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Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War (2016)

1:30 | Trailer
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War: Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister, and Martha Sharp, a trained social worker, in February 1939, boldly commit to a life-threatening mission in Europe to assist refugees.


David Blitstein (story consultant), Artemis Joukowsky | 1 more credit »
2 wins. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Marina Goldman Marina Goldman ... Martha Sharp (voice)
Tom Hanks ... Waitstill Sharp (voice)


When seventeen others turned down the Unitarian Association's request for relief volunteers, Waitstill and Martha Sharp committed to the dangerous mission. "Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War" is the story of their humanitarian work and the effect it had on their lives. The Sharp's left their two young children behind in Wellesley, Massachusetts and traveled to Czechoslovakia to aid refugees just as war was about to break out in Europe. While abroad, they combated political and social legislation, breaking laws in order to get imperiled individuals exit visas. From involvement with black market, money laundering, to the clandestine transportation of refugees, the Sharps played a vital role in the rescue of Jews and dissidents from persecution. The film features interviews with the refugees rescued as children, now adults, who were taken to America by Martha Sharp, and interviews with family members. These personal stories highlight the impact of social change and the effect of the ... Written by Emma Blaxter

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Did You Know?


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User Reviews

Powerful Documentary
14 May 2017 | by larrys3See all my reviews

I was able to find a DVD copy of this powerful documentary at my local library. The film, co-directed by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky, is narrated by Tom Hanks and Marina Goldman.

The movie depicts the dangerous and harrowing missions of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, who prior to and during WW2 ventured from their home in Massachusetts all across the continent of Europe. As members of the Unitarian Church, and despite the peril of the times, they felt compelled to aid and help Jews and other persecuted peoples, with their goal being to save them from Nazi extermination. Certainly, an important part of their mission was also to save as many children as possible, helping organize their departure from Nazi occupied lands, as their parents were unable to obtain visas.

I thought the documentary was meticulously researched, quite engrossing, and contained a good balance of archival footage, photographs, eyewitness accounts, and interviews.

Overall, this is a strong addition to the list of films that have depicted the bravery and self-sacrifice of those persons, such as the Sharps, who risked their own lives to save so many amidst the Nazi horrors in WW2.

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Release Date:

20 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Two Who Dared: The Sharps' War See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

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