Henry Winkler, widely recognized for his portrayal as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on Happy Days, discussed his dad’s escape from Nazi-occupied Germany.
Throughout the discussion, Henry discusses his dad’s escape from the anger and agony of Nazi forces in Berlin, Germany. He points out that both of his parents had gotten 6-week work visas for the United States.
Yet, before departing, his dad devised a clever scheme to aid himself in America while remaining undiscovered by the inquisitive Nazi troops.
Henry said that his dad requested jewels from his mom. And he got a box of chocolate, melted the chocolate down, and coated all of the pieces of jewelry with chocolate. Put it in the box, and then place the box under his arm.
Henry said that his father devised this strategy in anticipation of an inquiry from the Nazis.
As a result, when the Nazis asked if they were carrying anything valuable out of Germany,
He replied, no, check their baggage, check them, nothing,
Henry added that after landing in America, his father utilized the money from pawned jewels to help him establish a new life in New York City.
Yet, as Henry points out, the narrative does not finish there!
Henry said that ultimately, his dad established a timber company and was able to repurchase the jewels. He also has his great-pocket grandfather’s watch, which was smuggled out of Germany coated in chocolate. It is still functional. It’s an incredible thing to be able to pass on from generation to generation.
At the conclusion of the three-minute interview, Henry discusses how and why one potted plant has grown to represent so much to him and his family.