Civilian living in France
Birth place – São Simão de Litem, Leiria
Birth date – 26/04/1905
Death date – 28/06/1944
Manuel das Neves worked as a logger in France and lived in Campazieux, in the commune of St. André d’Allas, when he was shot by soldiers from a German military column that crossed the area on June 28, 1944.
According to the French authorities, the Germans gathered three Portuguese - Manuel das Neves, Norberto Coelho and João Fernandes de Barros - and forced them “to a nearby forest”. Shortly after, shots were heard.
Only the next day did the tenant of two of them felt safe to leave the house. In the woods the Portuguese were found shot dead. Nearby was also the body of a Dutchman - M. Siebrugh - who also lived in the village.
The Portuguese may have been stolen by the Germans. From Manuel das Neves, only the bicycle was recovered, lacking the money, luggage or documents. From the others large amounts of money were also missing.
The Allied D-Day landing on June 6, had taken place weeks before and several German columns advanced through France to engage them. These troops faced groups of French resistance along the way and were also known for attacking and looting civilians.
The bodies were buried in the Saint André d'Allas cemetery.
Manuel das Neves was married and had several children living in Portugal.
In France, like the other Portuguese who were shot, he worked as a lumberjack at the Societé d’Explotations Forestiéres.
A protest was sent by the Portuguese authorities to the German Legation in Lisbon “reserving the right to ask for fair and adequate compensation”.
Arquivo Histórico-Diplomático, MNE §