Ken Burns’ PBS Documentary Makes The Case For Opening Doors To Refugees Fleeing Death & War

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted September 19th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Ken Burns has shown once again why he is one of my all-time favourite documentary filmmakers.

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns makes a powerful case for helping refugees

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns makes a powerful case for opening the doors to  refugees

The producer of ‘The Civil War’, ‘The Central Park Five’, ‘The Roosevelts’, ‘Mark Twain’, ‘Jazz’, ‘The Dust Bowl’, ‘The National Parks – American’s Best Idea’ and so many other great documentaries has once again produced a film that everyone should see at a time when Donald Trump and others like him in the United States and Canada question whether our countries should accept refugees fleeing from war-torn regions of the world.

The film is called ‘Defying The Nazis: The Sharps’ War’ and is about brave people who not only defied Hitler’s Nazis, but defied people in North America who did not want to open the doors to Jewish refugees, to help Jewish families fleeing from certain death in Nazi-occupied Europe.

This brief note circulated this Monday, September 19th, from Roy Blake, a member of the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara in St. Catharines gives the time this September 19th, the time and the PBS station you can watch this documentary on – Tuesday, Sept. 20th, 9 p.m: The UUA has notified us of a program called “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War”, on  PBS (WNED Buffalo). Martha and Rev. Waitstill Sharp, WWII Unitarians who secretly worked in Nazi-occupied Europe to rescue Jews, dissidents, and refugee children, are the subject of a PBS documentary by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky.

Now here is a trailer for the film that you can click on here and watch

Finally, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof had a fabulous column in this past Sunday, September 18th Times, about the significance of this Ken Burns film in light of debates raging in our countries and others today on offering a new home to refugees from Syria and other desperate regions of the world.

In the column, headlined; ‘Would You Hide A Jew From The Nazis?’, Kristof puts in a good word for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he and other world leaders gather at the United Nations in New York City this September 19th to address this very question when it comes to today’s refugees.

“As today’s leaders gather for their summit sessions, they should remember that history eventually sides with those who help refugees, not with those who vilify them,” writes Kristof. “Currently, only a small number of leaders have shown real moral courage on refugees — hurray for Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau — and even President Obama’s modest willingness to accept 10,000 Syrians has led him to be denounced by Donald Trump.”

I hope we all take the time to watch this documentary

To read Nicholas Kristof’s whole column click onstory

About the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara – Located in St. Catharines, Ontario, we are the only Unitarian congregation in the Niagara region of Canada. Please explore this site and, if what we do seems interesting, feel free to drop in at any service and find out more.

Here is a link to the Unitarian Congregation’s site –

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