Thursday, September 14, 2006

Important in the News

Note: Will heroes emerge for Darfur? Maybe the folks pictured below, and dozens more HERE from Saturday's demonstation September 9, 2006? Maybe nobody?

The Ithacan 9/14/06:
Alumnus sacrifices family and food for Darfur cause; and also Assisting those in Darfur. Question: For we as individuals, what actions would be appropriate for us if those being exterminated, as we speak, were: OUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY? WHITE, UPWARDLY MOBILE, AMERICANS? 6,000,000 JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST?

Washington Post 9/14/06: Rebels Say They May Abandon Darfur Pact, Faction Commanders Demand a Strong International Force. Note:Illusions of stability, and that we have time to discuss, delay, deny... the facts no longer support these illusions.

Washington Post 9/14/06 Couple Who Fought Genocide; same article without registering at MSNBC. By Alan CoopermanWashington Post Staff Writer Thursday, September 14, 2006; Some excerpts:

As the Nazis marched across Europe in 1939 and 1940, a Unitarian minister from Massachusetts and his wife rushed into the coming Holocaust to save Jews and other refugees, including dozens of children.

For their heroism, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will dedicate plaques today in memory of Waitstill and Martha Sharp. They are only the second and third U.S. citizens named to an honor roll of 21,000 "righteous" gentiles, non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews.

The Holocaust museum is honoring Martha and Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister, for their rescue missions to Europe as the Nazis ravaged the Continent. (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee)

But the moral example of the Sharps is arguably much greater, and certainly more complex, than those bare facts suggest. When they made two lengthy trips to Europe to save the children of strangers, they left their own children with relatives and parishioners. Their 2-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son were separated, and the daughter nearly died of pneumonia in her parents' absence.

Decades later, the Sharps' children and grandchildren are still working out the emotional consequences -- and thinking over the ethical questions -- created by the couple's wartime activity...

"The moral dilemma they pose for each of us is not just 'Am I willing to risk my own skin to save someone else's life?' It is 'Am I willing to impose risk and sacrifice on my children to save other people's lives?' " said their grandson, Artemis Joukowsky III of Boston...

Joukowsky, 45, is proud of them. He has done more than anyone to win them recognition by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem that maintains the list of righteous gentiles. He is making a documentary film and writing a book in hopes that their story will inspire Americans to act boldly when genocides occur in such places as Darfur, Sudan.

Yet he said he could never do to his children what his grandparents did to his mother and uncle.
"I have to say, they crossed a certain line. One of them leaving was fine. But the fact that they both left, especially the second time, when they knew what they were getting into. . . . It was heroic, but it crossed a line..."

Looking back, Martha Sharp Joukowsky said, "The values I hold for myself may not be the same that I held my parents to. I think that sacrifice is something they felt they had to do. I don't make any value judgments. I can't. . . . Is home important? Yes, but it is more important that ideas are put into action. They felt the world was in a crisis, they had to rise to the occasion. Nobody else was."

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