New Documentary Film Evokes Stumbling Stone Issues
We’ve been getting messages from folks calling our attention to a new documentary What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy, which opened recently in some theaters.
We actually saw the movie a few months ago at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Phillippe Sands, whose relatives died in the Holocaust, wrote a book that became the basis for the film about two men whose fathers were high-ranking Nazis. One confronts his father’s past with eyes wide opened; the other is in deep denial.
“The two men who carry their families’ stories transmit those stories to future generations,” Sands says in a Time magazine article.”Their fathers may be long dead, but the underlying issues that gave rise to these horrors in the first place are all still there.”
Writing in the New York Times about the documentary, Ken Jaworowski says, “While these men aren’t accountable for the actions of their fathers, they are obligated to recognize the truth of what happened.”
As we’ve been doing our book events for our historical novel Stumbling Stone, we’ve talked a lot about Rudi’s father’s past and the silence that surrounded his family. When Rudi was growing up, his family didn’t talk about what his father did as a high –ranking Nazi and very early member of the Nazi party. They also didn’t discuss Rudi’s Uncle Gerhard, his father’s brother and a non-compliant German – or what happened to him.
Writing and publishing Stumbling Stone has been two-decade effort to find out the truth about one German family and set the record straight about what Rudi’s father and his uncle did during World War II. And to leave a legacy so that the truth cannot be denied.
Writing in the J, Northern California’s Jewish newspaper, Michael Fox says, “The denial of evildoing – the rewriting or ignoring of history – is the first step toward future horrors.”