While watching "Two Who Dared: The Sharps' War," Stephen Snell learned lessons of sacrifice, risks and heroism.
"We live in an era where we need more examples of people willing to stick their necks out a bit and do what's right," said Snell, a member of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York.
The film documentary recounts the life and work of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a Wellesley, Mass., couple who left their home, two children and Unitarian church to help hundreds of refugees -- including Jews -- escape what was then Czechoslovakia during World War II.
The country was occupied by Germany, and the Sharps' actions helped save many Jews from the Holocaust.
Snell said he wanted to help share the documentary with York County after initially seeing it at a national Unitarian assembly held in June in Phoenix.
"Two Who Dared: The Sharps' War" will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive, York Township.
The UUCY and the JCC are co-sponsoring the free event.
The risk: Linda Seligson, JCC's cultural and contemporary adult director, said she is amazed at how the Sharps were willing to leave home and arrange for family to take care of their children while the couple risked their lives for people they didn't know.
"The (film) shows there were
good people of faith who stepped forward at great risk to themselves to save Jews during the Holocaust," Seligson said. "There were lots of people like (the Sharps) who put themselves and their families on the line to help others. That's pretty special people."
The documentary was directed by the Sharps' grandson, Artemis Joukowsky III, also co-founder of No Limits Media Inc., based in Brookline, Mass.
The documentary shows how the couple's wartime efforts started in 1939, after they were asked by a Unitarian minister to participate in an American Unitarian Association emergency relief mission to assist a Unitarian community in Czechoslovakia that was occupied by Germans.
Seeing the evils of the Nazi forces, the couple helped refugees escape by compiling documents for emigration and connecting refugees with employers and sponsors abroad.
The couple accepted another similar mission in France in 1940, according to a "Two Who Dared" news release.
"We're often called to take risks, but obviously not in the same caliber as this couple," Snell said. "But we can learn from them the importance of taking a stand on an issue for principle."
--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.