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Making Choices

A moving and well crafted first hand account of four Dutch survivors of the 1940 Nazi invasion of Holland who helped protect total strangers from certain death. Hear their stories of fear and courage, danger and faith as they put their lives on the line to do what they thought was right.

  • Item 500873D
  • Region: All
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 57 min

Alternate formats: Digital Video - $3.99

Retail: $19.99
Price: $5.00
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Explore the dramatic wartime lives of four Dutch citizens who took a stand to protect Jews and resist the overwhelming power of the Nazis during World War II. This inspiring documentary tells their stories of fear and courage, danger and faith as they put their lives on the line to do what they thought was right. Featuring four participants in the Dutch Resistance who now make their home in America, Making Choices reveals what motivated them to risk everything to protect total strangers and the heavy price they paid for challenging the Nazis.

DVD Features:
English Subtitles
Deleted Scenes
Movie Trailer

Chapter Selection

Editorial Reviews

Personal history accounts continue to be a favorite of students as well as an unparalleled source of first-person information. This dramatic recollection of the experiences of four survivors of the Nazi occupation of Holland will be a valuable resource in any media collection. The program is divided into well-developed sections beginning with the May 10, 1940 German invasion of the small country and its eventual official capitulation five days later. However, the spirit of the Dutch people is portrayed through individual reminiscences interspersed with moving archival footage as well as still photographs of individuals and events taking place over the ensuing five years of occupation. The four individuals, who now live in the United States, recount their experiences during program segments covering the years of occupation, their treatment as slaves to the Nazi war machine, the continual chance of arrest for helping Jewish people and total strangers who faced particularity harsh treatment, accounts of underground activity undertaken by the infamous Resistance Movement, their ongoing faith in their eventual freedom even while inmates of the notorious concentration camps, as well as the exhilaration felt during their ultimate liberation. In addition to the award-winning main program, the DVD offers the movie trailer as well as supplemental scenes not included for reasons of time; conveniently for classroom use, a chapter selection option is also available. This moving and well-crafted narrative should be on every library’s must purchase list.

Although Hitler had originally promised he would respect the Netherlands' neutrality, the Nazis nevertheless invaded during the spring of 1940, giving rise to the Dutch Resistance (1940-45). Robert Prince's documentary Making Choices features interviews with four U.S. citizens who were survivors of the movement – Diet Eman, John Witte, John Muller, and John Timmer - who recall the ongoing fight against the German oppressors and their courageous efforts to hide and protect Jews ("choices" that saved the lives of hundreds, but also often brought swift and brutal reprisals). A fascinating oral history of events over 60 years ago (that still dredge up raw and painful emotions in the interviewees), this audience award-winner at the Northern Lights Documentary Film Festival is a powerful portrait of extraordinary human beings who risked everything to save the lives of strangers. DVD extras include deleted scenes. Recommended.

This compelling documentary features interviews with four people who participated in the Dutch Resistance. Diet Eman, John Witte, John Muller, and John Timmer are Dutch citizens who now live in the U.S. Their stories reveal why they risked everything to protect strangers, and they exemplify courage and faith in the face of danger. Intended for high school students and adults, this movie would benefit history or English classes.

Though I have no Dutch heritage, I grew up among the Dutch. During my childhood, the vast majority of my friends were the children of Dutch immigrants who made the journey to Canada in the years following the Second World War. I went to Dutch churches and Dutch schools. I even learned to like Dutch food (Dutch soup, chocolate or brown sugar sandwiches, olibolen, and of course, dropjes). The Dutch, like many immigrant populations, have a deep cultural heritage and one they cling to even in this new land.

Deeply ingrained in the Dutch heritage is the lingering memory of World War 2. All of my Dutch friends had parents or grandparents who had been living in Holland in 1940, when the German army invaded and quickly destroyed all opposition in a war that lasted less than a week. The Dutch people were subjected to years of oppression. The Jewish population, many of whom had lived in Holland for generations, were rounded up and transported to Germany and Poland, never to be seen again. The Dutch, a proud and fiesty people, organized themselves into various Resistance groups and did what they could to torment the Germans, to prepare for the coming invasion, and to protect the Jews and other fugitives.

Making Choices: The Dutch Resistance During World War II tells the stories of four members of the Resistance all of whom have since moved to the United States: Diet Eman, John Witte, John Muller and John Timmer. Diet’s story is particularly compelling and moving. The viewer cannot help but be stirred as he hears of her courage, of her brushes with death, and of the loss of some of those she loved. This film helps the viewer understand what motivated these people to risk their lives for others and to face the heavy toll exacted on those who aided the Jews, for those who helped the Jews were to be treated as Jews. Many brave Dutch men and women, having been caught in acts of rebellion against the Germans, were sent to concentration camps.

Each of these former members of the Resistance provides his or her motivation for helping the Jewish people. Each of them affirms that it was their faith that drove them to protect the Jews. They could not stand silently by and watch as the Jewish people were herded like cattle and driven to their deaths. In a moving scene near the end, John Witte reveals that despite all that was done by himself and the other Dutch citizens, he still feels guilt that they could not do more.

There is one thing that has always struck me as strange and it was affirmed in this video. In all the times I have read about the work of the Dutch Resistance and have heard Dutch people speak about aiding the Jews, there has not been a single time that I heard of them sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Jewish fugitives. While they were faithful in protecting human life and in sheltering those in need, I never heard of a Jewish person who was converted during this time. I never heard of a person who made it his mission to ensure that the Jewish people were introduced to Jesus Christ. And indeed, in this video, there is no mention of the Jewish need for Christ. It is very odd.

Making Choices is one of many presentations I have seen in the past few years that recounts the first-hand stories of ordinary people who were driven to extraordinary measures during the Second World War. As that generation grows older and their numbers diminish, historians are racing to record and preserve their stories. The stories of those who served the war effort in Holland are worth preserving. These stories are moving; inspiring. I was glad to be able to hear them.

Customer Reviews

- Making Choices

This documentary is an amazing story of 4 people during World War II in the Netherlands. It's something I've never learned much about but is an important piece of history. The way that the story was told through first hand accounts was incredibly moving. I highly recommend this film to anyone.

- Good....but

The stories that the interviewees tell are powerful but the production seemed rushed and and not well thought through. With respect to the interviewees, it could have been better.
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