When Billy Joel met descendants of the man who pushed his Jewish grandfather out of business in Nazi Germany, he took pains to remember that the sins of the father were not the sins of the children.

“I only expected understanding on their part that something very bad happened because of their grandfather,” Joel said yesterday, recalling the frosty Vienna meeting that is the basis for “The Joel Files,” a 2001 documentary having its American TV premiere at 10 o’clock tonight on WNET/13.

Karl Amson Joel, Billy’s late grandfather, ran a successful mail-order operation in pre-war Germany, but was forced into exile by Josef Neckermann, who took over the business under the Third Reich’s Nuremberg laws.

Full story. More info about the documentary here.