Portugal's neutrality made its capital, Lisbon, the gateway to freedom out of a predominantly Nazi-occupied Europe. Here, Jewish exiles, anti-Nazis and Gestapo Agents all rubbed elbows in the city of light that defied the wartime blackouts that were common in the rest of Europe.
Everything in Europe that could flee from the Germans came to Lisbon.
All of these people stopped here, where the waves of the sea begin.
Lisbon was, for an overwhelming majority of refugees, a place of passage in their way to the United States or South America. Their concerns while waiting in Lisbon, revolved around their exit visa, the passport, the ticket that would grant them access to the boat or the airplane. Sometimes the political police(*) would intervene in the process, not always to facilitate the process. It was a dense and suspicious bureaucracy that welcomed the refugees in Lisbon, although it didn't prevent the most part of finding a way to leave in their way to freedom.
(*) Keep in mind Portugal was under Salazar's dictatorship for 48 years
A very interesting exhibition at the Terreiro do Paço Square West Pavilion