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ISEG alumnus who saved the lives of around 1,000 Jews in the Holocaust

Alberto Carlos de Liz Teixeira Branquinho, who was born in 1902 in Viseu, is one of ISEG's most illustrious alumni and is on the list of those Portuguese who risked their lives during the Second World War to help rescue thousands of people from persecution by the Nazi regime.

With a degree in Economics and Finance from the former Instituto Superior de Comércio, now known as ISEG - Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, Branquinho graduated in 1928, with a grade of 14 and joined the diplomatic service in 1930. He worked in Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, and Shanghai, until he was called to serve in Budapest, Hungary, in 1944. That year, German troops occupied Hungary and the persecution of Jews intensified. During his time in Budapest as the Chargé d'Affaires after Ambassador Carlos Sampaio Garrido had been recalled by Salazar, he obtained authorisation to grant Portuguese passports to Hungarian Jews under the guidance of Sampaio Garrido, and thus gave then the opportunity to emigrate and escape.

In 2011, the Hungarian authorities paid tribute to Branquinho and Sampaio Garrido for saving around 1,000 Hungarian Jews by unveiling a plaque with their names on the outside wall of the former Grand Hotel Dunapalota-Ritz, where the Portuguese Legation was then located. In addition, a memorial to remember the Holocaust and pay tribute to all those who helped save Jews was erected behind the Dohány Synagogue in Budapest, next to the Tree of Life.

During a trip to Budapest Professor Joao Lopes Dias, one of ISEG's Vice-Deans, had the opportunity to visit the memorial and quickly identified the names of these two Portuguese, Branquinho and Garrido. "Despite their remarkable actions, the national and international recognition of these heroes is often overshadowed by the actions of Aristides de Sousa Mendes. Perhaps that's why I was unaware of their names and their achievements," he said.

Tributes to those who rescued Jews during Portuguese Holocaust can also be found in Portugal. More recently, in 2021, and three volumes of the 'Essentials' collection by the Portuguese Mint and Official Publishing House (INCM) were launched, and five commemorative stamps were issued by CTT in conjunction with the unveiling of a plaque with their names on it at the Palácio das Necessidades, the head office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Among these names, ISEG is proud to be associated with the name of alumnus Alberto Carlos de Liz Teixeira Branquinho.

Final exam grade certificate of student Alberto Carlos de Liz Teixeira Branquinho.

Tribute to Alberto Carlos Branquinho at the Dohány Synagogue Memorial in Budapest.

Philatelic issue of five stamps in honour of those Portuguese who saved lives during the Holocaust. The third person to be honoured on a stamp is Alberto Carlos Branquinho.

Covers of the three volumes of the 'Essentials' collection' of the National Mint and Official Publishing House (INCM).