Santiago Lopez Rodriguez

Witnessing the Holocaust: Spain and Portugal during the Second World War

In the last two decades, the field of Holocaust history has experienced the appearance of new studies about the peripheral countries that were not directly involved in the genocide but played a relevant role through other means. During the war, the Iberian Peninsula emerged as the best way to escape from Europe. However, the relationship between the dictatorial regimes in this area and the Holocaust has gone unnoticed. This project aims to analyse the changes in refugee policies carried out by Spain and Portugal during the Second World War and give more insight into the role of the humanitarian organisations in both countries.

By performing a comparative study between Portugal and Spain, this research will widen our understanding of how international relationships affected these countries’ roles as bystanders, rescuers, and enablers to the Holocaust. At the same time, it will deepen and give new perspectives on the neutral states’ responses in the context of the Second World War. To this end, this comparative study will analyse the documents of the political and diplomatic representatives who were in charge of giving the orders and issuing visas and the memoirs and testimonies of those refugees who were forced to embark on a tumultuous journey through the Pyrenees.

Grant administrator
Uppsala University
Reference number
SEK 2,768,000.00
RJ Projekt