Rescue in the Philippines Testimonials

“‘Rescue in the Philippines’ will recount the relatively unknown story of how a small, eclectic and influential group of businessmen, politicians, and military leaders living in the Philippines took action during one of history’s darkest eras to provide sanctuary to Jews being prosecuted in Europe by the Nazi regime…There is a large and enthusiastic audience for historical documentaries and we expect that this tale of integrity will appeal to viewers.”

Christopher Funkhouser, Vice President , American Public Television, Read More

“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 , President Quezon's grandson

“This unique story, of an Asian country that wasn’t even really a fully independent country and had no special ties to Jews, is part of that fabric of history that has been largely neglected and deserves the same level of ‘telling’ as many other Holocaust stories receive.”

James R. Busis , American Jewish Committee

“[Quezon] had the moral courage to do it because he believed in the sanctity of human life and the right of people to live as they believed they should.”

Zeneida “Nini” Quezon Avancena , President Manuel Quezon's daughter

“They didn’t necessarily see themselves as heroes. They were just doing the right thing, and they responded to a crisis in the right way, regardless of the fact that it wasn’t necessarily great for their careers, as a president or as a representative of the military, or even for a career as a cigar maker.”

The Reverend Luis Cortés, president , Esperanza

“‘Rescue’…is not just a very interesting documentary but is also significant to our history and should be known to all.”

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

“This is what we have resolved to remember, so that not only does it never happen again, but to ensure the sacrifices and example of heroism in the past, will inspire today’s generation and the ones to come to stand up for freedom and to resist oppression.”

Manuel Quezon III & Zeneida “Nini” Quezon Avancena , President Quezon's grandson & daughter

“It is very reassuring and comforting to know that there is continuous and deliberate effort from around the world to bring to light the full story of the Jewish Rescue and the humble contribution of the Philippines, ultimately for the greater education and appreciation of succeeding generations of both Jewish and Filipino people.”

Generoso D.G. Calonge, Philippine Ambassador to Israel , Tel Aviv

“We went to the Philippines because it was the only place that gave us a visa.”

Harry Brauer , Holocaust survivor

“They could’ve just hung out and played poker…but no, they had something in their hearts. They had a burning desire to do something good. And they all used their personal relationships to work it out.”

Ricardo Quezon Avacena , President Quezon's grandson

“Very few Filipinos know that Quezon was, in his own way, a kind of Schindler. And it has come out and I think people have been proud of that.”

Professor Ricardo Trota Jose, Phd. , Manila

“I think it’s a wonderful story about how you can never underestimate how you can continue to be of help even if you’re not in the main place. As it turns out, the role [Eisenhower] played in uncovering the Holocaust and assuring that it was chronicled for all time and up being a significant contribution in and of itself.”

Susan Eisenhower , President Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter

“He [Eisenhower] found a situation in the Philippines that an opportunity to give and provide moral support to this courageous family, who decided to take the initiative when they didn’t have to. It’s a remarkable story, I think, of a band of individuals in the Philippines far away from where the crisis was occurring. People who decided to do something and to go to that effort…it shows the power of the story and the effort itself.”

Susan Eisenhower , President Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter

“Compassion is a very important emotion though, and I think that’s what makes that period so inspirational, the fact that people could feel that compassion and did put themselves at risk to do something.”

Susan Eisenhower , President Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter

“I think [Eisenhower] would have seen the injustice and the horror that was unfolding in Europe, and would’ve thought that it was the right thing to do what you can do to try and be there for other members of the human race.”

Susan Eisenhower , President Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter

“The story you’ve uncovered is inspiring…I watched the work you have done so far as a distant relative of one those visionary brothers. I also watched as a lifelong journalist and editor at the New York Times, who takes some pride in knowing a great story when I see one.You are creating a film that brings the old intrigue to life, talks with survivors and nails down once and for all a bit of history hidden for over half a century. Thanks to your efforts this inspiring story will take its place in the history books of many nations– and maybe, maybe influence better behavior in today’s contentious world.”

Soma Golden Behr, Fmr. Editor , New York Times & Frieder in-law

“The biblical prophet Micah asks, “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God?” And that injunction was carried out by…Manuel Quezon, when in the latter 1930’s, he opened the doors of his country to 1,300 desperate German and Austrian Jews, victims of Nazism. It’s an injunction that was followed by the Frieder Brothers of Cincinnati when they supported and gave employment in their Manila cigar enterprises to these immigrants. And it was supported by Paul V. McNutt, American High Commissioner in the Philippines when he expedited the rescue. This rare piece of humane W.W.II history has not been told before. Now it is documented by the Frieder granddaughters in the ‘must see’ production of ‘Rescue in the Philippines.’”

Lotte Cassel Hershfield , Philippine refugee

“This story’s importance also extends to current geopolitical events that are unrelated to the Holocaust. In its continuing fight for survival and acceptance Israel fights daily battles for understanding and legitimacy in virtually every country in the world and in the global multilateral organizations … There is a genuine opportunity, to strengthen the Philippines’ understanding of and ties with Israel. In this regard, this film has the potential to be of tremendous assistance in this ongoing work.”

James R. Busis , American Jewish Comittee