On Sunday, billionaire George Soros seemed to accuse Fox News Channel of Nazi tactics. In an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, Soros said:
Well, look, Fox News makes a habit – it has imported the methods of George Orwell, you know, newspeak, where you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them. And you wouldn’t believe that an open society and a democracy, these methods can succeed. But, actually, they did succeed. They succeeded in – in Germany, where the Weimar Republic collapsed and you had a Nazi regime follow it.
Soros went on:
Now, I — because I saw it as a child, I immediately react that way. But people in America, they are innocent. They — they haven’t had the experience. But having the experience now, and I hope they wake up and they realize that they are being deceived.
This is not the first time Soros has likened others to Nazis. Soros told the Washington Post in 2003:
When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit [The enemy is listening]. My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me.
Soros’s statements prompt the question of what exactly his “experiences” were and what he saw as a child. Below is an excerpt of a transcript of a Soros interview by Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes on December 20, 1998. The source is Nexis and the document is identified as “CBS News Transcripts.” The emphasis is mine.
KROFT: (Voiceover) To understand the complexities and contradictions in his personality, you have to go back to the very beginning: to Budapest, where George Soros was born 68 years ago to parents who were wealthy, well-educated and Jewish.
When the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944, George Soros’ father was a successful lawyer. He lived on an island in the Danube and liked to commute to work in a rowboat. But knowing there were problems ahead for the Jews, he decided to split his family up. He bought them forged papers and he bribed a government official to take 14-year-old George Soros in and swear that he was his Christian godson. But survival carried a heavy price tag. While hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were being shipped off to the death camps, George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his appointed rounds, confiscating property from the Jews.
(Vintage footage of Jews walking in line; man dragging little boy in line)
KROFT: (Voiceover) These are pictures from 1944 of what happened to George Soros’ friends and neighbors.
(Vintage footage of women and men with bags over their shoulders walking; crowd by a train)
KROFT: (Voiceover) You’re a Hungarian Jew…
Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Mm-hmm.
KROFT: (Voiceover) …who escaped the Holocaust…
(Vintage footage of women walking by train)
Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Mm-hmm.
(Vintage footage of people getting on train)
KROFT: (Voiceover) …by–by posing as a Christian.
Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Right.
(Vintage footage of women helping each other get on train; train door closing with people in boxcar)
KROFT: (Voiceover) And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.
Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that’s when my character was made.
KROFT: In what way?
Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and–and anticipate events and when–when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a–a very personal experience of evil.
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.
KROFT: Are you religious?
Mr. SOROS: No.
KROFT: Do you believe in God?
Mr. SOROS: No.
Soros’ own words are subject to various interpretations. The most exculpatory thing that can be said is that he was only 14 years old. But it can be said with certainty that Soros was no Nazi victim, and that he should not imply that he was. He should stop accusing his political adversaries of Nazi tactics.
One aspect of Sunday’s interview that I found curious was that Zakaria gave Soros the opportunity to deny that he helped “round up Jews,” but Soros never did. He instead launched his already-quoted attack on Fox News. Here’s Zakaria’s question, referencing Glenn Beck:
ZAKARIA: But it’s very personal. I mean, he talks about you as a 14-year-old boy and he accuses you of — of essentially helping to round Jews up — you’re Jewish yourself. You’ve lost —
ZAKARIA: You lost many, many people in the holocaust. How did you feel when you heard that?
I have had my own first-hand experience with Soros’ attempts to shade his past.
In 2004, Soros launched an anti-Bush speaking tour, which NLPC countered with our Soros Truth Squad.
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on October 19, I asked Soros how he could come to Pennsylvania, “where corporate scandals have cost people their jobs,” to tell people how to vote given his conviction for insider trading in France.
Soros denied that he was convicted, and attacked NLPC. I followed up by asking why he had been fined $2 million, if he had not been convicted. Soros claimed he had not been fined.
Soros simply misled the audience of 200. Numerous news organizations in the U.S. and Europe had reported that Soros was convicted of insider trading in December 2002 and fined $2.2 million. Furthermore, Soros had previously admitted that he was convicted. In a September 12, 2003 interview on the PBS show “Now With Bill Moyers,” Soros told reporter David Brancaccio, “I was found guilty.”
The Harrisburg Patriot-News covered the exchange the next morning and noted that Soros had indeed been convicted.
Soros was apparently clinging to a technicality that a conviction in France is not final until all appeals are exhausted. Soros did indeed appeal his conviction, all the way to France’s supreme court, and subsequently lost.