Dustin Hoffman Correction

Episode 10, in Series 3 of Finding Your Roots, included that, in 1921, Dustin Hoffman’s great-grandmother Liba Hofman (a.k.a. Libba Hoffman) was sentenced to five years in a concentration camp, with a probation period, for bribing an employee of the Cheka (secret police). This was based on a translation we received of a March 1921 news article in Vesti (News) of Kamenets-Podol’skii District Revolutionary Committee and Kamenets Bureau of Communist (Bolshevik) Party of Ukraine. Since the episode aired, we have learned that “probation” was an imprecise translation and that the crucial phrase in the article, “uslovno na 5 let,” meant Liba Hofman received a “conditional” sentence, which would have been triggered only if she was convicted of another serious crime. Our correction, which we will have in the companion book, will note that she received a conditional sentence of five years in a concentration camp




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WETA | Finding Your Roots
With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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