Rescue of Jews must be taught, says Enrile | Global News

Rescue of Jews must be taught, says Enrile

/ 06:37 AM November 22, 2015
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.  FILE PHOTO

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. FILE PHOTO

The Philippines’ selfless and courageous act of offering a safe haven to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution back in the 1930s should be taught to Filipino students, according to Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile has filed a bill mandating the teaching of the historical story to Grade 5 and 6 students by including it in the school curriculum.

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Great risk

In his explanatory note to the bill, Enrile said many Filipinos were unaware that during the term of President Manuel L. Quezon, the Philippines served as a haven for Jewish refugees who were escaping the Nazis, who had imprisoned and killed millions of Jewish people in Europe.

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“At great political risk, President Quezon approved the granting of visas to 1,400 Jews seeking safe haven in the Philippines,” Enrile said.

Integrated

He noted that Quezon agreed to have as many as 100,000 visas issued to the Jews. Unfortunately, because of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in 1941, the program for the Jewish refugees was cut short.

READ: Philippines: A Jewish refuge from the Holocaust / Manuel L. Quezon honored for helping Jews

Still, the country’s act deserves to be remembered.

Enrile said the historical and analytical account of the Philippines’ rescue of Jewish refugees should be integrated into the history subjects in Grades 5 and 6 “so we may instill the same kind of
bravery, moral courage, chivalry and altruism in our youth.”

Remembered

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“This magnanimous act of our nation must never be forgotten,” he added.

Enrile said the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, a US-based foundation, conducted a study on the topic and created a Comprehensive Educational Guide.

The Department of Education (DepEd) could use this as a resource material in incorporating the Jewish rescue in the Philippine history subject, he said.

Under Enrile’s bill, the DepEd will approve the materials, books and manuals schools will use to teach the subject.

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TAGS: history, Holocaust, Jewish refugees, Juan Ponce-Enrile, Manuel Luis Quezon, Philippine Education, Philippine history
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