Film on Philippines’ rescue of WWII Jews to premiere in SF

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03:17 AM March 27th, 2013

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March 27th, 2013 03:17 AM

SAN FRANCISCO–The premiere of a historical documentary entitled “Rescue in the Philippines,” which shows the desperate plight of the Jewish Diaspora during WWII and how the Philippine government rescued some 1,200 Jews who fled Nazi Germany and Austria, will be held at The New Peoples Cinema in Japantown, San Francisco on April 7.

The one-hour film documents a previously untold story. Five Frieder brothers, Cincinnati businessmen making two-for-a-nickel cigars in pre-WWII Manila, got together with Manuel Quezon, the charismatic first president of the Philippines, Paul McNutt, U.S. High Commissioner and former governor of Indiana and an ambitious Army Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower. The group devised a scheme to help 1,200 German and Austrian Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines.

Conchita Applegate of the Philippines American Friendship Organization (PhilAm Friends) and Mary Farquhar, San Francisco coordinator for the film put the final touches on the preparations for the premiere, which their organizations are co-sponsoring.

Mary Farquhar’s Viennese parents were part of the fortunate group that was rescued and she sees the film as a major tribute and testament of gratitude to the Philippines for its heroic and generous action. Her family became Philippine citizens.

The Philippines has also welcomed and accommodated refugees from other major conflicts, including thousands of White Russians from the Russian Civil War (1919-1920), refugees from Mao’s post-WWII China, and hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Indochinese conflict, who were given a temporary home before going on to final resettlement in the U.S. plus other countries.

The premiere is on Sunday, April 7, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the New Peoples Theater on 1746 Post Street, San Francisco (Japantown). A reception and refreshments will follow the showing. There is no admission charge, but donations are apprecieate. Seats are limited. RSVP in subject line to bwsasser@gmail.com

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