History

Defying The Nazis: The Sharps' War

Join an American couple's courageous mission in 1939 to help refugees escape Nazi-occupied Europe. Over the course of two years, the pair will risk their lives so that hundreds can live in freedom. A film by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky.

Waitstill Explains Money Laundering

1m 22s

Hear Waitstill Sharp's account, narrated by Tom Hanks, of money laundering to help refugees fleeing the Holocaust. He weighed the legal ethics of his actions and ruled that it was more important to save imperiled lives.

Extras + Features

  • Martha's Emigration Project: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Martha's Emigration Project

    8m 27s

    Some of the children who were part of Martha Sharp’s emigration project describe their experiences as refugees leaving Europe for America during World War II.

  • Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War | Trailer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War | Trailer

    2m 3s

    Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War, co-directed by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky, is about a little-known but important mission by an American minister and his wife to rescue refugees and dissidents in Europe before and after the start of World War II.

  • Gerda's Story: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Gerda's Story

    2m 21s

    Gerda Mayer of Vienna recalls saying good bye in 1939 to her parents as she boarded a plane to England as part of the Kindertransport (Children's Transport), a series of rescue missions that saved thousands of Jewish children. The rest of Gerda's family was killed in the Holocaust.

  • Martha Learns Clandestine Work: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Martha Learns Clandestine Work

    43s

    Martha Sharp learns skills and clandestine methods from Quaker leadership to save refugees fleeing the Holocaust.

  • Peter's Story: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Peter's Story

    36s

    Peter grew up next to the city hall, and remembers seeing Gestapo, people removed from crowds at the embassy, and his parents' fear in World War II era Europe.

  • Waitstill Explains Money Laundering: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Waitstill Explains Money Laundering

    1m 22s

    Hear Waitstill Sharp's account, narrated by Tom Hanks, of money laundering to help refugees fleeing the Holocaust. He weighed the legal ethics of his actions and ruled that it was more important to save imperiled lives.

  • Ken Burns Discusses Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ken Burns Discusses Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War

    1m 7s

    Ken Burns examines the previously untold account of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their children behind in the care of their parish and boldly committed to a life-threatening mission in Europe.

  • A Willingness to Act: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Willingness to Act

    10m 40s

    Waitstill and Martha Sharp, along with some of the refugees who they helped rescue, describe their harrowing journey across Nazi-occupied territory on their way to safety in England.

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