Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Martha and Waitstill Sharp

Congratulations to Martha and Waitstill Sharp, admitted today to Yad Vashem's Righteous Among the Nations. From WoPo:
The Sharps left their home in Boston _ and their two small children _ to travel to Prague in 1939, where they helped hundreds of refugees escape the Nazi occupiers of Czechoslovakia. There they had to burn evidence of their work when they fled the country six months later as the Nazis marched into Prague. Later, they traveled to Lisbon, where they helped refugees flee Nazi-occupied France into Spain, then Portugal and then to the United States... Waitstill Sharp, a minister, and Martha Sharp, a social worker, were sent by the Unitarian Service Committee to try to save people during the war. As part of their work, the couple had to bribe Spanish border guards with cigarettes, build connections with U.S. missions to obtain visas _ sometimes without State Department approval _ and find Americans to adopt refugee children.

In one of her missions, Martha Sharp managed to sneak 29 endangered children between the ages of three and 16, nine of them Jewish, out of Europe to homes in the United States

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