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Haven or Hell? Jews in the Philippines During WWII with Sandra Lanman

January 21, 2021 @7:40pm

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Beth El Genealogy Club

Joint Program – Beth El Genealogy Club and the Jewish Genealogy Society of North Jersey.

Haven or Hell?   Jews in the Philippines During WWII

Sandra Lanman

Sunday, January 21,  7:40 PM  ON  ZOOM

For years, Sandy Lanman knew her grandmother Elsie had escaped Germany to the Philippines only to lose her husband Gunther in the brutal Battle of Manila at the end of World War II. Aside from a few photos and family stories, she knew little else. In 2019, a serendipitous encounter on Facebook led her to Gunther’s great-nephew and a trove of photos of Elsie and Gunther in Manila. The discovery sparked her interest in the history of this little-known Jewish sanctuary from the war. Through film, photos and Elsie’s own words, Sandy’s presentation tells the story of the rescue of 1,300 European Jews and the challenges and terrors they faced under the Japanese occupation during World War II.  

Sandy Lanman is an award-winning writer and public relations professional. She began her career as a staff writer for The Home News in New Brunswick, where she won awards for health, medical and human interest writing. She has worked in public relations for Crossroads Theatre Company, New Jersey Network and Rutgers University, and as a consultant and writer serving clients in higher education, the arts and nonprofit sector, and is on the boards of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission and Central Jersey Jewish Historical Society. Sandy has a B.A. in English from Douglass College and master’s in communication and information studies from Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information.

Club members will have the link E-mailed to them before the meeting. Non-Beth El Genealogy Club members, please contact Lew Meixler  at    for ZOOM login information.