One virtually unknown episode in the last century illustrates how the Philippines became a light in a very dark time. In 2008 German-born author Frank Ephraim published Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror, an account of the Jewish refugee experience in World War II. In 1939 Ephraim was one of 1,200 Jews who fled the Nazi genocide in Europe and took sanctuary in the Philippines. In the late 1930s in Manila, while they were playing poker and smoking cigars, seven men decided to rescue 1,200 Jews from the Nazis. Documentary filmmaker Russ Hodge, 3 Roads Communications and Frieder Films are in Manila to shoot Rescue in the Philippines, the story of how President Manuel L. Quezon, the US High Commissioner Paul McNutt, Colonel (and future president) Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Frieders, four Jewish businessmen from Ohio who had a cigar business in Manila, overcame the huge bureaucratic and logistical challenges of saving people from the Holocaust.
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