In the wake of the massacre of over 1,200 Israelis and others on October 7th, the Jewish Community of Porto released a film showing the massacre of three thousand Jews in Lisbon in 1506.

“1506 – The Lisbon Genocide” was officially released this morning on April 19th, the anniversary of the date when the rampage against the Jews began, with thousands of Jews of all ages being hunted, decapitated, burned and mutilated, with victims being paraded in the streets, in scenes eerily reminiscent of the massacre on Simchat Torah in the south of Israel.


“The film aims to show that the October massacre did not happen in a vacuum, as stated by UN Secretary General António Guterres, who is also Portuguese,” said Gabriel Senderowicz, President of the Porto Jewish community. “No one who is not Jewish can understand the feeling of the Jewish community on October 7th, because no one else experienced similar massacres in Alexandria, Granada, Seville, Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona, Basel, Überlingen, Strasburg, Cologne, Worms, Erfurt, Metz, York, Norwich, Trent, Troyes, Bern, Paris, Odessa, Moscow, Hebron and elsewhere.”

“The film was made as short as possible, about 20 minutes long, so that it may be seen by everyone of all ages, even those who prefer not to watch long movies.”

The film was launched online in English, Hebrew, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

On Wednesday, following a premier showing at ANU – Museum of the Jewish People, a special panel discussed the similarities between the 1506 Lisbon and October 7th massacres, the history and development of Antisemitism, and how to fight the war of narratives mobilized against the State of Israel.

The discussion was moderated by Alex Traiman, Editor in Chief of the Jewish News Syndicate, and other speakers included Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Israeli Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism, Raheli Baratz-Rix, Head of the Department for Combating Antisemitism and Enhancing Resilience of the World Zionist Organization, and Ashley Perry (Perez), former senior Israeli government advisor and President of Reconectar, an organization that seeks to reconnect with the over 200 million descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities.

The documentary film was produced by the Portuguese director Luís Ismael and involved the participation of hundreds of actors. Research for the film was undertaken by the Community’s historical research center and reviewed by the “Alberto Benveniste” Chair of Sephardic Studies of the University of Lisbon”.

This is not the first film made by the Porto Jewish Community. In 2021, they released the feature film “1618,” which recounted the story of the Inquisition in Porto and won the largest number of international awards ever given to a Portuguese film.

In 2019, they released the film “Sefarad”, which chronicled the story of the destruction and resurrection of the Porto Jewish community, through the remarkable story of Captain Artur Carlos de Barros Basto, known as the “Portuguese Dreyfus.”

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