Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror
With the rise of Nazism in the 1930s more than a thousand European Jews sought refuge in the Philippines, joining the small Jewish population of Manila. When the Japanese invaded the islands in 1941, the peaceful existence of the barely settled Jews filled with the kinds of uncertainties and oppression they thought they had left behind. Escape to Manila gathers the testimonies of thirty-six refugees, who describe the difficult journey to Manila, the lives they built there, and the events surrounding the Japanese invasion. Combining these accounts with historical and archival records, Manila newspapers, and U.S. government documents, Frank Ephraim constructs a detailed account of this little-known chapter of world history.
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This book is a fascinating narrative on the ephemeral, yet memorable, history of Jewish community in the Philippines in the early years of World War II. It is a good read for Jews who want to get a fuller and better information on the myriad faces of the Jewish Diaspora. It is also an excellent read for Filipinos of today who are experiencing their own Diaspora -- millions of Filipinos are living and working abroad. From the point of view of Philippine history, it is quite enlightening to know that two Jewish businessmen befriended Jose Rizal, and were supportive of Filipinos' quest for freedom from Spanish tyranny.
The First Wave of Refugees
Manila Hears about Kristallnacht
A Plan for Jewish Settlement
Establishing a Life
What Does the Future Hold for Us?
Can We Hold Out?
The Final Months of Occupation
14 Reestablishing the Community
Leaving the Philippines
Carving Out a Niche