It’s a little known piece of history – a side story on how a young nation halfway around the world saved thousands of lives deemed lost during the dark days of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
It is for this reason that it is a story worth telling, a story that also deserves a film like Schindler’s List, said Barbara Sasser, a descendant of the Frieder brothers who were key players in the rescue of around 1,200 Jews.
The film was eventually produced and screened at Malacanang Palace on August 7.
Titled “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust,” the one-hour documentary tells the story of how a family of tobacco-makers, former President Manuel Quezon, US high commissioner to the Philippines Paul McNutt and then Army Colonel Dwight Eisenhower put their neck on the line to bring Jewish refugees to the Philippines.
While many countries closed their doors on Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis, the Philippines became one of the few places they were able to escape to.