The late Philippine President Manuel Luis Quezon is to be honoured on Monday for his opening the Philippines to refugees from the Holocaust between 1937 and 1941.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), shall bestow on Quezon the Jan Karski Courage to Care Award.
The award is named after the Polish diplomat “who visited concentration camps and tried to warn Western nations about the plight of the European Jews,” ADL said.
In a letter to Quezon’s daughter, Maria Zeneida Quezon Avanceña, the ADL said it would be “very proud to posthumously present this award to your father… for his heroic efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust.”
President Quezon was behind the open-door policy when the country, then an American Commonwealth, welcomed 1,200 refugees rendered stateless by the Nazi regime.
The history of the “Manilaners,” by which the refugees came to be known, has only recently been unraveled through research by Filipino-American professor Sharon Delmendo.
Delmendo is currently working on a book and a full-length documentary about this largely unknown part of Philippine history.
It was through Delmendo’s work that ADL came to know about Quezon’s role in providing a home for Jewish refugees.
“Professor Delmendo gave us documents showing that President Quezon spoke out actively against anti-Semitism. It was the documentation professor Delmendo gave us, especially the materials from her book in progress, which lead us to decide to grant the Karski award to President Quezon,” the ADL wrote in a separate letter about the award.
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