Costa, Constâncio Roque da



Civilian living in Belgium

Birth place – Margão, Portuguese India
Birth date – 1905
Death date –  
Father – Bernardo Camilo Costa
Mother –Maria Helena Costa

fotografia do navio Serpa Pinto

Constâncio Roque da Costa was arrested on September 22, 1944 by the Belgian authorities, accused of collaborating with the enemy during the war. Released on 19 November, he was arrested again on January,17, the following year. On 28 April he was released again on condition that he would leave the country within 30 days.

Due to various difficulties, he only left Brussels for Lisbon on the 20th of July 1945, having, however, left behind his wife, of Belgian nationality - Germaine Louillet - and two children. He informed the Portuguese authorities that he did not have the funds to finance the trip for the entire family.

Living in Belgium since 1928, Constâncio Costa had a degree in Political Science from the University of Brussels. Before and during the war, he was professor of Portuguese at the Colonial University of Antwerp and at the Commercial School of Louvain.

In the local press he published articles on history, art and literature of India. According to documentation from the Archive of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was an interview on a Brussels radio where he spoke about British India “in terms that were considered to be of hostile criticism to British policy in that domain”, which aroused negative attention from the allies.

The fact that he also traveled to Germany during the period of occupation to meet Hindu leaders of the separatist movement in India - “Gandhi supporters” - also did not improve his position with the allies.

C. G.


Arquivo Histórico e Diplomático do Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros  §