The Czechs in the Philippines in World War II
Ricardo T. Jose, Ph.D.

Jose, Ricardo. 2023. “The Czechs in the Philippines in World War II.” in Ambeth Ocampo, Ige Ramos, and Dalibor Mička, Kaibigan-Prátelé: Czech-Philippines (Manila: Embassy of the Czech Republic), pp. 79-99. 


The Czech community in the Philippines just prior to World War II was a small but intimate group. There were but a handful of old-timers, mostly businessmen and their families. Most recent arrivals of Czech Jews, refugees from Hitler’s forcible occupation of Czechoslovakia. At least one had arrived from China, a refugee from the Sino-Japanese conflict. The group were employees of the Bat’a Shoe Company, working in the head office, retail outlets or the shoe factory, all in Manila. It was relatively young community, with most in their thirties or younger.

Manila at that time was a vibrant, cosmopolitan city full of promise. The Philippine Commonwealth government had been inaugurated in 1935, and prospects for a mutually beneficial relationship between the Philippines and Czechoslovakia were bright.