Strictly star Judge Rinder has revealed the “incredibly painful” trauma his family experienced during the Holocaust.
The 38-year-old’s Polish-Jewish grandfather Moishe Malenicky survived the Nazi death camps, but lost his parents and siblings.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Rinder said: “My grandfather did not speak of it often, but there were dark shadows, poisonous drips of stories, that were always in my psyche.”
The television personality recalled how after the war, Moishe had a “pathological” relationship with food and would hide items around his house.
He also revealed: “A drunk German soldier came up to him on Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement – and demanded ‘What do you Jews sing on Yom Kippur?’ And he whipped my grandfather until he sang.”
The criminal barrister, who grew up in Southgate, was speaking alongside his grandfather’s friend Ben Helfgott to promote the 45 Aid Society, which was set up by survivors to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Rinder’s mother, Angela Cohen, is chairwoman of the organisation.
In 1942, Moishe’s parents and his siblings Nathan, Frumka, Surela and Miriam were sent to Treblinka extermination camp, where they were killed in the gas chambers.
Moishe and Ben were reunited at Schlieben labour camp in Germany, where they both endured starvation and backbreaking work until their liberation.
Rinder added: “It is incredibly painful hearing those stories. It is difficult to ever think about your loved one having suffered.”