Alanis Morissette discovered her family’s Holocaust history during her appearance on a recent episode of PBS‘ “Finding Your Roots.”
The alt-rock star appeared on the Season 10 premiere of PBS‘ “Finding Your Roots.” During the episode, the singer discovered that her great-uncles, Gyorgy and Sandor Feuerstein, died in the Holocaust.
Morissette knew that her Hungarian Jewish grandfather, Imre Feuerstein, miraculously survived the Holocaust before relocating his family, including Morissette’s then-six-year-old mother, from the Soviet Union to Ontario, Canada, in 1953.
They decided to keep their Jewish heritage a secret from then on, so the singer had no idea she was Jewish until she was 28.
“I think I found out that I was Jewish in my late 20s,” Morissette told host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “I didn’t know.”
“I think there was a terror that is in their bones, and they were being protective of us and not wanting antisemitism,” Morissette said of the Feuersteins. “They were protecting us, keeping us in the dark around it.”
After conducting research at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, “Finding Your Roots” was able to reveal to Morissette that her great uncles Gyorgy and Sandor Feuerstein, who were thought to have been sent to “work camps” to serve in the Russian military in World War II, died in slave labor camps in Russia.
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