Straight-talking Judge Rinder was lost for words on a “life-changing” trip to the Nazi death camp where his grandad was imprisoned.
The Strictly star learned the full horror of how his grandfather’s parents and five siblings were killed during the Holocaust.
Taking the emotional journey for the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, Robert Rinder went to Schlieben to trace his Jewish family’s tragic past.
He said: “Oh that programme was life changing. My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor and I went back to where his family were in Poland.
“There was a moment when I stood in a camp with a survivor from that camp who told me what it was like when he came across my grandfather, who had been a survivor in Belsen.”
The show sees Judge Rinder, 40, travel to Piotrkow in Poland to follow his grandad Morris’s story.
And he is shocked to learn of relatives who were taken to their deaths.
His grandfather was sent to a series of camps and eventually ended up at Schlieben concentration camp in Germany, where he was forced to work producing missiles for the German army. At the end of the war, he was one of hundreds of Jewish orphans brought to the UK. He settled in the Lake District and died in 2001.
Rinder, who fronts his own courtroom show on ITV, said: “We flew to the Lake District where my grandfather convalesced in Windermere with a bunch of other Jewish children. It is the most amazing story about what British communities can do for foreign refugees and the gift they gave.
“My grandfather survived the camps and came to Windermere.
“It was just an incredible story.
“My gran was from the East End and he was a refugee. I was moved every single day and changed at the end of the show. It is the biggest privilege you can get.”
Judge Rinder is the latest name to join the summer series of Who Do You Think You Are?, which will also feature Olivia Colman, Michelle Keegan, Boy George and Lee Mack. Rinder’s episode is on next month.
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