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February 17, 2012 10:21 am

Was Charlie Chaplin Jewish?

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making his first speech for the third Liberty Loan in front of the State, War and Navy Building, Washington, D.C., on first anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I. Photo: wiki commons.

Charlie Chaplin, one of the most famous movie stars of all time, is known to the world as being British.  However, it appears the British government was unable to find any record of Chaplin being born inside the country, according to recently published files from MI5 – the British intelligence agency.

Following Chaplin’s departure from America in 1952, related to what some believe was a fear of being chastised as a communist (something Chaplin dealt with a great deal), the U.S. asked Britain to research Chaplin’s life.

According to the files which were made public recently, the U.S. believed Chaplin may have been a Russian Jew and that his real name was Israel Thornstein.

Nothing was found in the British investigation to confirm American suspicions, and thus Charlie Chaplin’s claim to have been born in London in 1889 continues to stand.

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  • Moses Cordovero

    As a Jew, I care, because i would have felt really proud if Charlie Chaplin had been Jewish. In fact, for most of my life, I thought he was. When I finally found out that he was not, I was very disappointed.

  • winston
  • Canaris

    We are afraid to say the self evident truth that being a Jew is a racial as well as cultural state of being that exists outside of common nationalism.

    Indeed, internationalism was hatched from the Jewish mind and is the foundation of communism. Being a Jew and a communist, an internationalist and anti-nationalist appear to be a part of the fabric of the Jew, with the exception of his Achilles Heel, Israel.

    It is in Israel we find the contradictions in Jewish philosophy and the chinque in the armor of Jewish pseudo-intellectualism.

    Chaplin represented the hidden flaw, evident only by Jewish falsehood, yet evident enough.

    • dante

      what an ignorant, hateful turd. “canaris” confuses his distortions of recent european history and the slanders against the Jews, especially those popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, with thousands of years of actual Jewish history.

      pseudo-intellectualism? did you get that one from streicher or was it rosenberg? canaris, you sick, twisted, piece of slime, get back on your meds or check yourself in to your local psych ward, little man.

    • chaim moshe bergstein

      Of course there were Jewish Communists- they fought the bigoted anti-Semitic czarist regime. However, this bigoted diatribe asserts falsehoods in order to undermine
      the obvious good qualities of the Jew. Most notably that the Jewish intellect has contributed more to the well being of the world than any other ethnic group in comparative numbers. About 20% of Nobel prize winners in the sciences and economics have been Jews . For this bigot who is jealous of his comparative smallness, it is necessary to manufacture chink in Jewish personality armor.
      To the Communists, the Jews were the businessmen – the
      hated bourgeoisie. To the Nazis they were Communists .
      To others they were just parasites . The common thread being that a bigot must make up evidence for his bigotry. Was Chaplin Jewish? unknown maybe or maybe a gypsy . Was he a Communist? also unverified, as j edgar hoover was a bona fide race baiter who had the FBI read the protocols of the elders of Zion. The British MI5 suspected him of socialist sympathies- something quite common today in Hollywood.
      what is clear is that this person uses 2 unverified conjectures to “prove” the evil of the Jew. Whatever evil i might have pales in comparison to the hatred this man displays.

  • Stephen Hill

    The obsession of trying to label people as “Jewish” or “Christian” in the 21st Century, based upon the unproven inquiry by a paranoid (1952) U.S. governmenr to a government that had no interest in trashing a national icon is pathetic. Chaplin was devoted to his ill mother, nee Hannah Hill, who had a very questionable past and may or may not have registered his birth in 1871, when poor people in Britain were slightly lower than the pets of the upper class. To even raise the point about the religion of a universally admired man is concerning your publication, declasse in the extreme.

    • jason

      Chaplin was born in 1889, not 1871.

  • rachel

    Who cares!!

  • Jonella

    I could not agree more with Eleanor Kra’s statement! It’s OUTRAGEOUS to call Charlie Chaplain “infamous!” HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANY OF THIS MAN’S FILMS?! He was such an EXTRAORDINARY TALENT who HATED DICTATORSHIPS! See his film The Great Dictator and have SOME UNDERSTANDING OF SOMETHING IMPORTANT!!! Watch his final speech in the film here:
    Never too late too learn….But you have shown serious ignorance in the meantime.
    Note: Perhaps the writer didn’t know the meaning of the word “infamous?” LOOK IT UP!!!

    • des

      Charlie Chaplin when being interviewed by a journalist was asked ” Many people believe that you are Jewish. re you”?
      Charlie replied ” I do not have that good fortune”.

  • Eleanor Kra

    Charlie Chaplin “infamous?” What a loaded and inaccurate description. Chaplin was and remains, many years after his death, one of the most universally beloved and respected film innovators, an unequalled comic genius, and resourceful and insightful commentator on modern life. He left America in the nineteen fifties because the country was gripped by an anti-Communist paranoia which would have destroyed him as it did many other gifted public figures. Your editorial desk needs a good dictionary, to be consulted before adjectives are so harshly misused.