“I was about eight or nine years old …Uncle Harry looked at my dad and said, “You know, if it hadn’t been for your father, I would be a bar of soap.‟ And I was there pretending not to care. And chills went down my – you know, at this age I didn’t know what the Holocaust was.”
“If you remember the opening scene of Casablanca, it‟s how all these people are plotting their way of getting out of Rick‟s Café. And as the options keep narrowing…”
The British (were) not too keen on what these Filipinos are doing. At the time that was my grandfather was elected president of his own country they were locking up Gandhi. …So this is the milieu in which he operated.
“Every birthday there was a big (Tuberculosis) charity ball. Filipinos have no qualms about suffering in public. It was certainly a factor… that the person suffering from a fatal illness, because at that time TB was really fatal, is driven. Because he knew his time was numbered, Quezon‟s ambition was to become the first president of an independent Philippines.”
“That is something that perhaps only could have happened in the Philippines. That the Frieders, could have felt emboldened to say, „Mr. President, this is something that worries us. And you‟re in a position to do something.”
I think for my grandfather, it was perhaps that simple. You have a country. You have a little authority. You have an opportunity. Someone has asked for refuge. Which is the most basic humanitarian appeal anyone can make. You answer it.”