Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, a new documentary co-directed by Ken Burns and Sherborn’s Artemis Joukowsky III, tells the story of the mission by Rev. Waitstill Sharp and his wife, Martha, to rescue hundreds Jewish refugees and political dissidents in Europe before and during World War II. The reason we’re bringing this to your attention is that Rev. Sharp was the minister at the Unitarian church in Wellesley, and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills will host a special showing of the film on Oct. 5 at 7pm at 309 Washington St. (RSVP to [email protected])
Light refreshments will be served beginning at 6:15pm and a panel discussion will follow the showing of the 90-minute documentary. Panelists include Joukowsky (the Sharps’ grandson); Unitarian Universalist Service Committee President Tom Andrews; and Catherine Chvany, one of the children rescued by the Sharps.
Joukowsky will also be available to sign copies of his new book about his grandparents’ roughly two-year mission, during which these relatively unsung Wellesley heroes left their children behind in the care of their parish.
The documentary, told through the letters and journals of the Sharps and featuring the voices of Tom Hanks and Marina Goldman, actually debuts on Sept. 20 at 9pm on PBS. Nicholas Kristof calls the film “timely and powerful” in an New York Times op-ed piece (“The documentary will air on PBS on Tuesday evening — just as world leaders conclude two days of meetings in New York City about today’s global refugee crisis, an echo of the one in the late 1930s.”).