That's late: justice for army man 50 years after death

By Jennifer Lipman, March 8, 2012
Basto: name cleared by parliament

Basto: name cleared by parliament

A Portuguese military captain who was publicly humiliated by the Fascist Salazar government after working to restore Jewish life in the 1920s and 30s, is to have his name cleared 50 years after his death.

Captain Arthur Carlos Barros Basto, a First World War veteran decorated for his heroism, was stripped of his military commission and lost his pension in 1937, after a campaign against him by government figures.

But the Portuguese parliament has now approved a resolution calling for Captain Basto to be reinstated to the army. The resolution acknowledges that Captain Basto "was the target of political and religious segregation in 1937".

Captain Basto was not brought up Jewish but, after learning of his heritage, he studied the religion and founded a yeshivah, a community newspaper and a shul in 1920s Porto.

Manuel Azevedo, founding president of Ladina, which has campaigned for justice in the case, said: "A great injustice has been almost righted. It is a victory of light over darkness."

Last updated: 1:32pm, March 8 2012