He was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941. Sanders' father was an immigrant from present-day Poland, while his mother's parents emigrated from Poland and Russia. Many of his father's relatives in German-occupied Poland, including his uncle, were killed in the Holocaust. "A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932. He won an election, and 50 million people died as a result of that election in World War II, including 6 million Jews," he said in a 2015 interview. "So what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important." Although he doesn't consider himself religious, he's said he's proud of his Jewish heritage.