Dustin Hoffman discovers family heroism


Actor Dustin Hoffman was overwhelmed with emotion after learning about the heroic actions and suffering of his great-grandparents in Soviet Russia, about whom he apparently knew nothing until he heard their story during an interview with PBS’s “Finding Your Roots.”

“People ask me today, ‘What are you?’ I say, ‘I’m a Jew,’” Hoffman said, weeping. “I’m a Jew. They all survived for me to be here.”

Researchers with the genealogy show hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. discovered the heroic actions and painful history of the Oscar-winning actor’s grandparents and great-grandparents that his father never told him.

Dustin Hoffman never knew his paternal grandparents, Frank and Esther Hoffman, or his great-grandparents, Sam and Libba Hoffman, who came from Belaya Tserkov, once part of the Russian empire.

Frank and Esther moved to Chicago, but when Frank learned about violent pogroms against the Jews in his native country, he returned to the town in today’s Ukraine to try to save his parents.

Image Source: YouTube/PBS

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