians, Jews who were forcibly baptized in 1497, ironically many on the same site. Unlike Spain, Jews were not actually expelled from Portugal, they were ordered baptized by the king and prohibited from initially leaving the realm.




IN THE MATTER OF THE ANTI-JUDAIC MASSACRE OF LISBON IN 1506
(Portuguese version at http://www.ladina.blogspot.com/)

In the City Council of the city of Lisbon
(Motion deferred on October 30, 2007, no new date yet set to vote on the motion.)

Mayor António Costa gab.presidente@cm-lisboa.pt

Councillor José Fernandes jose.sa.fernandes@cm-lisboa.pt

Councillor Maria Rosetta gab.cpl@cm-lisboa.pt


Proposal n. º 423/2007
(Translation by mlopesazevedo)

(Preamble numbered 1 to 3 is at the end of this page)

4. In the year of 1506, the city of Lisbon was the stage for the most dramatic and bloody anti-Judaic episode of all those that are known in our territory:

5. During three days, 19th, 20th and the 21st of April, these events, that started next to St. Domenic's Convent (presently St. Domenic's square), resulted in about two thousand Lisbonites, for mere suspicion of professing Judaism, being barbarously assassinated and burned in two enormous fires in Rossio and Ribeira.

6. Evoking this heinous crime which constituted the massacre of 1506, inscribed in the politics of intolerance, that, according to Antero de Quental, contributed to the decadence of the Peninsular people, to posthumously do justice to all the victims of intolerance and to constitute an unequivocal affirmation of a cosmopolitan, multiethnic and multicultural Lisbon.

The councillors of the Socialist Party, councillor Helena Rosetta, and councillor Jose Sa Fernandes, pursuant to paragraph no. 7 of article 64 of Statute 169/99 of the 18th of September, ratified by Statute 5-A/2002 of the 11th of January, have the honour of proposing to the City Council of Lisbon, at its meeting of the 31st of October 2007, (that) it resolve:

1. To install in the city of Lisbon a Memorial to the Victims of Intolerance, evocative of the Jewish massacre of Lisbon of 1506 and all victims who suffered discrimination and personal villainy because of their origin, conviction or ideas.

a. The Memorial to be located in the St. Dominic's square, should have as a central element an olive tree of great bearing and contemplate an engraved stone evocative of the Jewish massacre of Lisbon of 1506, as well as an urbanistic setting of the surrounding area, its conception, execution and installation to be carried out by municipal services.

b. The inauguration of the memorial will be on the 19th day of April 2008, in a ceremony promoted by the City Council of Lisbon, to which will be invited all ethnic and religious communities of the city.

The Councillors

(PREAMBLE)
1. November 16 next is International day of Tolerance, universally understood, in terms of the declaration of the principles of tolerance adopted by UNESCO, not with concession, condescendence or indulgence, but rather with an attitude of respect and mutual recognition, animated by the recognition of the universal rights of the human being and of fundamental liberties;

2. International Day of Tolerance is a universal call to one of the greatest virtues of humanity, substantiated in the active pledge and in the comprehension of the richness and diversity of humanity,

3. The pedagogy of combating racism, discrimination, xenophobia and all analogous forms of intolerance, constitutes a fundamental axis of democracy and of the peaceful coexistence amongst peoples:

Finally At Home

FINALMENTE EM CASA

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7qyYu0SZnwU/RzPblQ5AXtI/AAAAAAAAAMk/Ck_VGdO5Y4I/s320/RETORNO+Emmanu+El+Temple+%285%29.JPG
Rabbi Posner, Zeev ben Amaral. Yaacov Gladstone


FINALLY AT HOME


Zeev ben Amaral
Translated by elopesazevedo

Finally…yes, finally, at home. It was on the 4th of November of 2007…an unforgettable day, the most important of my life and for my family. It’s not just any house, but my family roots- the Jewish people, Israel and Judaism. Uffff, what a relief and so much joy…it’s the same feeling of an athlete, when he crosses the finish line…Wow..I arrived..and I leave behind a whole set of feelings, of pain, of anxiety, of despair, etc…I finally succeeded.
Yes, it has been a long journey, a journey that started in 1985, at the time of my first trip to Israel, where I stayed until the end of 1991. After that it was in Portugal, in 2003. Posterioriorly, already in this year of 2007, I tried to return once more to Israel, and finally…finally…finally, a door opened, in New York, in the United States of America.
This trip starts in Israel, more precisely in Jerusalem. I am a native of Moçambique, 53 years old, and father of two adult sons. The oldest is called João and is married to Elizabeth, an American citizen. The youngest is called Bruno and is single. They both live in London. Oh, I am also a friend of another Moçambican, who also lives in Israel, Avner.
After despairing and failed attempts to return via an Orthodox organization, and after another conversation about the issue with my friend Avner (a yeshiva student at Machon Meir, Jerusalem), the name of Yaacov Gladstone came to me, resident in Manhattan New York, founder and president of the organization, “Friends of Marranos” (friendsofmarranos@gmail.com). This organization is dedicated to the transmission of Jewish education and to rendering help in the publication of Marrano stories and memories.
Continuing, in this manner my whole journey starts, in the endeavour to finalize my return. I telephone Miguel of Belmonte and ask him if he has the phone number of Yaacov Gladstone. He responds that no, but that he would enter into contact with Manuel Azevedo, because he surely would know it. For those who do not know, Manuel Azevedo is a Marrano, a Canadian lawyer, of Portuguese origin and very active in pro-Judaic cultural movements and is one of the founders of the “Ladina” organization.
And thus it was, Miguel (a member of the Jewish community of Belmonte) sent me an email with Yaacov’s number. I telephoned Yaacov Gladstone and asked him if it was possible to find a rabbi interested in performing a “mitzvah” (he who saves a soul saves humanity). Yaacov responded on the telephone that he would take care of the matter. And thus it was so. after a few days, Yaacov sent me an email confirming the possibility of my return being realized in New York. These are the words in his email:

“Dear Zeev,

Rabbi Posner would like to perform the Returning Ceremony on Nov.4, 2 PM. at Temple Emanu El. So please make sure to arrive before that date. Rabbi Posner will be arriving from Israel on Nov. 1. I will invite friends and well wishers for the Ceremony. I learned last night that very close friends of mine, Israelis from Tel Aviv, who are now vacationing in Greece will also be coming to stay with me, either end of Oct. or beginning of Nov. So they too will be invited to the Great Event in your Life and we will all share in your SIMCHA.”

As it should be expected, I telephoned Avner and told him the news. I found myself in Naharyia and Avner in Jerusalem. It is October 2007 and I am anxious for that day of November 4th to come. I start to effect the preparation for my dislocation to New York. I purchase my airline tickets and bus ticket on the Internet. On the 29th of October, at 2 in the morning, I leave Naharyia by train to Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion airport, a trip that takes about 2 hours. The trains are modern, comfortable and acclimatized. I embark at 6 in the morning, on an Israir flight to Stanstead airport, in suburban London. I stay about 20 hours in London in the company of my children and daughter-in-law. I take advantage of the occasion to tell them in detail all of this whole process and the entire emotional and sentimental load involved. Needless to say, they turned radiant, and moreover, hopeful and convinced.
On the 30th day, at 9 in the morning, I had to be at the airport, but as I was going on a National Express bus and there had been a big accident, traffic was stalled, and thus I lost my flight. I paid an additional 95 pounds to not lose the ticket and to be able to embark on the following day. With this entanglement, I ended up spending 24 hours at Gatwick airport. Just as well, for at dawn I met my friend Manuel Azevedo and we started talking about his trip to Canada and mine to America. The last time that I had seen him, was on a flight that we both made from Lisbon to London, I think in May, and the disembarkation at this airport-Gatwick. Jokingly, Manuel Azevedo said, “To see each other, we have to be at airports!”.
I embark from London to New York via Bermuda. It was a fantastic trip, despite the 10 hours with a stop in Bermuda. I finally arrive at Kennedy airport and catch a bus to Manhattan, which cost me 15 dollars and took about one hour. I descend on 40th Street and Yaacov’s house is between 38th and 37th Street on Lexington Avenue. Reason had a friend from Moçambique that lives and works in London, when he told me that in Manhattan the tourists spend their time looking up, as the skyscrapers are so tall.
I ring Yaacov’s doorbell and it’s a delight for both of us. It is the 31st day of October, a Wednesday, around 6 in the evening, local time; the hour difference is 5 hours, from Portugal. I had Thursday and Shabbat to prepare myself for Sunday. Shabbat was spent in the synagogue. During these days, the anxiety was ever increasing as the big day approached.
Finally, on Sunday, I got up early to prepare myself for the great and unforgettable celebration. Yaacov and I left the house around 12.45 in order to catch a bus and then another. And all this takes time and we had arranged with other people to meet up at the entrance to the synagogue, Temple EmanuEl, at 13.30. I spent the whole time talking to Yaacov about the solemn act; needless to say, I was like a volcano, ready to enter into eruption. We all met, in the atrium of the entrance to the temple and after some conversation and smiles, rabbi David Posner arrived.
The rabbi is responsible for Temple Emanu El (www.emanuelnyc.org/), Reform congregation. He had an enormous smile for being able to perform another great “mitzvah” and thanked Yaacov for this opportunity. Previously, rabbi Posner carried out the return ceremony of another Portuguese, Fernando, who finds himself in London. The rabbi turned on the interior lights of the Temple and what a marvel, a beautiful Temple, of great height, width and length. I had never been in such a beautiful synagogue, majestic, imposing, and unusual. Clearly, I was very proud, because even the scene was spectacular…everything contributed to heating up and increasing the pressure of my interior furnace…what interior joy…what a start to the ceremony. At a certain point, the rabbi asks me to repeat after him, the following declaration,

“On the 4th day of November 2007 corresponding to the 23rd day of Cheshvan, according to the traditional Hebrew calendar, at Congregation Emanu El , in New York city, Zeev Amaral entered the historic covenant between God and the people of Israel. Of his own free will he has made the following declaration:



I make this affirmation as I enter the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people, the children of Israel. I choose to become a Jew of my own free will. I accept Judaism to the exclusion of all other religions, faiths and practices and now pledge my loyalty to Judaism and the Jewish people under all circumstances. I promise to establish a Jewish home and participate actively in the life of the Synagogue and the Jewish community. I commit myself to the pursuit of Torah and Jewish knowledge. If I am blessed with children, I will rear them as Jews.”

After I recited the Shema, the certificate signed by the rabbi and three witnesses was handed to me for my signature. And so I did, I signed the certificate with my name Zeev ben Amaral and then rabbi Posner handed me the certificate and said, “Welcome back to our people”.
I contained myself emotionally, and then the rabbi took a Sefer Torah from the Ark and handed it to me to hold to my great satisfaction, but also as a symbol of the covenant. I held the Torah with great pleasure. Here, yes, I could not control myself and I smiled with an expression of contentment, of pride, with a duty fulfilled, of having attained the objective, of returning home, of reconnecting to my roots, of being part of the family again, of belonging to the people of Israel, of being proud of my Torah and being able to be observant, being able to use my tefelin, talit and kippa, in the end, being a Jew.
As everyone can imagine, the joy is great and that day was the most intense and unforgettable of my life. I finally succeeded in re-starting the journey of my maternal family (Portugal) and paternal (Spain), at the point where the Inquisition abruptly and forcibly cut it off. The course of my life changed direction again and this time, I returned to the original family destiny, the Jewish world.

I want to leave here, a word of appreciation and thankfulness to Yaacov Gladstone, an untiring and indispensable person in this final trajectory-the ceremony. My heartfelt thank you from the bottom of my heart.

BARROS BASTO TV SPECIAL

A TV special on Captain Barros Basto will be shown on Portuguese national tv station RTP2 on Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 9.00a.m.

Captain Arthur Carlos Barros Basto (Abraham Israel ben-Rosh)