'goodness, like evil, begins with many small steps...People become good citizens by engaging in acts of good citizenship.' - Professor Irwin Straub, UMass, Amherst
Austin, TX (PRWEB) July 07, 2013
The Waitstill and Martha Sharp Chalice Circle and The Lifespan Religious Education Department will be screening the film Two Who Dared: The Sharps’ War. This film will be shown in Howson hall at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Texas, located at 4700 Grover, Austin, Texas 78756, on July 11th at 7 PM. Donations to the filmmakers will be accepted. Babysitting will be available. The film is the never-before-told American, World War II and Holocaust story of Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister, and Martha Sharp, a trained social worker, who, in February 1939, boldly committed to a life-threatening mission in Europe to assist refugees.
After seventeen ministers declined the Unitarian Association’s request for relief volunteers in Europe, Waitstill and Martha were the eighteenth call. When they committed to the dangerous undertaking, they left their two young children in the care of their congregation in Wellesley, Massachusetts and traveled to Czechoslovakia at the onset of WWII. Over the course of two missions: in Prague (1939), and in Southern France (1940), the Sharps, and their underground confederates, played a vital role in saving hundreds from persecution. In 2006, the Sharps were recognized by the State of Israel as “Righteous Among the Nations” at Yad Vashem for risking their lives to save Jews and dissidents during the Holocaust. Of the 25,000 so honored, there are only three Americans to ever be honored, Varian Fry and the Sharps. The documentary film is told from the point of view of Martha and Waitstill Sharp, drawing on their recorded interviews, letters and unpublished memoirs, and includes interviews with rescued children and noted Holocaust scholars. Through the inspiring true story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, Two Who Dared: The Sharps’ War reveals a timeless lesson of personal sacrifice and courage to be shared with future generations.
There will be a discussion following the film. We will consider the broader themes suggested by this film such as the idea of Professor Irwin Straub of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who believes that “goodness, like evil, begins with many small steps. He argues that “people become brave by doing brave acts. People become compassionate by doing compassionate acts. People become good citizens by engaging in acts of good citizenship.”