During the exhibition held here at the Aljube Museum in honor of José Dias Coelho, Margarida Tengarrinha wrote to us:
“When, in the early evening of December 26, 1961, at a street meeting, a comrade informed me that Zé had been shot dead by PIDE, I couldn’t believe it. I told him I wanted to see him.
He said: “You can’t, the burial was today, for the cemetery of Benfica”. That was the terrible and definitive moment, without the last goodbye.
From that moment on, I made the resolution that, having not seen him dead, not let his memory die.
This has been one of the goals throughout my life as a militant of the Communist Portuguese Party.
My concern is not to let his memory die, to denounce the crimes of the fascist dictatorship that crushed Portugal for almost half a century, to remember the courageous and total surrender of those who fought to overthrow it and, among them, my companion who, in the fighting ranks of the Communist Portuguese Party, gave his life so that “from his spilled blood the most copious sea”.
José Dias Coelho died #inthisday December 19, 1961.