From Zbaszyn to Manila: The Holocaust odyssey of Joseph Cysner and the Philippine rescue of refugee Jews
Of the many refugee trails filled with stateless Jews fleeing Europe during the decades of the Nazi crisis, the odyssey of one man’s escape from Poland to the Philippines stands unique. Cantor Joseph Cysner’s recently discovered memoir recorded the expulsion of Polish Jews from Germany in the Polenaktion of October 28, 1938 and recounted the destitution of the expelled Jews in the refugee border camp of Zbaszyn, one of many throughout the no-man’s-lands of eastern Europe. Rescued by a telegram from the Jewish Refugee Committee (JRC) of Manila offering him employment, Joseph left Zbaszyn and joined 1300 other European refugee Jews ultimately saved from destruction by little known rescue plans in the Far Eastern nation of the Philippines.
My research resurrects these important events from historical oblivion, while showing how they incredibly link to each other, not only through global diplomacy, but in the life experiences of a little-known Jewish cantor.
0323: American studies
0335: European history
0751: Judaic studies