Sanders gets emotional sharing story of Jewish relative who died in WWII

Greg Nash

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) was visibly moved to learn that one of his ancestors died fighting Nazis during World War II in a yet-to-be-released episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS.

In the interview with host Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sanders says he is “honored” by his ancestor’s courage.

“I’m proud of his courage, and willingly going to his own death in order to protect innocent people,” Sanders says tearfully in the video. “So I’m very, very proud that I have a family member who showed that type of courage and decency.”

Sanders, who is Jewish, tells Gates that his family members’ deaths during the Holocaust were a major source of inspiration for his entry into politics. The Vermont progressive remarked that the genocide revealed how easily humanity can fall to “barbarity.”

“It just makes us realize how hard we have got to work to not descend into this type of barbarity and to create a world where people can love each other,” he said. “That’s what this reinforces in me.”

Sanders will join HBO star Larry David for the interview with Gates, which will trace the two’s shared heritage. David revealed in July that he had learned he was related to Sanders through the show.

“I thought there must be some connection,” he said at the time. “I love Bernie,” David added, saying he was “very happy” to learn the news.

Sanders himself has joked about his resemblance to the actor, remarking during a CNN town hall last year: “I am Larry David.”

“Anderson, I know you’ve been in journalism for a long time,” Sanders told host Anderson Cooper. “I am Larry David.”

Tags Bernie Sanders

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