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Inter-imperial Humanitarianism: The Macau Delegation of the Portuguese Red Cross during the Second World War

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1147
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Issue number6
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Mar 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Apr 2018


Focusing on the history of the wartime Macau Delegation of the Portuguese Red Cross (1943–46), this article aims to shed light on interactions between Macau and the occupied British colony of Hong Kong during the Second World War. It argues that the Macau Red Cross branch was a concrete example of Portuguese collaborative neutrality with the Allies, most particularly the British. In coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross, this local branch played an important role in humanitarian assistance to many victims of the war, particularly refugees and POW dependants, in Hong Kong and Shanghai when British authorities were unable to negotiate an exchange with Japan or provide direct assistance in those occupied cities.

The wartime Red Cross in Macau was a small-scale and temporary endeavour but, nevertheless, a multi-dimensional one: it was a local creation, a delegation integrated in a national and colonial context, an inter-imperial institution and part of a transnational organisation with global reach.

    Research areas

  • Macau, Red Cross, Hong Kong, Second World War, Portugal, neutrality, POW, Refugees

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