ITV’s favourite judge explores his Jewish heritage, in an episode that deals with the terror of the Holocaust and the tragedy of mental illness.
Robert Rinder knows that his grandfather Morris was a Holocaust survivor, and travels to Poland in order to learn what exactly happened. He discovers that Morris was the sole member of the family to escape death in the camps. He was still used in forced labour by the Nazis in concentration camps in Poland, Germany and Czechoslovakia, but he was able to avoid death mainly by living about his age.
While Rinder’s grandfather was able to survive this, his great-grandfather Israel was unable to escape his demons. Originally from Latvia, Rinder discovered that he suffered from mental illness that lead to him being abusive and suffering hallucinations, which ultimately ended up with him being section. Rinder thus ends up going to Latvia to uncover the cause for this.
This is obviously a very difficult episode to watch at times, as it deals with some of the darkest periods in world history. There is some brightness with the story of how Morris managed to survive and come to England after the war, but as for the tale of Israel it is a different matter, ending his life out in isolation from his family due to events he witnessed in his youth.
Who Do You Think You Are? is on BBC One at 21.00 on Mondays.