Billy Joel has been open about his German Jewish roots, and even hosted a Q&A session at a concert in Nuremberg his to discuss roots with the public.
Though Joel is relatively secular and athiest, his father was a German Jew during the years of the Holocaust, and Joel has not been shy about openly wearing the Star of David during performances in Madison Square Gardens in response to a neo-Nazi who rammed his car into Heather Heyer, a demonstrator at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I had to do something that night,” Joel stated in response to events in Charlottesville. “The president said [after the Charlottesville rally], you know, ‘There’s some good people on that side …’ No, Nazis aren’t good people.”
“It really enraged me, actually,” he elaborated. “My old man, his family got wiped out. They were slaughtered in Auschwitz. Him and his parents were able to get out. But then he was in the U.S. Army during the war and fought with Patton and was shot at by Nazis…My family suffered. And I think I actually have a right to do that.”
Written by Erin Parfet