Miss Puerto Rico Michelle Colón's great-grandfather was a Holocaust survivor

Colón told the story of her great-grandfather to her fellow Miss Universe 2021 contestants.

 Miss Universe contestants are seen in Jerusalem, on November 30, 2021. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Miss Universe contestants are seen in Jerusalem, on November 30, 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Michelle Colón, Puerto Rico's representative of Miss Universe 2021 in Eilat, revealed on Saturday that her great-grandfather was a Holocaust survivor.

Dani Dayan, the Yad Vashem chairman and former Consul General of Israel in New York, tweeted a video of Colón revealing the news of her ancestry to her fellow Miss Universe contestants, which can be seen below: 

"I came here to Israel, knowing I would be more connected to my family, because my great-grandfather actually escaped from the Holocaust," Colón said in the video. "All his family members, his sisters, his brothers, even their daughters, were killed in the concentration camps."

Colón thanked Dayan for sharing the video, tweeting that her "great-grandfather Rodolfo Cohn, was a survivor of the Holocaust; he lost all his family members, moved to the Caribbean to start a new chapter of his life. He met my great-grandmother, Dorila Thomas, a descendant of slaves."  She also shared photos of her great-grandparents, stating that "they formed a beautiful family of empowered women who taught the value of resilience, second opportunities and hard work."

Colón and other Miss Universe contestants arrived at the King David Hotel on the third night of Hanukkah in Jerusalem and met with local female politicians, heads of non-profit organizations and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.

The Miss Universe pageant will be hosted in Israel for the first time on Sunday, and the contest is set to go forward despite the recent breakouts of the Omicron variant and the recent ban on foreigners entering the country that Israel had implemented.

However, despite this, France's representative to the competition, Clémence Botino, tested positive for the coronavirus last week shortly after arriving in Israel. Botino was later taken to a government isolation hotel.

 A GROUP OF Miss Universe contestants, looking beautiful and sensible, pose for a photo at the Western Wall this week. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) A GROUP OF Miss Universe contestants, looking beautiful and sensible, pose for a photo at the Western Wall this week. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Also, last month, South Africa's representative to the competition was pressured by her own government not to attend, to which she resisted.

Reuters, Hannah Brown and Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.