Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust











A fascinating, but seldom-told, chapter of WWII history is recounted in a one-hour documentary, narrated by Liev Schrieber, that airs on public television stations nationwide beginning in April (check local listings.) Produced by 3 Roads Communications, “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust,” is distributed by American Public Television (APT). The program will also air on WORLD, public television’s premier news and documentary channel, later in 2013.

The documentary chronicles an intricate international plan of rescue and resettlement that saved 1,300 Jews from certain death in Nazi concentration camps. In pre-war Manila, an unlikely mix of poker players gathered to save lives. Five Jewish-American cigar makers from Cincinnati. The president of the Philippines. A future president of the United States. A U.S.High Commissioner.

The high- profile group of poker buddies — Col. Dwight Eisenhower, First Philippine President Manuel Quezon, the U.S. High Commissioner Paul McNutt, and the Frieder brothers,  Cincinnati businessmen who made two-for-a-nickel cigars in pre-World War II Manila – devised a plan.

 “It’s one thing to sit around a card table and talk about a worrisome situation—even a dire situation. It’s quite another to actually take some action, and I think that’s why this is a story for all time.”

–Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Each brought a specific expertise to the mission. Its success depended upon Quezon’s pivotal support, McNutt’s diplomatic expertise and political savvy, Eisenhower’s organizational skills and gift for strategy, and the Frieders’ ability, with the help of the Jewish community in Manila, to create new lives for a steady stream of desperate refugees.

 “I think for my grandfather, it was perhaps that simple. You have a country. You have a little authority. You have an opportunity. Someone has asked for refuge—which is the most basic humanitarian appeal anyone can make. You answer it.”

–Manuel Quezon III, grandson of the late President Manuel Quezon

Meticulously researched, the documentary takes viewers on a fascinating journey of five American brothers from the Midwest who leveraged their political friendships in the Philippines to plot the rescue of as many Jewish refugees as possible.

Through interviews with historians, friends and relatives of participants, and first-person accounts from survivors who share their harrowing stories of escape to the Philippines, the documentary details how late-night poker games evolved into a call to action that saved hundreds of lives.

 “Rescue”…(is) significant to our history and should be known to all.”

-Yaniv Revach, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel, Manila

About 3 Roads

The producers from 3 Roads Communications have also brought the award-winning show “The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman”, “Legends of Airpower”, and “For the Love of their Brother” to public television stations. Their newest documentary will bring you around the globe, giving you first-hand accounts of this compelling story.


MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Scott

3 Roads Communications

1 W. 2nd Ave.
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 662-4121

APT CONTACT: Dawn Anderson,

American Public Television (APT) (617) 338-4455, ext. 149