Spend two evenings with author Artemis Joukowsky III P’14, P’16, who tells the incredible story of his grandparents, Martha Ingham Dickie (Brown 1926) and Rev. Waitstill Hastings Sharp in his new book, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War (Beacon Press, 2016), also a film by Ken Burns of the same name.
On Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the Special Collections Reading Room of the John Hay Library, Artemis Joukowsky and Holly Snyder, Ph.D., Curator of American Historical Collections and North American History Librarian, will discuss how Artemis researched this story, collaborated with Ken Burns and others to develop the film project, and ultimately published a companion book.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the Special Collections Reading Room of the John Hay Library, we will officially close the exhibit related to the book and film, A Hymn for the Brave: The Sharps and Humanitarian Work in World War II. During the discussion, Artemis’ parents Martha Sharp Joukowsky, PhD ’58, PHB’82 hon., LHD’85 hon., P’87, GP’13, GP’14, GP’16, GP’17 and Artie Joukowsky, Jr. ’55, LLD’85 hon., P87, GP’13, GP’14, GP’16, GP’17 will join in via WebEx.
A reception and book-signing will follow the discussions on both nights. Books will be available for sale from the Brown Bookstore. These events are free and open to the public.
Rev. Waitstill and Martha Sharp leading adults and children to an airplane in Czechoslovakia, 1939.
The Sharps, who helped to found the Unitarian Service Committee in the midst of World War II, personally oversaw USC efforts to rescue refugees from dire situations under Nazi occupation in Czechoslovakia and France and helped to save hundreds of lives across Europe. Defying the Nazis supplements the PBS documentary of the same name, co-produced by Joukowsky with Ken Burns, and which premiered on PBS stations in September 2016. Joukowsky’s book fleshes out the Sharps’ story in ways that simply could not be done within the boundaries of a 90 minute film.
Artemis has been researching the wartime efforts of his grandparents since he was a teenager, and over the past four decades has compiled important documentation about their work with refugees and its ultimate costs on their marriage and family. This is a story of simple people finding strength they had no idea they possessed. It is a story of individuals standing up to unthinkable evil. It is a story that contains both the twists and turns of a classic spy thriller, as well as the heartbreaks and triumphs of the most compelling drama. And, above all, Defying the Nazis is a tragic love story—a story of what one man and one woman could accomplish together, and how those very achievements pulled them apart.
Children’s Journey to Freedom : A Report by Martha Sharp of the First Children’s Emigration Project, Unitarian Service Committee, 1941
Dates: Tuesday, February 21 and Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Time: 5:30 p.m., both nights
Location: Special Collections Reading Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI