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Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror

Customer Reviews:

Mixture of history and first-person stories...

By Michael Valdivielso - September 12, 2003

In this book Mr. Frank Ephraim not only tells us about the history of "Manilaners", Jews who fled Europe and headed to the Philippines, but also tells us about the Jewish community already there. His book is detailed, with both the facts of history AND the emotions and actions of the people themselves. We never feel that the Jews, Filipinos, Americans and Japanese are faceless puppets.
He starts off giving us a very complete history of the Philippines, then focusing on Europe and the problems that Jews had living under the growing power of the Third Reich. Soon we are following the resourceful refugees to Manila. We watch them start a new life, with the help of those around them, showing us the support and empathy that the Jews and Filipinos had for the newcomers.
Then the Japanese invaded and he shows us how everyone came even closer together, doing everything to live a normal life. We learn about daily life, the struggle for food and trying to understand how to deal... read more

Great History, even with errors

By Robert Hansen - May 29, 2008

I have been collecting books of this genre - Manila during the Japanese occupation and subsequent liberation for a number of years and was pleased to add this to my collection. My mother's family was in Manila and like the author they suffered and struggled. To the reviewer who noted that he doesn't care since he doesn't know the people, I say "so what" -- I don't give his review any credibility. One does not read books of this genre and expect to know the people involved. However, as one reviewer has already pointed out, the author made the egregious error of referring to the "Jesuits" at DeLaSalle. My grandfather was president of the DeLaSalle Alumni Association in 1944-45, all of my Uncles attended DeLaSalle and were the author's classmates. To link Jesuits to De La Salle totally negates the credibility of the book in it's entirety to any De La Salle or Ateneo (the Jesuit School)alumni. I am giving it three stars because of the subject but this book should have been edited... read more

Intriguing Stories Of Escape

By John P. Rooney "John" - May 27, 2005

"Escape To Manila" by Frank Ephraim. Subtitled "From Nazi Tyranny To Japanese Terror". University of Illinois Press, 2003.

This is a collection of intriguing stories, documenting the escape of many different Jewish people, families and individuals, from the impending Holocaust in Nazi dominated Europe. One of the escapees is the author, Frank Ephraim, who has done a great deal of research on how and when the individual escapees reached Manila, The Philippines, and their fate when the Japanese were forced out.

Each of the intriguing stories has its own chronology: some Jews escaped in the early 1930s, when the promulgation of the Nuremberg Laws painted a dark picture of their future, while others did not leave until the September 1st 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland. These necessarily different chronologies can be confusing as you read this interesting book. Further, the author insists giving the date of the Pearl Harbor attack as December 8th, I.e. Manila... read more

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