Community and Sectoral Outreach

Open Door in the Philippines: Observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines

A Film by Noel “Sonny” Izon

Every year, on January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is celebrated remembering the six million victims of the Holocaust. A year ago (2020), the United Nations marked the occasion with a live event at the UN headquarters in New York City hosting a few hundreds of delegates and special guests including the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr.

As a central part of the event, the documentary An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines, sponsored by the US-Philippine Society was screened to a full house. An Open Door documents the work that President Manuel Quezon, U.S. High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt, and the Filipino and Jewish communities of Manila did in the 1930s to help refugee Jews escape Nazi Germany. Over 1,300 were able to come to the Philippines. There they found an open door and the open hearts of the Filipino people. Today, their descendants number well over 11,000 souls. It is a poignant reminder of what can be accomplished when a president with his people and partners, including members of the American community, muster the courage and the will to lend a helping hand to a people in need.

About the Film Director Sonny Izon

Noel Izon is an independent filmmaker based in Hyattsville, MD. He was born in Tondo Manila in 1946, the year the Philippines attained full independence. He is the fifth child of acclaimed Filipino cartoonist and artist Esmeraldo Z. Izon.  Since moving to the United States in 1967, he has been involved in creative and broadcast design and production that encompass more than 250 international films and videos. He has won national awards for his work, which include some 100 nationally televised programs produced mainly for PBS and for National Geographic Television. He has produced films and videos for numerous national and international clients including the White House and the Vatican.

An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines is the third in his trilogy of forgotten WWII Stories.

For more information, contact Sonny Izon by email:


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