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How President Quezon saved more than 1,200 Jews
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“Roosevelt and Churchill saved Western civilization, but President Quezon of the Philippines—and so few people know that—saved 1200 Jewish souls—as many as Schindler, maybe even more. And that is the epitome, basically, of Judaism. It says if you save one soul, you save mankind.”

Alex-and-Herb-Frieder-Quezon-at-Mariquina-April-23-1940
Alex and Herb Frieder with President Quezon in 1940

I have read a few versions of Anne Frank’s diary.

Anne Frank portraits

I have been to her hiding place in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank Huis

In Houston, I went inside this train used to transport Jews during the Holocaust.

This car transported Jews during the Holocaust
This car transported Jews during the Holocaust

Schindler’s List and The Pianist never fail to make me cry.

What I didn’t know until this night was the Philippines became a safe haven for Jews during World War 2.
Washington-based independent filmmaker Noel M. Izon has made a feature-length documentary called An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines, which tells an uplifting story of how our small Asian nation was able to save over 1,200 Jews as they fled from Nazi Germany.

Once upon a time our country was major a afam (foreigner) town.
Just check out these LIFE magazine photos of Manila Polo Club in 1942.

polo club 1942
polo club

Jewish refugees in a party at the Frieder’s home in Manila, 1940

Refugees-Attend-Dinner-at-Frieders-Home-April-30-19401

In this extended trailer, you’ll see how the Jews and afams lived in Manila during World War II.
It is 15 minutes long, and as the story unfolded, I cried as the Jewish survivors spoke fondly about the Philippines and its people. You will too.


http://www.anopendoormovie.com/

Meanwhile, Rescue in The Philippines, is a one-hour documentary “of the previously untold story of how five Frieder brothers, Cincinnati businessmen making two-for-a-nickel cigars in pre-WWII Manila, together with Manuel Quezon, the charismatic first president of the Philippines, Paul McNutt, US High Commissioner and former governor of Indiana (preparing for his own presidential campaign) and an ambitious Army Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower—helped 1,200 Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines.”
Here’s an excerpt:


To know more, go to http://rescueinthephilippines.com/

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Yvonne Mutuc

So glad this is getting press. My father often told me this story, he being of Jewish descent. Am actually trying to trace my family’s Ashkenazi blood line. Would you know who would have the names of the Jews who went to the Philippines during Quezon’s Open Doors program? Thank you

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Guest

It is very overwhelming to know that Philippines was eable  to extend a help to the people of Jesus’ blood. That was very much inspiring for those people who believe in Holy Scripture (The Bible)  because what was wrtten was like this, “I will bless those who bless you(Israel), and whoever curses you I
will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

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Guest

Ms.C , can I share this on my fb page? This is really inspiring..

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CVS Reply:

yes

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Guest

This is so good. One Philippine heritage worth sharing, Thanks for sharing this

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Guest

So interesting! 

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Guest

If you are a Christian you will believe in this. “I will bless those who bless you(Israel), and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 Expect blessing upon blessing, Philippines. 🙂 The Lord is good.

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Guest

A map in the Jewish Museum in Berlin marked countries where the Jews fled and the Philippines was one of them with that number-1200. My sisters and I thought maybe that was how we got our Jewish sounding family name (or from the 20,000 Jews who fled to nearby Shanghai). I’m definitely watching this documentary! Thank you!

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Guest

I have read this story long time ago and shared it to some of my Israeli friends. They didnt know about it but after learning about it, they said they have more reasons to love even more the Filipinos.
On the other note, some historians said that it was also politically motivated.Pres. Quezon wanted to accept as much as possible and will deploy most of these Jews to the Mindanao region as ‘buffer’ between the Christians and Muslims. Apparently, it didn’t materialize because they had a hard time adopting to the environment.

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Guest

Here’s an interesting read: http://newamericamedia.org/2011/02/jews-in-the-philippines-mazel-tov.php

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Guest

It’s really great to find out hidden stories like this that are surprising but awe-inspiring.

However the party photo above just gave me goosebumps! It reminds me of the party scene/photo in The Shining

http://imgur.com/kLX6p

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CVS Reply:

omg

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Guest

GODBLESS to those who have helped…..May your tribe increase….

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Guest

thanks for sharing this Ms. C. it blows my mind that they didnt include this in our history books in schools! 

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CVS Reply:

exactly!

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Angela G. Magpayo Reply:

 Oo nga no? This was never mentioned. Sana someone from DepEd do something about it para naman aware mga kids ngayon of what our former leaders did.

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Guest

 Oo nga no? This was never mentioned. Sana someone from DepEd do something about it para naman aware mga kids ngayon of what our former leaders did.

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smilingpockets

Thank you for this. 

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Guest

Ang galing. At ang ganda ng Manila before. Sigh.

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Guest

Thanks for sharing, Ms. C. I had no idea about this. Galing.

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Maya_Maya10608

There was a synagogue exactly where LRT Quirino station is now. Didn’t know what the star meant in front of the door until I was in HS. I also had schoolmates with surnames like Sternberg n Tilmann. [Reply]Jude Lopez Mancuyas Reply:January 18th, 2013 at 3:47 AMNo wonder may naligaw na Sternberg dito sa Pinas by the name of Red. 🙂 [Reply]CVS Reply:January 18th, 2013 at 9:28 PMlolll [Reply]natalia basquez Reply:April 20th, 2015 at 10:17 AMThe synagogue is aptly in Quirino station because Quirino was in fact a key figure in the decision to open the door for the Jews being… Read more »

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Guest

No wonder may naligaw na Sternberg dito sa Pinas by the name of Red. 🙂

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natalia basquez

The synagogue is aptly in Quirino station because Quirino was in fact a key figure in the decision to open the door for the Jews being secretary of foreign affairs during that time.

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Guest

I love the dynamics of our (the Philippines)relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. Aside from what former President Quezon did during WWII, the Philippines was also the deciding vote at the UN in 1947 (or was it 1948) when former US President Truman proposed to have Israel as a state. They were 3 votes shy and Pres. Truman had to call the presidents of Liberia and Haiti and got their votes. He called former President Manuel Roxas and he (President Roxas) said yes, through Sec. Carlos P. Romulo. A New York bestselling author and American-Jewish writer, political analyst Joel… Read more »

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Guest

 hi! i am from the Quezon Provincial Tourism Office. As such, we hold the Quezon Day commemoration annually. This feature will give more meaning to our observance. May we repost this in our website? facebook account? Thank you very much!

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CVS Reply:

yes of course. thank you!

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Guest

Had shared your blog post on this to Yad Vashem via @yadvashem:twitter  Hope they will read your post.

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Guest

I wonder where the Frieder house is and if it is still intact.

Should be made a heritage site if it still exists.

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CVS Reply:

thanks for the tip Gabe

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Guest

Wow President Quezon could be the first pinoy Righteous Among the Nations.  He should be nominated.

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Cherilyn Ngo Reply:

 See http://www.yadvashem.org or follow them @yadvashem for instructions on how to nominate or apply for Righteous Among the Nations.

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Cherilyn Ngo Reply:

 Please check out http://www.yadvashem.org or follow them @yadvashem for instructions on how to nominate a person for Righteous Among the Nations. Yes, if selected, Pres. Quezon will be the first in the Philippines. A great honor actually.

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Guest

 See http://www.yadvashem.org or follow them @yadvashem for instructions on how to nominate or apply for Righteous Among the Nations.

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Guest

 Please check out http://www.yadvashem.org or follow them @yadvashem for instructions on how to nominate a person for Righteous Among the Nations. Yes, if selected, Pres. Quezon will be the first in the Philippines. A great honor actually.

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Guest

I love this! All 3 of my roommates here in Madison are Jewish so I will be sharing this with them!

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neutralistic

“Haunting images” is synonymous to Holocaust. And why this fact is unearthed only now is sad. Very noble and a hero in the truest sense of the word.

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retortingjk

Bless our forefathers! Now if only the country was geographically nearer to Europe I’m sure we would’ve been able to save more lives.

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Guest

Holocaust is the most interesting thing i’ve learned T__T schindler’s  list is one of my fav movieeee 🙁 cried buckets when we watched it in class.

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Guest

We’ve hosted a lot of Vietnamese refugees also hence when we go to Saigon we were treated so well also. Our Vietnamese neighbors went through some horrible atrocities also and survived. Bless their souls.

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Guest

That’s why they treat us so equally in Israel….

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KUMAGCOW

Wow.. I never knew about this… who knew we’d get history lessons from Ms C 😀

I’ll watch O_O

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