Jerry Springer urges Jews to discover family Holocaust records

Andrew Tobin

Jerry Springer in Culver City, California, on August 1, 2010. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Jerry Springer in Culver City, California, on August 1, 2010. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Best known as the cynical ringmaster of ’90s daytime television, Jerry Springer has in recent years shown a sincere interest in his Jewish family tree, which was decimated in the Holocaust.

In his latest journey into that dark past, Springer last week visited London, England, to support a Holocaust-refugee archive project by British aid group World Jewish Relief, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

“We are immensely grateful to Jerry Springer for giving his time to us and supporting our archives,” WJR vice-chair Linda Rosenblatt said. “We want to make these family records available, without charge, to the Jewish community around the world. I urge anyone who thinks we might have helped their family to get in touch.”

In its original incarnation as the Central British Fund for German Jewry, the group helped some 40,000 European Jews escape to Britain in the 1930s and 1940s — including Springer’s parents. The group recently digitized the hundreds of thousands of pages of immigration paperwork associated with that effort so that families can search them online. At a private dinner, Rosenblatt presented Springer with his parents’ papers.


The papers show that Springer’s parents, Richard and Margot Springer, arrived in Britain from Germany in 1939 just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Margot Springer, born Margot Kallmann, was 32 years old when she arrived in Britain; Richard Springer was 34. The couple settled in Hampstead, England.

“I was deeply touched when I received the records of my parents’ immigration. “These papers are a piece of my family history which I will treasure forever,” Springer said.

“I am grateful that World Jewish Relief is making available this important archive and I hope the tens of thousands of families World Jewish Relief helped will discover the records of their families also.”

Twenty-seven other members of Springer’s family were killed in the Holocaust. In 2008, Springer explored this history on the BBC1 program “Who Do You Think You Are?” On visiting the train station where his maternal grandmother was shipped to her death in Chelmno extermination camp and learning of her fate, Springer broke down in sobs.

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Springer was born in a London tube station in 1944 during a German bombing raid. The family lived in a suburb of London until moving to New York in 1949.

Final thought: Springer went on to lead a life that would only be possible in the U.S. In addition to making a fortune as a TV show host, Springer has been a campaign advisor to Robert F. Kennedy, a practicing lawyer, the mayor of Cleveland (despite having resigned from the city council after admitting to hiring a prostitute) and a news anchor. He has also dabbled in acting and country music.

The Jerry Springer Show” is still filming.

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