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Stephen Fry

by Andrew Sherwood

An emotional Stephen Fry had tears rolling down his cheeks as he retraced his Jewish roots in the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?

The comedian was overcome with emotion as he learnt about the fate of members of his mother’s family, many of whom perished at Auschwitz concentration camp, in 1944.
Fry set out by describing himself as being a quintessentially English person. But he added: “In fact, I come from a noisy, bustling, Jewish European family and vividly recall their accents, talking mostly about food and all other un-English things.

He particularly remembered his grandfather speaking loudly and attracting attention.

Fry went in search of his favourite grandfather, who moved to Bury-St-Edmunds from Slovakia in 1926.

But the joy of retracing his roots turned to overwhelming sorrow when he matched family photographs with documents featuring names of relatives – particularly young ones - killed during the Holocaust. The comedian wept uncontrollably.

Travelling to Austria in search of his roots, a conversation with a Viennese gentleman left Fry angry and frustrated after the Austrian claimed local Jews knew what was happening, and suggested it was their own fault for not leaving.

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