Lisbon (1939-1945)

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ISBN
9781610391887
 
Lisbon had a pivotal role in the history of WWII, though not a gun was fired there. Lisbon was an open port for ships and the Pam Am Clipper flights to America, and, for the lucky refugees, freedom from the chaos engulfing Europe. This book offers a revelatory portrait of the subterfuge capital of World War II.
Lisbon had a pivotal role in the history of WWII, though not a gun was fired there. Portugal played a deft political game; although it was Britain's oldest ally, it remained neutral during the conflict, thereby deterring German, or, more immediately, Fascist Spanish aggression. Its capital became a city in which both the Allies and the Axis powers did business, and watched each other obsessively. Lisbon was an open port for ships and the Pam Am Clipper flights to America, and, for the lucky refugees, freedom from the chaos engulfing Europe. In the fictional film "Casablanca", it is to Lisbon that the fleeing refugees are going; in reality, Lisbon was described by one British operative as "like "Casablanca", only twenty times more." As well as being temporary home to much of Europe's exiled royalty (including the Duke and Duchess of Winsdor), thousands of refugees passed through Lisbon en route to the U.S. (among them, Peggy Guggenheim and Max Ernst), and a host of spies (like Ian Fleming, who based "Casino Royale" on his hotel on the Portuguese coast) were secreted there.

In this riveting narrative, Neill Lochery draws on high-level Portuguese contacts, access to records recently uncovered from Portuguese secret police and banking archives, and other unpublished documents to offer a revelatory portrait of the subterfuge capital of World War II. Central to the drama is the story of how Portugal, a relatively poor European country in 1939, survived the war not only physically intact, but significantly wealthier. Lisbon ended the war stuffed with gold, much of it looted by Germany during the war and then exchanged for the vital armament component wolfram, which was mined in Portugal. The country's emergence as a European Union nation would be financed in part by the hundreds of tons of stolen Nazi gold which Portugal kept at the war's end, avoiding the postwar reparations that applied almost everywhere else. To the end, the shadowy secret places of Lisbon served the country extremely well.
More Information
Weight 0.444000
Author Lochery Neill
Availability IP
Department Travel Writing
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781610391887
Pages 344
Published 30/10/2012
Publisher Perseus Group
Section Travel Writing: General
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