Summary - TST 27


TST 27

María Fernanda ROLLO
At the great crossroads of the world: Safe haven, traffic hub: the port of Lisbon during World War II

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Key Words: Portugal, Port of Lisbon, II World War, Portuguese economy.

[ Abstract ]

The port of Lisbon has played a rather important role, at a planetary scale, within the context of World War II, due to its neutrality and to the geographic location of the country. It was a safe haven and a traffic hub.

Standing at the great crossroads of the world, Lisbon provided the backdrop to the exchange of experiences, new routines, a place for encounters and for the establishment of networks, an escape route, a place for exile or for transit alone; a meeting point for cultures, religions, worldviews; it harboured and generated complicities, human solidarity, social dynamics, and cultural experiences. It was a place of evolution, a stage for modernity. It was a true centre of the world, dense, intense, universal and cosmopolitan.

The port of Lisbon sought to keep on profiting from the unique advantages of its position as a natural port, the most important one nation-wise, by combining those benefits with relatively scarce investment in its modernisation. This attitude reflected a growing tension, further heightened by the conflict and Portugal’s standing, that was brought about by the inevitable need to adopt new standards that were becoming common practice in artificial ports, and the time of change that lied ahead.