An Open Door

Jewish Rescue in the Philippines

Copyright 2011 Noel M. Izon


“I wish to commend filmmaker Mr. Noel Izon and author Sharon Delmendo for their project entitled 'An Open Door,' which documents the fascinating rescue of over 1,200 Jews from Nazi Germany during the administration of President Manuel Quezon. The documentary is an enlightening tale about the little known efforts of a former Philippine president and his Jewish and American friends in Manila, who overcame huge bureaucratic and logistical challenges to save people from the Holocaust.  The Philippines has long been a haven for refugees and displaced people, and it is hoped that this project will inform future generations about the values of courage and compassion.”

Jose_L._Cuisia,_Jr (1)

Honorable Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States

On behalf of the US-Philippines Society, I congratulate Noel “Sonny” Izon, Sharon Delmendo, and their talented team for documenting the remarkable story of how the Philippines opened its doors to people fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe, even as war clouds were gathering in Asia. This compelling drama had been lost to history but is etched indelibly in the memories of Jewish families who were offered sanctuary in Manila and whose spirits were buoyed by the warm Filipino welcome they received. Some of those family members moved to the United States after the war and became American citizens. But, they remained profoundly grateful to the Philippine Commonwealth under President Quezon, whose actions saved 1,305 Jews, comparable to the number saved by Oskar Schindler. The US-Philippines Society supports Mr. Izon’s efforts to document this chapter of history and bring the dramatic story of refuge and rescue to today’s generation of Americans and Filipinos.


John F. Maisto

Ambassador (ret.)

President of the US-Philippines Society


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