Phillipines saved Jews escaping the holocaust

This is the first time I heard of this. I’m glad so many Phillipinos are able to work in Israel and send money back home to help out their families.

Jews honor Manuel L. Quezon on his 134th birthday
By Nena C. Benigno, Philippine Daily Inquirer

As the country commemorates the 134th birthday today, August 19, of Manuel L. Quezon, he is also honored by thousands of Jewish families who have survived and prospered because they found a home in Manila at the darkest time in their history as a race.

It was a point of no return.

German and Austrian Jews—1,200 of them—narrowly escaped Adolf Hitler’s gas chambers just before the German dictator rounded up 6 million Jews who were eventually tortured and murdered in his concentration camps.

“The mob was screaming bloody murder: ‘Kill the Jews!’” recalls child refugee to Manila John Odenheimer who saw Nazi storm troopers rampaging through their Jewish neighborhood.

“We caught the last train out of Berlin, they closed the border after us,” recalls German refugee Guenther Leopold, whose house was smashed and ransacked by Nazi soldiers. “There was nothing left (but broken) glass on the floors.”

The year was 1940. On the other side of the world, a Filipino leader opened his country to fleeing Jewish refugees when no other country would take them.

President Quezon opened the Philippines’ doors to up to 10,000 Jewish refugees.

“We went to the Philippines because it was the only place that gave us a visa,” recalled Harry Brauer, one of the Jews who escaped captivity, during that black period of ignorance and anti-Semitism.

The German and Austrian Jews were given visas to work in Manila.

‘Moral courage’

“Other countries did not think [saving the Jews] was that important, I don’t presume to say,” said Quezon’s daughter Zeneida Quezon Avanceña. “But I know dad 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 believe they should.”

The dramatic rescue plan for the Jews was devised by three men who mapped out a strategy over weekend nights playing poker and smoking cigars. They were: Quezon, who would sanction the Jews’ official entry and even donate his own land in Marikina and Mindanao for their settlements; American High Commissioner to the Philippines Paul McNutt, who risked his political career convincing US government officials to issue thousands of working visas for Jews to the Philippines; and Herbert Frieder and his sons, owners of the Philippine-based Helena Cigar and Cigarette Factory, who provided jobs in their factory for the Jews, raised money to transport them to Manila, found them housing and schools for their children.

‘Open Doors’ monument

Quezon was the President of the first democracy in the “Far East,” extending safety and liberty to the Jews who would set up the first democracy and Bible-believing state in the Middle East.

The tradition of freedom of worship and support for the biblical “chosen people” would manifest again seven years later when the Philippines became the only Asian nation to vote in the United Nations for the partition of Palestine and the recreation of the state of Israel. Many of the refugees to Manila eventually resettled in Israel.

The Filipinos and Quezon are honored in Israel by an attractive and imposing “Open Doors” monument in Rishon Lezion Memorial Park just off Tel Aviv built in 2009. It commemorates the historic and spiritual ties between two peoples scattered among the nations, united by their commitment to freedom, humanitarian principles and faith in the God of the Bible.

The story of the Jews’ dramatic escape from the Holocaust and their resettlement in the Philippines is recorded in the book “Escape to Manila,” written by refugee Frank Ephraim. A film that records that modern-day Exodus, titled “Rescue in the Philippines,” is being produced by Frieder Films and 3 Roads Communications, a preview of which will be shown on “The 700 Club Asia” on GMA News TV during a “Special Focus on Israel” beginning on September 15.

August 21, 2012 | 10 Comments »

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  1. @ James B – Montreal:

    “Nazi Homosexuals were a nasty murderous bunch. It is for this reason that I will not have compassion for them to support gay marriage.”

    Two separate issues here, James.

    “Same-sex marriage” would be wrong regardless of whether Nazi homosexuals were nasty or not.

    “Same-sex marriage” would be wrong regardless of whether ANY homosexuals were nasty or not.

    It’s wrong because it isn’t marriage.

    Marriage is a BRIDGE between the genders — and an operational framework: within which to reconcile the basic differences between men & women.

    The War Between the Sexes is ancient, perpetual and (notwithstanding the jokes) quite real.

    — We’re different, the boys & the girls. In the main we want the same things; but outlook & priorities differ.

    Marriage makes it possible for men & women to live & work & coexist with each other constructively & honorably

    — without destroying the basic & special integrity of either gender.

    As long as both partners to a liaison are of the SAME gender, however, there is no gender rift to reconcile; thus no gender bridge needed

    — except for those seeking to mock the institution. . . .

    But this is getting somewhat out into the weeds (as regards the subj matter in the Nena Benigno piece on Manny Quezon).

    ‘Same-sex marriage’ is another discussion, for another time.

  2. @ yamit82:

    “First, what is your source…?

    “Revisionists have attempted to define homosexuals as a class of people who were ‘targeted for extermination’ by the Nazis. One homosexual group went so far as to stage a high-profile ‘pilgrimage’ to Yad Vashem… in May of 1994. They were met by a delegation of Jewish Holocaust survivors who were so overcome with outrage that some had to be restrained from physically assaulting the contingent of (mostly American) political activists. One man cried, ‘My grandfather was killed for refusing to have sexual relations with the camp commandant. You are desecrating this place…’ [Jerusalem Post, 5-30-94]

    “Yet… many homosexuals did in fact die in Nazi concentration camps. We do not diminish the tragedy of any life lost under the Nazi reign of terror; however we must reject the implication that homosexuals as a class should be given moral equivalency to the Jewish people and other victims of genocide. There are five reasons why we must reject this claim of the revisionists.

    “First, regardless of Himmler’s anti-homosexual rhetoric, homosexuals as a class were never targeted for extermination, as their continued role in the Third Reich [even after the Night of the Long Knives] demonstrates.

    “Second, those homosexuals who died did so as the result of mistreatment and disease in slave-labor camps — not in the gas chambers.

    “Third, though we cannot condone the form of punishment meted out by the Nazis, homosexuality was legitimately regarded as a crime of long-standing, for which individuals were being jailed both before and after the Nazi Regime. This is in contrast to the internment of the Jewish people, whose ethnicity is morally (and in pre-Nazi Germany, legally) neutral.

    “Fourth, the actual number of homosexuals in the camps was a tiny fraction of both the estimated number of homosexuals in Germany and the estimate of the camp population. The camp homosexual population, estimated at 5000-15,000 by Joan Ringelheim of the US Holocaust Museum, contained an undetermined percentage of non-homosexuals falsely labeled as homosexuals. [Rick Rose, ‘Museum of Pain,’ The Advocate, 10-19-93, p. 40]

    “Compared to more than 85 percent of European Jewry… [h]omosexuals who died were ‘a small fraction of less than 1 [one] percent’ of homosexuals in Nazi-occupied Europe.
    [Steven Katz, ‘Quantity and interpretation: Issues in the Comparative Historical Analysis of the Holocaust’; in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, 1989, NY, Pergamon Press, 1989, p. 146]

    “Fifth and last, many of the guards and administrators responsible for the infamous concentration camp atrocieies were homosexuals themselves, which negates the idea that homosexuals in general were being persecuted and interned …

    “As terrible as life could be in the work camps [where homosexuals were typically sent], it offerred better chances than being herded into gas chambers or shot in front of mass graves.

    “An additional point that deserves mention here is that the uniform pattern of brutality for which the camps are known was established as a deliberate and calculated policy by the S.A. under [the notorious Nazi homosexual] Ernst Roehm in 1933. Heiden writes that ‘the S.A. had learned… that the will of an imprisoned mass must be broken by the most loathsome cruelty.’ [Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer: Hitler’s Rise to Power (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1944), p. 565] He later adds that ‘frightening reports also trickled through from the concentration camps, and the public began to realize that the Fuehrer’s picked troops had organized artificial hells in Dachau… Rohm admitted publicly that these things seemed unbearable to many people, but said he saw no reason for stopping them’ [Ibid., p. 732f]

    “Though Roehm was soon killed, his system of mass torture and degradation endured.”

    [Scott Lively & Kevin Abrams, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party (Founders Publishing, Keizer, OR, 1995), excerpts, Ch. 6: “Homosexuality in the… Camps,” pp. 123-125]

    There’s more I could give you (a truckload more) — but that’ll do for now.

    BTW, when the book — now in a 2nd (maybe also a 3rd) edition — was published, Kevin Abrams was living & working in Jerusalem.

    — He may still be there. (Phone & email addr avail, if you want.)

  3. @ yamit82:

    “[T]he perpetrators of the Nazi killings included WAY more homosexuals among their numbers than did the victims of the killings.”

    “First, what is your source, or are you shooting again from the hip?”

    First, I’ll take my hip over your smoke-beclouded intellect any day of the week, and twice on yontif.

    As for the first part of your question, the answer is going to run a bit long, so I’ll post it separately as soon as I finish with the rest of your pettiness & bile.

    “2ndly if true, who cares?”

    Obviously YOU do, or you wouldn’t have gone to the trouble to post.

    “Queers offing queers is a net net positive. just like Arabs offing other Arabs.”

    Thank you for telling us what you’re made of.

    “3rdly what made you elevate this factoid?”

    I explained why in the first two [full] lines of my reply to James-in-Montreal [post #4, above] — by way of INTRODUCTION to the bottom line of that reply. If you’d read it carefully in the first place, you wouldn’t (as usual) have gone off half-cocked. Re-read the damned thing.

    “You got a dog in the race?”

    Everybody’s got a dog in the race, little boy.

  4. @ dweller:

    Absolutely. Thank you for correcting me.

    Nazi Homosexuals were a nasty murderous bunch.

    It is for this reason that I will not have compassion for them to support gay marriage.

  5. @ dweller:

    the perpetrators of the Nazi killings included WAY more homosexuals among their numbers than did the victims of the killings.

    First what is your source or are you shooting again from the hip?

    2ndly if true, who cares? Queers offing queers is a net net positive. just like Arabs offing other Arabs.

    3rdly what made you elevate this factoid? You got a dog in the race?

  6. I knew several Jews when I was a child who were born in the Phillipines .Their parents and grandparents had escaped to the Phillipines from Greece before or during WWII .

  7. @ James B – Montreal:

    “The killing of 6million Jews, and 5 million others: Christians, Homosexuals, Communists, Romani could not have been carried out without their appreciation.”

    For the record:
    Notwithstanding the brazenly hyped historical revisionism that’s been attached to the claims of the past couple decades or so

    — and only because you carefully wedged “homosexuals” into the middle of your list —

    the perpetrators of the Nazi killings included WAY more homosexuals among their numbers than did the victims of the killings.

  8. One way of showing our appreciation would be to call on the US to support its ally, the Philippines, against China’s grab of Philippine waters (and their oil).

    And support it against the islamic jihad being waged in the Philippines.

  9. One way of showing our appreciation would be to call on the US to support its ally, the Philippines, against China’s grab of Philippine waters (and their oil).

    During a 2010 visit to Vietnam, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the United States had a national interest in freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, through which half of world cargo passes.

    The State Department statement on Friday reiterated that the United States has an interest in stability and “unimpeded lawful commerce” in the South China Sea but that Washington does not take a position on rival claims.

    China also has separate disputes with US ally Japan in the East China Sea, an issue discussed by Japanese Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto on a visit Friday to Washington.

    “The last thing we want is to have direct confrontation in the South China Sea with regards to jurisdictional issues,” Panetta said.

    Beijing seems to be calculating that despite the more robust US military posture in the region, China can throw its weight around and the US response will be limited to diplomatic reprimand…


    In a War With China Will the US Fight on the Side of the Philippines?

    China cites history as its basis for claiming Philippine territory as theirs. Supposedly, they have a two thousand year old Han Dynasty map that indicates the limits of the Chinese empire which included the Philippines.

    If such a map does exist, the Chinese government should show it to the world and prove that it is genuine and show wordings or other persuasive evidence to the effect that indicate that the Philippines and its surrounding waters in the West Philippine Sea was part of the Han Dynasty empire. The age of the map should be subjected to carbon 14 testing to check if it is genuine.

    Rational people in the world, who are aware of China’s oil grab intentions – are leery of China’s “historical” arguments. They doubt that a Han Dynasty map indicating ownership of Philippine and other countries’ territories actually exist but that more likely than not, its supposed existence is just being used as a convenient excuse to grab oil and marine resources that belong to the Philippines and other neighboring countries.

    Nowhere in the written or unwritten history of both China and the Philippines is there any indication that the Philippines was ever a province or a colony of China. There are factual indications that the Chinese have been visiting the Philippines since ancient times – but essentially to trade or in the case of Chinese pirates – to raid coastal villages.


    Some of the arguments comfortably used here are interesting too, from the point of view of Israel……..


    China is on an aggressive path of international acquisition of minerals, farmland, technology, fuels and all kinds of resources through legitimate purchase, espionage, intellectual piracy, dumb western companies giving away blueprints for the sake of trade – or by simply taking them over, as in the case of South Sea waters and resources.

    The US, the avowed ally of the Philippines, appears fairly detached when times get tough for the Philippines.

    I’d like to dust off some of US past broken promises to Israel and other allies and show them to the US leadership when they swear they have Israel’s back.

    Of course it’s not easy for the US to talk tough when they owe so much money to the Chinese. Bullying the Jews, on the other hand – that’s easy. It makes them feel like a Real Superpower.

  10. “just before the German dictator rounded up 6 million Jews”

    In all due respect, the dictator did no such thing. He did not directly commit any violent acts. These were done by his loving fans:Germans, Austrians, Poles, Hungarians, Frenchmen, Dutch,,,,Europeans xcept Scandinavians and the British ( only due to geography but the passion was surely there ). It was a European project managed by Germans and Austrians. The killing of 6million Jews, and 5 million others: Christians, Homosexuals, Communists, Romani could not have been carried out without their appreciation.