This is for the Gentiles hereabouts (me included): Would you hide a Jew from the Nazis?
We all think we would. But the reality of WWII tells us that defying deadly power, especially for the sake of those we’ve been taught to think of as “other,” is an act of rare and admirable courage.
The linked article has an agenda. That agenda is not about helping Jews. That agenda is, in fact, a bait-and-switch. The article tells the tales of brave, principled individuals who saved hunted Jews from death. Then it shames us over the issue of what today’s governments should do about Islamic refugees.
My main reason for linking that article is the stories of individual courage and an upcoming Ken Burns documentary you may want to watch: Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War. Who were the Sharps?
Unto the breach stepped a 33-year-old woman from Massachusetts named Martha Sharp.
With steely nerve, she led one anti-Nazi journalist through police checkpoints in Nazi-occupied Prague to safety by pretending that he was her husband.
Another time, she smuggled prominent Jewish opponents of Naziism, including a leading surgeon and two journalists, by train through Germany, by pretending that they were her household workers.
“If the Gestapo should charge us with assisting the refugees to escape, prison would be a light sentence,” she later wrote in an unpublished memoir. “Torture and death were the usual punishments.”
Sharp was in Europe because the Unitarian Church had asked her and her husband, Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister, if they would assist Jewish refugees. Seventeen others had refused the mission, but the Sharps agreed — and left their two small children behind in Wellesley, Mass.
The documentary about the Sharps comes out this Tuesday.