When No One Else Was Willing To Help...

In February 1939, Waitstill Sharp, a young Unitarian minister from Boston, and his wife Martha left for Czechoslovakia on a refugee mission. For months, the Unitarian Church had been receiving alarming reports from Prague over the plight of refugees. The Sharps arrived in Prague, home to the largest Unitarian church in the world, with $28,000 in monetary aid. The Unitarian church was already a step in front of the Nazis, having set up a secretive network of volunteers and agencies to secure the safe passage of both Jews and non-Jews out of Prague. The task became even more difficult when on March 15, 1939 the Nazis entered Prague. For the next five months, the Sharps continued their work undaunted by the presence of the Gestapo and the possibility that they would be arrested or killed. In August 1939, the couple left Prague and headed back to the United States, barely escaping arrest.

Only 10 months later, the Sharps returned to Europe on their second mission, setting up a refugee office in Lisbon, Portugal. Eventually, they made their way to Nazi controlled France, to find ways to help refugees escape. In an elaborate plan, the Sharps helped a renowned German Jewish author, Lion Feuchtwanger, and his wife escape to New York via Spain. During their sixth months stay in France, the Sharps worked closely with another American rescuer Varian Fry.

Finally, in December 1940, after rescuing nearly 2,000 people from the horrors of Nazi persecution, Waitstill and Martha Sharp returned to the United States. Following the war, Martha Sharp remained very active in efforts to assist the Jews around the world and the establishment of Israel.

Two Who Dared tells this remarkable story of courage, documenting the lives of Rev Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha. The documentary will be told from the point of view of Martha and Waitsill, drawing on their recorded interviews, letters and unpublished memoirs.

The viewers will first meet the Sharps through an authentic audio recording of their voices that will soon blend into voices by actors who will “play” each part. Our intent to create the closest to a firsthand experience possible that will also include interviews with Holocaust survivors, historians, and others. The input of witnesses and scholars will further contextualize and illuminate the harrowing accounts presented by the Sharps themselves.

Two Who Dared will combine archival footage and new visuals to create the atmosphere of constant danger that the Sharps’ experienced. The original images will help to establish urgency and intensity, circumventing the distance that a sole reliance on archival footage can establish. Our visuals will reference camera angles and perspective, generating an on-screen metaphor for the ambiguity of a culture at war with itself.

This haunting, provocative style will reinforce the life and death nature of the Sharps’ actions. Fortunately, much of Prague as well as regions of Southern France and Portugal-the regions in which most of the film takes place-have not changed significantly since 1939-1940. In addition to filming in these locations, we will use 3-D effects on stills and other footage to provide the immediacy necessary for the story. When possible, we will use actual Newsreel reports. Where those reports are not available, we will create a graphic device: the use of period Teletype-the means by which AP and UPI reported stories from around the world. This “created teletype” will provide information on the lower third of the screen.

Image Gallery

Follow Us!

Follow TwoWhoDared on Twitter

Contact Us

Please contact us regarding any questions or comments about the film!

Street: 197 Lake Street
City/State: Sherborn MA, 01770
Phone: (508) 650-2077
E-mail: [email protected]