Is Charlie Chaplin Jew?
Menu JTA Search

Is Charlie Chaplin Jew?

Download PDF for this date

Charlis Chaplin’s parents on both sides were Jewish it would seem, according to an interview he has given here to the “Neue Freie Presse”, in which he describes his mother as a ghetto beauty, and his father as a fine jargon comedian, “Jargon” apparently meaning Jewish dialect. I have experienced the sufferings of a people treated as racially inferior, he said, and I naturally stand therefore for equal rights for all races.

Some Continental papers claim on the authority of the German-Jewish Lexicon that Charlie was born in London of immigrant Jewish parents originally named Thonstein. One Journalist in Berlin asked him straight out whether he was a Jew, but Charlie evaded the question and said that certainly he was a son of Father Abraham.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund