Actor Henry Winkler Shares How Family Escaped Holocaust

Actor Henry Winkler Shares How Family Escaped Holocaust

Life can be rather unpleasant at times. Difficult circumstances will inevitably find their way to everyone. However, most will never encounter anything like the Holocaust and Nazi-occupied Germany.

Henry Winkler, best known as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on Happy Days, talked about his father leaving Nazi-occupied Germany. 

During the interview, Henry mentions how his father avoided experiencing the wrath and torment of Nazi soldiers in Berlin, Germany. He points out that both of his parents had obtained a 6-week work visa for the United States. 

However, before leaving, his father concocted an ingenious plan to help himself in America and to go undetected by the suspicious Nazi soldiers. 

“My father asked his mother for jewelry,” Henry said. “And he bought a box of chocolate, melted the chocolate down and covered all of the pieces of jewelry in chocolate. Put it in the box, put the box under his arm.”

Henry said his father came up with this course of action because he anticipated a question from the Nazis. 

“So that when the Nazis said, ‘Are you taking anything of value out of Germany?’ “He said, ‘No, check our bags, check us, nothing,” Henry said

After arriving in America, Henry stated that his father used the money from pawning the jewelry to help him start a new life in New York City. 

However, Henry adds that the story does not end there! 

“Eventually, [my father] started a lumber business and was able to buy the jewelry back,” Henry said. “And I have the pocket watch from my great-grandfather that was smuggled out of Germany encased in chocolate. Still works. Just an amazing thing to have to pass down from generation to generation.”


In the interview, near the end of the three-minute clip, Henry also brings up how and why one potted plant has come to mean so much to him and his family.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Related Videos