This poignant documentary about the Shoah contains a warning for our future

95-year-old Max Wolff has recorded his family life in forty thousand photos and many meters of film. Such an extensive family album, you would think. But his daughter Batya is not happy. The photos stand between her and her own memories, she says. And it wasn’t so much fun having to pose again and again.

In the videos about her mother’s birth, she notices how staged they are. When she first saw her birth film, she thought: “That film is about someone who is dead.” Her sister expresses herself even more strongly. When she saw a picture of her crib, she thought she wouldn’t fit in it “because it contains all the bones of dead people.”

There’s more to this than a father with a photography hobby that got out of hand, the documentary shows Captured (KRO-NCRV), which Batya Wolff made with artist Arnoud Holleman. When father Max says in the first few minutes: “I was never liberated”, it is already clear: this is about the Shoah. But how does the genocide relate to the tens of thousands of Max’s family snapshots?

The two sisters and Max’s brother-in-law were murdered by the Nazis. His sister was the family’s photographer before the war. Max shoots to compensate for what he has lost, and to capture life after the Shoah. To remember and commemorate. This is hard for his own daughters: they were born after the war and grew up in the shadow of the Shoah. Daughter Batya has the feeling that that is why she has never really lived. That her father saddled her with his trauma. She wonders: “Can I free myself from a war that ended before I was born?”

Then there appears to be a video of the wedding of sister Elly and brother-in-law Sieg Kanstein. January 1940. You see a young woman full of life and happiness. Daughter Batya realizes: they lived. And we don’t. After the war, life went on, but not really. Marry, have children, have grandchildren – to allow the largely exterminated family to survive. But it felt staged.

Nevertheless, Batya finds comfort in the pre-war films. She sees the aunts who were always so dead to her, but now it turns out that they just had a life before death. Young women getting married, sailing, playing in the woods. Aunt Elly looks provocatively into the camera: bring it on! A life apart from the Shoah. Because their death weighs less heavily on Batya, she hopes to be able to start living herself.

This documentary was broadcast by the public broadcaster. The same public broadcaster broadcast a program on 10 May in which one of the guests was able to propagate the population theory without contradiction. On Thursday, the central NPO leadership imposed a fine of 93,000 euros on the responsible club, Ongehoord Nederland. Not for spreading deadly ideas – attacks have already been committed with the repopulation theory in hand – incidentally, but for not questioning these and other lies sufficiently critically.

Also read this article: NPO: Ongehoord Nederland shows ‘some reflection’ internally

That is an unprecedentedly fast and decisive response from the NPO leadership. Which is in stark contrast to the decisiveness in previous files. The ombudsman, on whose judgment the fine is based, said that “other parties” should also take this into account. Think of WNL, that Forum for Democracy leader Thierry Baudet once made guest editor of the breakfast show. Or think of On 1, where Baudet was received with all due respect by his holiday friend and Forum donor Jort Kelder. A clear case of conflict of interest that journalism is not right. The Media Authority announced an investigation a year ago. We’re never going to hear about it again.