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Home NEWS Filipiniana An Open Door: Holocaust Rescue In The Philippines

An Open Door: Holocaust Rescue In The Philippines

A lecture and film screening

This presentation outlines how the unique political structure of the Philippine Commonwealth (1935-1946) allowed President Manuel Quezon, US High Commissioner Paul McNutt, members of the Jewish community in Manila, and Jewish relief organizations in the United States, Germany, and the Philippines to provide refuge for more than 1,300 Jews fleeing the Holocaust. Several Manilaner families will be introduced, and their experiences with Filipino friends and neighbors during the Japanese Occupation and Battle for Manila will be recounted. Following liberation, most of the refugees left war-torn Manila, but kept an affection for the Philippines and Filipinos that lasted the rest of their lives and passed to their children and grandchildren. This came to fruition in a dedicated relief campaign in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, led by the son/grandson/nephew of Manilaners.


Sharon Delmendo, Ph.D. is a Professor of English at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. She did much of the research for her first book, The Star-Entangled Banner: One Hundred Years of America in the Philippines (Rutgers University Press 2004, University of the Philippines Press 2005) in 1995 to 1996 as the Fulbright Professor of American Studies at De La Salle University in Manila. Her grandfather, Dominador Delmendo, was XO of the Masbate Guerrillas during WWII.

Dr. Delmendo has two books forthcoming from De La Salle University Press. “When the Time of Need Came”: Manuel Quezon and Holocaust Rescue in the Philippines is a scholarly analysis of the Commonwealth President’s efforts on behalf of Jewish refugees. In Time of Need, an Open Door: Holocaust Rescue in the Philippines is a more broadly based history of the Manilaners for general audiences. When these two books are published, she will go back and complete the project, Pacific Theater, a study of Hollywood-produced WWII films set in the Philippines and made while the war was ongoing.


An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines

Noel Izon | 2011 | 35-min. cut

An Open Door is a documentary on the uplifting story of how a small Asian nation was able to save over 1,300 Jews as they fled the pogroms of Nazi Germany. Exploring the rare confluence of the Pacific and European theaters, the film juxtaposes momentous events in history such as the passage of the Nuremberg Laws and the inauguration of the Philippines as a Commonwealth of the United States. An Open Door is the story of a deep friendship borne of common adversity and intense love for freedom.

For inquiries, please email or call 759-8288 local 45 or 36