It is impossible for me not to start this conversation with Vasco Becker-Weinberg, president of the Portuguese Institute for the Law of the Sea, with a question about his surname, and when he answers that his grandparents were Germans and arrived in Portugal in the 30s of the 20th century, I know the story has to be a little more complicated. My invited smile in the face of insistence. He finally explains: “My grandfather Siegfried Weinberg was Jewish. He met and fell in love with my grandmother in Germany. Her name was Magdalena Becker and she wasn’t Jewish, so she couldn’t be together. It was already the time of the Nazi racial laws. “My grandfather, who was well integrated, like most young people, into German society, resists my persecution of Hitler, but there is a time when he decides from after he arrives. Portugal was a crossing point. , my father, and from there everything changes.”
The family story continues in Porto, where, at one point, the Becker-Weinbergs settled, a mattress company, Molaflex. “My grandmother was an entrepreneur, had already had business in Germany, had many connections and knew the English with a patent”, adds Vasco. Siegfried dies in 1954, but his son, already born in Portugal, Máximo Dário, inherits the entrepreneurial spirit and, after leaving Porto for Lisbon, sells his stake in Molaflex and creates Climax.