Watch: Judge Rinder moved to tears by Ben Helfgott in Who Do You Think You Are?
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Watch: Judge Rinder moved to tears by Ben Helfgott in Who Do You Think You Are?

The pair were united at Schlieben, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, where TV star's grandfather endured forced labour

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Robert Rinder’s journey to trace his grandfather’s Holocaust past moved fans to tears last night, as his incredibly emotional episode of Who Do You Think You Are? aired on BBC One.

The 40-year-old star, who grew up in Southgate and is better known to audiences as TV personality Judge Rinder, travelled to Poland and Germany to discover more about Morris Malenicky, whose parents and five siblings were killed at Treblinka.

In the heart-rending episode, Rinder not only finds out their names for the first time, but also meets his grandfather’s close friend, Sir Ben Helfgott, at Schlieben, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, where they were both forced to endure hard labour.

Robert Rinder was overwhelmed to meet Sir Ben Helfgott at Schlieben, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, where his grandfather was a forced labourer during the Second World War

Describing how Morris looked when he arrived at the camp, Sir Ben told Rinder:

“He didn’t look human, clothes were falling off him.

“His eyes were dropped in. He lost all his family. This was the worse place I have been. There was no food. And no drink. And it was colder. A lot colder.

“He never talked to you about it, I didn’t talk about but when the time comes you have to talk because people have to know what the Holocaust was about. And what happened.”

Read the full Jewish News interview with Judge Rinder here

Who Do You Think You Are? continues on Mondays, 9pm, BBC One.

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