Under fire from Jewish leaders, Beck again smears Soros as Holocaust collaborator

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

Today on his Fox News program, Glenn Beck again falsely accused Jewish philanthropist George Soros of being a Holocaust collaborator. Beck used this false attack to buttress his Soros conspiracies, suggesting that "the lesson he learned" from his supposed actions are what informs the shadowy tactics he is supposedly using to destroy the U.S. currency and government:

I'm going to concentrate on the fact that I think the lesson he learned in that horrific year of 1944 is if you hide your true identity you can gain power, you can survive. And those who are seen as disadvantaged or handicapped and don't hide their identity, well, they don't survive.

On Tuesday, during the first part of his three-day Fox News attack on Soros, Beck falsely suggested that Soros was a Holocaust collaborator, and that Soros felt no guilt about it. Yesterday on his radio show, Beck went so far as to suggest that Soros helped "send the Jews" to "death camps" during the Holocaust.

These attacks led to widespread condemnation from prominent Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors. Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham H. Foxman called the comments "completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top," as well as "unacceptable" and "horrific." Elan Steinberg, vice president of the the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, called the Beck accusations "monstrous." And Simon Greer, president of the Jewish Funds for Justice, said that Beck had "deliberately and grotesquely mischaracterize[d]" Soros' experience and engaged in "a form of Holocaust revisionism."

But today, in a live Fox broadcast wrapping up his Soros attacks, Beck returned to the attack. He said that Soros had "to go and confiscate the property of your fellow Jews" during the Holocaust, and while he said that "I am not blaming or questioning a 14-year-old or his parents for trying to keep him alive trying to keep the family alive," he nonetheless attacked Soros because he "has never once said he regretted it." Beck went on to question how Soros' experiences "affected his feelings on Israel, which he does not support."

In fact, as we've repeatedly documented, Soros has said that he felt no guilt about his actions because he "had no role in taking away that property."

From Soros' interview with Steve Kroft, aired on the December 20, 1998 edition of 60 Minutes:

KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.

KROFT: I mean, that's--that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

Mr. SOROS: Not--not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't--you don't see the connection. But it was--it created no--no problem at all.

KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

Mr. SOROS: No.

KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?

Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c--I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was--well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets--that if I weren't there--of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would--would--would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the--whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the--I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.

In Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire, Michael T. Kaufman detailed Soros's reaction during the interview, as well as Soros' actions in Nazi-occupied Hungary, noting that Soros "collaborated with no one":

While he was living with Baumbach as Sandor Kiss, an event occurred that more than a half a century later would become the basis of charges that George Soros, the international financier and billionaire, had somehow collaborated with the Nazi occupiers of his homeland and had exploited his fellow Jews. The issue was raised in a bizarre television profile and interview of Soros aired on the CBS television program 60 Minutes in December of 1998. In the segment, Steve Kroft, the interviewer, noted with prosecutorial gusto that George's father had "bribed a government official to swear that you were his godson," and added that this survival strategy "carried a heavy price tag." For, he continued, "as hundreds of thousands of Jews were being shipped off to the Nazi death camps, a thirteen-year-old George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his rounds, confiscating property from the Jews." Visibly dumbfounded by the line of questioning, Soros could only manage to say that he had no role in the seizure of property and was merely a spectator. To underscore Kroft's point, film footage showed masses of Hungarian Jews being led away at gunpoint.

This is what actually happened. Shortly after George went to live with Baumbach, the man was assigned to take inventory on the vast estate of Mor Kornfeld, an extremely wealthy aristocrat of Jewish origin. The Kornfeld family had the wealth, wisdom, and connections to be able to leave some of its belongings behind in exchange for permission to make their way to Lisbon. Baumbach was ordered to go to the Kornfeld estate and inventory the artworks, furnishings, and other property. Rather than leave his "godson" behind in Budapest for three days, he took the boy with him. As Baumbach itemized the material, George walked around the grounds and spent time with Kornfeld's staff. It was his first visit to such a mansion, and the first time he rode a horse. He collaborated with no one and he paid attention to what he understood to be his primary responsibility: making sure that no one doubted that he was Sandor Kiss. Among his practical concerns was to make sure that no one saw him pee. [Page 37]

We pointed this out after Beck first attacked Soros for not feeling guilt for supposedly "taking the property from the Jews as a teenager." Nonetheless, and in spite of fierce condemnation from the Jewish community, Beck returned to the attack tonight:

BECK: So when George Soros was 14, his father basically bribed a government official to take his son in and let him pretend to be a Christian. His father was just trying to keep him alive. He even had to go around confiscating the property of Jewish people. Now, imagine, you are Jewish and you have to go and confiscate the property of your fellow Jews. And you are pretending to not be a Jew and if anybody finds out, you're dead. He actually had to endure watching people sent off to their eventual murders. Watching people, gathering their stuff, sending them off, knowing that they were going to go to their death. What does that do to somebody? How do you deal with that? How many years of therapy would somebody need after something like that? This is where George -- I think this is important - I think this is where George Soros first learned to pretend to be something other than who he was. He had to.

I am not blaming or questioning a 14-year-old or his parents for trying to keep him alive, trying to keep the family alive. I don't think anyone can understand what it must have been like to be Jewish in that scenario. Can you? Especially 14. I don't want to question the 14-year-old. I would, however, like to question the 80-year-old man, who has never once said he regretted it. But more than that, he views it as the happiest year of his life. Again, not my words. His words. Listen.

SOROS [video clip]: It was actually probably the happiest year of my life, that year of German occupation. For me it was a positive experience. It's a strange thing, because you see incredible suffering around you and in fact you are in considerable danger yourself. But you're 14 years old and you don't believe that it can actually touch you. You have a belief in yourself, your belief in your father. It's a very happy-making exhilarating experience.

BECK: I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe the Holocaust years like that. Maybe he's the most healthy man you've ever met. Maybe somehow or other he just got through it. But he also has spoken about how his experience in Hungary has affected his psyche. Listen to this.

[start video clip]

HOST: Did anybody tell you in Hungary why they didn't like Jews at the time?

SOROS: Oh yes, and that, of course is something again very, very much a part of my psyche, anti-Semitism. And, you know, hatred of Jews. It was quite widespread within Hungary.

[end video clip]

BECK: Even to his own home. I mean, I would love to spend an hour -- he is not going to come on this program and spend an hour with me. And we'd have bigger fish to fry than this, but I would love to understand how it affected his psyche having his mother basically agree apparently -- I don't mean to judge -- with the Germans on the hatred of Jews, being anti-Semitic in his own home. How has he navigated that? I'm not going to spend the time. I have invited George Soros to come on this program. He has declined. We have bigger fish to fry, like how does he view the world? It sure would be interesting to explore how does this affected his feelings on Israel, which he does not support. He donates so much money to organizations that speak out against Israel. Some stick out more than others, on the donations. But is there any connection there? I'm going to concentrate on the fact that I think the lesson he learned in that horrific year of 1944 was that if you hide your true identity you can gain power, you can survive. And those who are seen as disadvantaged or handicapped and don't hide their identity, well, they don't survive.

Person
Glenn Beck
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