Joe Manganiello discusses great grandma’s traumatic escape from Armenian Genocide

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Joe Manganiello discusses great grandma’s traumatic escape from Armenian Genocide
Joe Manganiello discusses great grandma’s traumatic escape from Armenian Genocide

Joe Manganiello recently reflected on his great-grandmother’s heartbreaking survival story from the Armenian Genocide.

During a latest episode of Finding Your Roots via PEOPLE, the Magic Mike actor recalled, “The Turks came into her home in 1915 under the guise of World War I and tried to enact the genocide that they had begun.”

He continued, “They shot her husband dead, shot her. She laid on the ground, pretended that she was dead while seven other gunshots that went off, which were her seven children."

“She laid there unmoving and the Turks left the house and left the eighth child, who was an infant in the crib, to starve to death, which is just the way that they did business,” explained the 47-year-old.

The actor mentioned that his great grandmother then “strapped the baby onto her back and fled”.

“For people who don't know, there were these death marches where they would just handcuff, chain the Armenians together and march them out to the desert, and release the Kurds, give them military coats, horses and guns, to then go do what they wanted with their mortal enemies, the Armenians,” shared the actor.

“She escaped that,” he remarked.

Following her fleeing, Joe’s great-grandmother had to swim across the Euphrates river and after making it, she found out that her “youngest child had drowned on her back”.

“She had a bullet in her still, and to my understanding, she lived in a cave with other refugees until she was picked up by German military,” he disclosed.

Remembering the days of military camp, Joe stated that his great-grandma became pregnant by a German officer.

“She gave birth to a very blonde, half-German child,” added the actor.