We are shooting a television documentary about Austrian exile in Portugal, a topic which has hardly been touched up to date. We trace escape routes and concentrate on the role of Portugal during WW2.

Many Austrian refugees took the escape route from Vienna to France and on through Spain all the way to Portugal. Amongst them were Friedrich Thorberg, Alma Mahler-Werfel, Karl Farkas, Lisa Fittko. Lisbon was the last open port to Brasil or the United States – towards freedom.

The main focus of the documentation is on the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes who saved up to 30.000 people from persecution by the Nazi regime in his role as the Consul of Bordeaux in June 1940. He surrendered law to morality and paid dearly for that later on in life when he was outlawed and finally died impoverished. He is now regarded as one of the «Righteous among the Nations».

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Who and Where

We, the core team, are:

  • Uli Jürgens, director
  • Gerald Gottlieb, director of photography
  • Volkmar Geiblinger, creative producer (Trilight Entertainment, Trilight Entertainment Showroom)

We are filming in Vienna, Bordeaux, Lisbon and Cabanas de Viriato, where the Consul was born. We talk to descendants of war refugees, historians and exile scholars.

And you

We need your money to buy additional archive material in Portugal and to finance the post-production process. We are almost there as big budget items like travel costs and the rental of our equipment has already been financed.

All of you supporting our project will be updated regularly by email and will get an insight into the everyday life of the filmmakers and the development of the movie.

The documentary is subsidised by the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism and the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria. The film will be broadcast on channel ORF III in the autumn of 2015.


In the autumn of 2014 two half-hour programmes to the topic were broadcast on the Austrian radio station Ö1. You can read about them here (unfortunately audio-files cannot be linked due to legal restrictions).