Some Must Look Back to Move Forward
Little Thumb takes a look at the life of Frank Wybenga, a Dutch citizen that was captured and imprisoned in a forced labor camp for refusing to fight for the Nazis, who escaped his dark past by immigrating to the USA. Wybenga was a brave young man who migrated to the United States from the Netherlands with his wife, infant son, and a second baby on the way. He had only $150 to his name when he left his homeland without any idea what was waiting for him on the other side of that ocean. But he was determined to find a better life and opportunities for his family. It can’t be easy to leave everything behind including many loved ones, and start out new in a land where you don’t even speak the same language.
In 2006, seven years after his death, Frank’s eldest son and grandson visit the Netherlands to finally meet a loving extended family for the very first time. He wonders what it could have been like to grow up where he was actually born and to be able to spend time with all the uncles, aunts, and cousins when he was a child.
This documentary is a tribute to the value of family bonds and the depth of that feeling of belonging that these bonds create. As the Wybengas sit and listen to the stories of Frank’s childhood and youth, they are touched by the greatness of this man they were privileged to call family. Shortly after their visit, Wiebe Wybenga, Frank’s only surviving sibling, passes away but not before leaving behind a legacy of devotedness and love to those who knew him best. This story highlights the fact that even the most ordinary person can have an extraordinary impact on the lives of others.