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Joint Faculty Graduate Open Day

Book Launch - Neill Lochery

8 November 2011

Lisbon - Neill Lochery

Wednesday 23 November, 6.00 - 7.30pm

Waterstones, Gower Street, WC1E 6EQ 

Neill Lochery (Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies) invites you to celebrate the publication of his latest book 'Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45'.

The event will be hosted at Waterstone's Bookshop, Gower Street, 2nd Floor, History Department. 

This brilliantly researched, atmospheric history of Portugal's capital city during World War II is a gripping tale of high-stakes intrigue, betrayal, double-dealing and survival. Lisbon had a pivotal role in the history of World War II, though not a gun was fired there.

The only European city in which both the Allies and the Axis powers operated openly, it was a temporary home to much of Europe's exiled royalty, over one million refugees seeking passage to the US and a host of spies, secret police, captains of industry, bankers, prominent Jews, writers and artists, escaped POWs, and black marketeers.

An operations officer writing in 1944 described the daily scene at Lisbon's airport as being like the movie Casablanca, times twenty. In this riveting narrative, renowned historian Neill Lochery draws on his relationships with 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Portuguese contacts, access to records recently uncovered from Portuguese secret police and banking archives, and other unpublished documents to offer a revelatory portrait of the War’s back stage.

And he tells the story of how the Portugal, a relatively poor European country trying frantically to remain neutral amidst extraordinary pressures, survived the war not only physically intact but significantly wealthier.

The country's emergence as a prosperous European Union nation would be financed in part, it turns out, by a cache of Nazi gold.

For further information visit Dr Neill Lochery's website.