DE WINTER, Ella née SPIEGEL (Visa # 934 – age 45)
DE WINTER, Levie/Leo (Visa # 933 – age 45)
The above visas were issued by Aristides de Sousa Mendes on May 24, 1940.
The DE WINTER couple crossed into Portugal and flew on the Pan Am Yankee Clipper seaplane from Lisbon to New York in July 1940.
Testimonial of Rudolph DE WINTER, son of Levie and Ella DE WINTER – 2014
My parents not only received their visas from de Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux to allow them to enter Portugal, but also a personal plea to the local French military commander to permit them to exit France. Then, above and beyond that, Aristides provided them with introductions to an industrialist and a family member in Portugal who might assist my parents in getting news from their children (my brother, sister and myself) who were in occupied Holland. My parents having been in France on May 10, 1940 were unable to return home to Amsterdam. All this assistance being rendered was extraordinary, particularly as Aristides writes that he himself is in bed with a nervous breakdown. The Sousa Mendes story, as it develops after these many years, is one of unequalled humanity – and is one that must be told and retold to new generations.
I have the honor to request that you kindly accord an exit visa from France to Mr. and Mrs. L. De Winter, Dutch citizens who hold visas to Portugal along with all necessary papers and desire to travel to Portugal as soon as possible. Enclosed please find their visa applications as well as a letter of recommendation from the Dutch Consul in Bordeaux. Mr. General, I thank you in advance and send you assurances of my highest esteem.
I have the pleasure to introduce to you Mr. De Winter, a Dutch citizen, who wishes to meet you and speak about business. Mr. De Winter is a very wealthy industrialist from Amsterdam who finds himself here because of the ongoing events. I hope you don’t mind the liberty I am taking and thank you in advance for the reception you may reserve to Mr. De Winter.
The bearer of this letter, Mr. De Winter of Dutch nationality, is on his way to Portugal, accompanied by his wife, because of the ongoing events. These are friends for whom I request and am grateful for your attention and help. They have 3 children in Amsterdam, and all they wish for is to receive news from them by submarine cable or by TSF. Please see if you can indicate the best way to proceed. Here the situation is horrible and I am in bed because of a strong nervous breakdown.