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Henry Winkler Shares Story of How His Father Smuggled Heirlooms Out of Berlin during Holocaust

Busayo Ogunjimi
Oct 17, 2020
08:40 P.M.
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American actor Henry Winkler revisited memory lane during a recent interview where he disclosed that his father smuggled their jewelry out of Berlin by hiding it in a box of melted chocolates.


Henry Winkler's family was part of the thousands of families that tried to escape the cruel hands of Nazi Germany. In a recent interview created for the Holocaust Museum LA's "45 Minutes of Inspiration" virtual gala, Winkler shared the story of his family's escape with their valuables. 

Whenever Winkler takes to the screen, one would only see the talent and passion that the actor possessed but would find it difficult to believe that Winkler and his family once had to escape the holocaust.

Henry Winkler attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 27, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images


The 74-year-old actor and other celebrities, such as Tiffany Haddish, Ben Piatt, are billed to appear in the October 21st virtual gala. The event is a means of raising funds for the holocaust museum, which was founded in 1961. 

Proceeds from the events will reportedly be used for the museum's educational programs. During his interview, Winkler recalled how his relatives hid their valuables in chocolates as they sought a means of escape from the tyranny of the Nazis.

Henry Winkler discusses "Barry" with the Build Series at Build Studio on April 25, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images


The former "Happy Days" star also revealed that his father bought a box of chocolates. He then melted the chocolates and hid their jewelry under the chocolates. 

He further disclosed that his father escaped to New York City, where he pawned the jewelry and started a lumber business. After a while, his father was able to buy back the jewelry.

Henry Winkler attends Wizard World Comic Con Chicago at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 23, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images


The decision to make a 28-year-old adult play the role of a teen was seen as crazy back then.

ow 74 and a grandfather, Winkler found fame in the 70s after his successful portrayal of the character Fonzie in the hit sitcom, "Happy Days." His role as Fonzie kick-started what would go on to become a successful career for him.


The talented actor decided to form his own company and began a career as a producer and a director. Although Winkler found fame by playing Fonzie, his success in the role did not come without a storm.

Winkler was cast as Fonzie, a 16-year-old teenager, when he was already looking like a full-grown adult. The decision to make a 28-year-old adult play a teen's role was seen as crazy back then, but despite all that, Fonzie went on to become one of the most popular characters in television history.

Henry Winkler and his daughter Zoe and son Max during "Click" Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California | Photo: Getty Images


Fonzie was reportedly scripted as a secondary character, but people soon fell in love with his sarcasm and wit, which thrust him into the spotlight of the show's main character, Ron Howard. Winkler is not just adored for his acting skills but has been described as a kind, gentle, and easy-going person.

Talk show host Drew Barrymore reportedly talked about how the actor completely changed her life during an episode of her show, "The Drew Barrymore Show," where Winkler was present as a guest.


Barrymore noted that Winkler's kindness changed her life forever. She observed how he treated everyone around him despite his fame, and that changed her approach to life. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Winkler revealed that his grandchildren keep a distance in the driveway whenever they come visiting. 

The actor revealed that he contacts his children and grandchildren via Zoom every Sunday. Winkler might be one of the most successful figures in Hollywood, but for him, his family would always come first.