Actress Lisa Kudrow Talks About Family’s Holocaust Experiences in Podcast Episode
Jewish actress Lisa Kudrow opened up about her paternal family’s experience in World War II in a recent podcast interview and admitted that as a child she felt disconnected to what her ancestors endured in the Holocaust.
“My father told us about the Holocaust and I was too young to hear about it, honestly,” the former “Friends” star recalled on the Aug. 3 episode of the podcast “Podcrushed,” which is co-hosted by actor Penn Badgley.
Kudrow, 59, explained that when she was six years old, her father spoke to her about the Holocaust but she didn’t think it impacted her family much.
“I think I was a little too young for that and maybe as a consequence of that, all I knew was ‘Well, I haven’t heard that we had any relatives in concentration camps so the Holocaust, yeah, but maybe not my family,” she said.
Kudrow said although she did not think her family was affected by the Holocaust when she was younger, she now realizes how wrong she was and criticized herself saying, “It’s so stupid, this weird denial thing.”
“The Comeback” star added that when she was seven years old “my grandmother told me that her parents were killed by Hitler and I went ‘was he like a serial killer? What are you talking about? You tell a lot of crazy stories, old lady.'” Her grandmother would then start crying while detailing how Hitler “killed my mother and sisters, brothers and the babies.”
In the US version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” a genealogy show which Kudrow is an executive producer of, she discovered her great-grandmother was murdered by the Nazis and visited the site where her paternal grandmother’s family were killed in the Holocaust. She broke down in tears on camera while reading town records from the 1940s that revealed Mera Mordejovich was “killed and burned'”with 900 other Jews in Ilya, Belarus. She also traveled to Gdynia, Poland, where she met a cousin who is a Holocaust survivor.
Kudrow also talked in the podcast episode about her bat mitzvah and said that in high school and college, she studied Jewish history, Jewish comparative near east studies and other Jewish-related subjects because was interested in learning more about her heritage.