The Jewish History of Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John has long been one of my favorite artists. So I was intrigued when I ran across this article about her Jewish ancestry. Following is a teaser from the article written by Seth Rogovoy and posted at March 25, 2019.

In a recent celebrity memoir, the author writes, “In 1933, my Jewish grandfather fled from Germany with his wife, Hedwig, to escape Hitler’s regime. He was not only a brilliant mind but also a humanitarian who helped Jews escape Germany. I’m extremely proud of my peace-loving grandfather.” The grandfather was Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Born, one of the founders of quantum mechanics and a longtime friend of Albert Einstein. The granddaughter, which might come as a surprise to some, is Olivia Newton-John.

In fact, the English-born Australian singer/actress has plenty of yikhes to spread around. Her maternal great-grandfather was prominent German-Jewish jurist Victor Ehrenberg; her father was a British intelligence officer who took Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess into custody during World War II; and she also traces her ancestry back to Protestant theologian Martin Luther.

Read the full article.

Listen to Olivia Newton-John sing Let Me Be There (with lyrics) at YouTube – one of my favorites – the ultimate feel-good song.

About Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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