United Nations to Screen Documentary on Philippines’ Rescue of Jews During Holocaust

As most of the world closed its doors to Jews who were desperately seeking refuge from persecution in Germany on the eve of the Second World War, one nation, the Philippines, did not.  The documentary film Rescue in the Philippines:  Refuge from the Holocaust tells this gripping story through interviews with historians, friends and relatives of key participants and first person accounts from refugees who detail their harrowing escape.  The United Nations Department of Public Information will screen the film from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on 7 November, in the Economic and Social Council Chamber at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  Produced by 3 Roads Communications, the film will be followed by a panel discussion with the director, an historian and a Holocaust survivor, organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Program.


Rescue in the Philippines:  Refuge from the Holocaust documents how President Manuel Quezon, United States High Commissioner Paul McNutt, Colonel Dwight Eisenhower and the Frieder brothers, cigar manufacturers from Cincinnati, courageously coordinated the rescue of more than 1,300 Jews from Europe with the promise of a new life in the Philippines.  Reflecting on her family’s escape to the Philippines in the film, Ursula Progl asks:  “How could anyone have imagined that a whole nation ( Germany) would close its eyes and ears [to the plight of the Jewish people]?  How could anyone imagine that it (the persecution of the Jews) would get to where it did?”


The screening will be opened by Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; Libran N. Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations; and co-Producer Barbara Sasser.  Panellists will include Russell C. Hodge, Executive Director, Bonnie Gurewitsch, Historian and Archivist and Curator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, and Ms. Progl.  The discussion will revolve around the making of the film, historical events in the Philippines at the time, and the journey made by the survivors.  The event will conclude with a question and answer session with the audience.  Cynthia Scott, co-Director, and Peggy Ellis, co-Producer of the film, will also be present.


The screening is open to the public and guests may register at www.un.org/Holocaustremembrance.  A valid identification card is required to pass through security clearance at the United Nations and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2006 to further education about and remembrance of the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide.  Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational products, seminars, exhibitions, a film series and the annual worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust each 27 January.  Please visit http://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance for more information.


Media Contacts


Russell Hodge, President and CEO, 3 Roads Communications, at tel:  +1 301 662 4121, e-mail:  russ.hodge@3roads.com; and Kimberly Mann, Manager, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, at tel:  +1 212 963 6835, e‑mail:  mann@un.org.