Comedian Chelsea Handler’s blonde hair and blue eyes betray the fact that she descends from a long line of German lineage.
In fact, Handler’s mother was German, and in a recent episode of TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are,” a TV show that follows celebrities as they research their heritage, Handler discovers that her grandfather was a Nazi.
“Whether or not he agreed with Hitler, he was serving in the German army, and then he was taken as a prisoner of war to America where he stayed for several years,” the comedian revealed in an exclusive clip of the episode, according to EOnline!. “My German grandma definitely spoke about her life during the war way more than my grandfather did. He never spoke about it.”
Her story is made all the more compelling by the fact that Handler was raised as a practicing Jew, with her American father who is Jewish providing the Semitic strand.
“My father, I guess, made a deal with my mother when they had children that they were gonna be raised Jewish,” Handler says. “So I connect with my Judaism, or the Jewish side of my family, more than anything else.”
In the show Handler traces her grandfather’s path from Nazi soldier to American immigrant through documents and interviews with sources familiar with her family’s history.
Watch a trailer of the Chelsea Handler episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” below.