Chelsea Handler Breaks Down After Discovering Her Family's Nazi Ties

Celebrity News Aug. 7, 2013 AT 1:10PM
Chelsea Handler on Who Do You Think You Are On the Aug. 6 episode of TLC's Who Do You Think You Are?, Chelsea Handler broke down after discovering her German family's Nazi ties. Credit: TLC

Funny lady Chelsea Handler is serious about her family. On the Tuesday, Aug. 6, episode of TLC's Who Do You Think You Are?, the 38-year-old comedian got very emotional while discovering the truth about her family's ties to Nazi Germany.

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"I'm very intrigued to find out how much participation my German grandparents had in the war," Handler explained of being on the show, which helps stars learn about their ancestry. "My mother was German, she came over to America when she was 19 for the first time. My father, I guess, made a deal with my mother when they had children that they were gonna be raised Jewish. So I connect with my Judaism, or the Jewish side of my family, more than anything else."

"My mother's parents came from Germany," the Chelsea Lately host continued. "My grandparents on my mother's side I grew up with my whole life. They just had this fun sense of humor. [My grandfather] was a very, very big strong man with big strong hands."

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After going on a journey to dig up the facts, Handler uncovered the truth. "My grandfather served in the Second World War as a soldier. Whether or not he agreed with Hitler, he was serving in the Germany army," said the star, born and raised in New Jersey. "He was taken as a prisoner of war at some point to America, where he stayed for several years . . . When he went back to Germany he was very eager to come and take his family and move them back to the United States."

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"My German grandma definitely spoke about her life during the war way more than my grandfather did," Handler said. "He never spoke about it." While reading a memoir her grandmother wrote about life in Germany after the First World War, the late night host started crying. "I remember my grandmother totally telling us how there was no food," she recalled. "That must've been really hard to be a parent."

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