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Joukowsky, Artemis

Defying the Nazis

The little-known story of the Sharps whose rescue and relief missions across Europe during World War II saved the lives of countless Jews, refugees, and political dissidents. Official companion to the Ken Burns PBS film.
For readers captivated by the story of Antonina Zabinski as told in The Zookeeper’s Wife and other stories of rescue missions during WWII, Defying the Nazis is an essential read.
In 1939, the Reverend Waitstill Sharp, a young Unitarian minister, and his wife, Martha, a social worker, accepted a mission from the American Unitarian Association: they were to leave their home and young children in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and travel to Prague, Czechoslovakia, to help address the mounting refugee crisis. Seventeen ministers had been asked to undertake this mission and had declined; Rev. Sharp was the first to accept the call for volunteers in Europe.

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