Film on WWII Jewish refugees in PH draws big crowds
SAN FRANCISCO–Filipino Americans, veterans of World War II and members of the Jewish community—who thanked the Philippines for its wartime generosity– mobbed the two back-to-back world premiere screenings of the documentary film “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust,” on April 7 at the New People’s Cinema in this city.
Through a compilation of interviews interwoven with pictures and film footage, the one-hour documentary film chronicled the previously untold story of how the five Frieder brothers, Cincinnati businessmen making two-for-a nickel cigars in pre-WWII Manila, together with Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon, US High Commissioner and former Governor of Indiana Paul Mc Nutt, and Army Colonel Dwight Eisenhower planned and helped 1,200 German and Austrian Jews escape the Nazis for refuge in the Philippines.
Barbara Sasser, the film’s senior consultant and the granddaughter of Alex Frieder, one of the five brothers, reiterated the Jewish people’s deep appreciation to the Philippines in her introduction to the film.
Sasser, together with Mary Farquhar, a WWII Jewish refugee who lived in Manila, also led the question-and-answer session after the screening. A Jewish refugee family member acknowledged the presence of Filipino War veterans and paid tribute to them for their contributions to preserving life and defending democracy and human rights during World War II.
Sasser announced that she is currently seeking to hold more U.S.-wide screenings of the documentary to reach as many audiences and appreciation as possible of this previously untold story of a noble humanitarian effort.
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