Two elderly men possess starkly contrasting attitudes towards their high-ranking Nazi fathers. WHAT OUR FATHERS DID: A NAZI LEGACY is a compelling examination of brutality, self-deception, guilt and the nature of justice.


A bracingly rigorous examination of inherited guilt and pain, WHAT OUR FATHERS DID explores the relationship between two men, each of whom are the children of very high-ranking Nazi officials but possess starkly contrasting attitudes toward their fathers.

The film was written and is hosted by eminent human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, who became fascinated by its central figures, Niklas Frank and Horst von Wächter, while researching the Nuremberg trials.

The film comes to a climax when they travel to Lviv in Ukraine, where it becomes clear that Frank and von Wächter's Nazi fathers were responsible for the annihilation of Sands' own Jewish grandfather's entire family. WHAT OUR FATHERS DID is a compelling examination of brutality, self-deception, guilt and the nature of justice.

"This is both an intensely personal story for me as well as one with contemporary and universal relevance as anti-Semitism spreads across Europe and the wounds created in Ukraine during WWII can still be felt today." Philippe Sands

92 minutes
SDH Captioning for the Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Directed by David Evans
Produced by Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
Writer: Philippe Sands
Executive Producers: Philippe Sands, David Evans, Nick Fraser
Editor: David Charap
Directors of Photography: Sam Hardy, Philipp Blaubach, Matt Gray
Music: Malcolm Lindsay
A Wildgaze Films Production in association with Willow Films

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Screening options (with license to charge admission):
$100 Small Community Screening (1-50 people)
$200 Medium Community Screening (51-100 people)
$350 Large Community Screening (100+ people)


"A remarkable and moving exploration of the problem of individual responsibility for state crimes...It is essential viewing for all those seeking to understand how mass killing could, and can still, take place."
Antony Polonsky, Emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies, Brandeis University, Chief Historian, Museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw

"Right from the start, this involving documentary asks much of its audience and poses questions that are unnerving yet engrossing."
Ken Jaworowski, The New York Times

"Chilling...gripping and compelling...Will put the viewer on edge...That's the price of war, whether on the winning or losing side."
Leba Hertz, SFGate

"Watching two men grappling with the culpability of their high-ranking Nazi fathers is a deeply stirring experience. It provokes immediate discussion about the conflict between justice and loving your parents, remembrance and shame. What does it take to heal historical trauma?"
Dr. Björn Krondorfer, Director, Martin-Springer Institute: Global Engagement through Holocaust Awareness, Professor, Dept. of Comparative Study of Religions, Northern Arizona University

"Riveting. This film is a withering cross-examination of conscience, recollection, and responsibility. Familial duty and the depths of denial are confronted powerfully in this penetrating psychological analysis of perpetrator and survivor. Highly recommended for those seeking to understand the generational legacy of the Holocaust and for those seeking to prevent genocide in the 21st Century."
Dr. Kevin Simpson, Chair and Professor of Psychology, John Brown University

"Honest and penetrating...An important study in how one comes to terms with the past - or fails to do so - and how such a confrontation can empower one man to do good and another to exonerate evil. I would urge it to be screened widely. It will provoke deep and significant discussions among both students and adults. I was moved and angered; above all, overwhelmingly grateful for what I learned."
Dr. Michael Berenbaum, Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute, Professor of Jewish Studies, American Jewish University


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