Scarlett Johansson was fighting back tears after learning the tragic fates of her family members during World War II.
The famous actress learned her great-grandfather’s brother and his children all died in the Warsaw Ghetto in WWII, while her Jewish grandfather lived his life as a grocer on Ludlow Street in New York City.
“I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. But it’s hard not to,” she said after reading the names of the children who lost their lives.
“I mean, you really couldn’t imagine the horror. It’s just so crazy to imagine. … 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,” Johansson, 32, said. “The fate of one brother versus the other.”
US actress Scarlett Johansson poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ in London on April 21, 2015.
(JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Johansson came face-to-face with her family’s history in a preview clip to Tuesday’s episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS.
In a 1.3-square-mile area of Warsaw, Poland — known as the Warsaw Ghetto — was the largest Jewish ghetto occupied by Nazis during World War II.
“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.
The “Lost in Translation” star said the tragic discovery made her feel more connected to that side of her family.
Actress Scarlett Johansson of “Marvel’s The Avengers” (R) poses with her grandmother Dorothy Sloan in 2012. Sloan was the
(Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
“It makes me feel more deeply connected to that side of myself, that side of my family,” she said. “I didn’t expect that.”
The actress will also learn about her father’s Danish roots in the upcoming episode.
Johansson was born in raised in Manhattan. She attended the Professional Children’s School where she began her acting career.