Actress, producer and writer Pamela Adlon first discovered she had family members who were murdered in the Holocaust in Tuesday’s episode of the PBS genealogy show “Finding Your Roots.”
The writer, director and star of the FX television series “Better Things” was born in New York to a Jewish father from Boston, writer-producer Don Segall, and a British mother who converted to Judaism. She knew little of the paternal side of her family, but during this week’s episode of the show, Adlon found out that her great-grandparents were born in areas of the former Soviet Union that are now Ukraine, and that their native language was Yiddish.
In 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded Ukraine, then part of the USSR, and began efforts to exterminate its Jewish population, one of Adlon’s great-grand aunts, Clara Berman, was living there with her Ukrainian husband and two children.
After the Nazi invasion, Berman’s husband was called on for military duty, but before he left, he took his wife and two children to stay with his mother in a village outside of Kiev. No one but Berman’s mother-in-law knew she and her two young children were Jewish. Yet when German troops came to the town, Berman mother-in-law turned over her and her two kids to Nazi forces.
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