Scarlett Johansson shed tears as she learned the tragic fate of her ancestors in World War II.
The actress sat down with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for an episode of PBS Finding Your Roots, in which she discovered her great great uncle died in the Warsaw ghetto in Poland during the Nazi invasion.
‘I mean, you really couldn’t imagine the horror. It’s just so crazy to imagine,’ the 32-year-old said holding back tears, in a clip obtained by People.
‘Wow, that’s sad,’ she said after reading the family document, ‘And I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. But it’s hard not to.’
While her Jewish great-grandfather worked as a grocer in New York City, his brother — along with his family — died in the prison-like setting.
The ghetto was ‘a 1.3-square mile area sealed off from the rest of the city where authorities forced all of the city’s Jewish residents to live. At its peak, more than 400,000 Jews were crammed into the ghetto, living in squalid conditions with insufficient food rations. No more than 20,000 of them survived the Holocaust,’ according to PBS.
‘It’s crazy to imagine that Saul would be on the other side selling bananas on Ludlow Street. And how different it would be being in America at that time,’ said Scarlett.
‘The fate of one brother versus the other.’
But the discovery led Scarlett to feeling more connected to her past.
‘It makes me feel more deeply connected to that side of myself, that side of my family. I didn’t expect that,’ she added.
Season four of the acclaimed series started October 7.
The series uses traditional genealogical research and genetics to discover the family history of well-known Americans.
In her episode, Scarlett will also learn about her father’s Danish roots.