On September 20, 2016, millions of Americans tuned in to watch Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War on PBS. The film by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky tells the courageous story of two Unitarians who helped hundreds escape from Nazi-occupied Europe. And today, Unitarian Universalists have been energized to carry on the Sharps’ legacy, defying hate and fear in our own time. Check out the highlights below from the weeks leading up to the broadcast.
Defying the Nazis received great coverage in print, TV and radio. Over 450 media placements created 1.1 billion impressions, sharing the Sharps’ inspiring story far and wide. Here are a few examples, which connect the film to the ongoing issues of human rights, tolerance and refugees:
- Unitarians’ long view on activism (Boston Globe, September 8)
- Would you hide a Jew from the Nazis? (Op-Ed, Nicholas Kristoff, New York Times, September 18)
- They risked their lives to rescue scores of people from the Nazis. Few knew their story until now. (Washington Post, September 19)
Congregations Taking Action
Over fifty UU congregations have posted events that defy hatred in fear in their communities and connect with the Sharps’ story. There have been watch parties, preach-ins, screenings, solidarity events and community conversations, including a screening at the UU Fellowship of Paris. It’s not too late to add your event to the list! Hundreds of people and congregations have also downloaded the Congregational Action Guide (PDF).
Watch and Read
- Buy the DVD to host a public screening, perfect for interfaith events.
- Buy the companion book from Beacon Press, great for community book club programs.
Answer the Call for Justice
- Download these in-depth Unitarian Universalist resources for advancing interfaith justice in your community for religious tolerance and the refugee crisis.
- Building Bridges: Refugee Support and Advocacy Toolkit (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee)
- We Who Defy Hate: Interfaith Curriculum (Fahs Collaborative, Meadville Lombard Theological School)