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May 30, 2018

The Weekly Standard Finally Finds a Hill Worth Dying On: Defending George Soros Against His Own Admitted Work for Nazis in Confiscating Jewish Property

The Weekly Standard engages here in a classic left-wing "fact check," by which I mean, they pretend to claim that the facts about Soros are in dispute, while their actual argument is not about the facts, but the interpretation of those facts.

It is not seriously disputed that George Soros helped with the confiscation of Jewish property. The only real question is to what extent he did.

He admitted to aiding in the confiscation of Jewish property himself on 60 Minutes. This article from the Nazi-collaborator-defending Weekly Standard, however, dismisses that admission and relies instead on something he said later in the interview, that he was just a "spectator" in the confiscation of Jewish property, not an actual participant.

Just watching as homes were looted. And maybe keeping inventory.

No big deal, really.

But the article's main thrust is not about facts: It's about making the case that given George Soros' circumstances, which were admittedly perilous, he should be excused completely for doing a little work for the Nazi cause.

George Soros was indeed in an unenviable position in 1944. He was Jewish in a country that had been occupied by the Jew-hunting Nazis. He was also only 14 years old.

Nevertheless, he did admit that he kept the inventory for Jewish property seized by the Nazis in that 60 Minutes interview, despite The Weekly Standard's wild apologetics for a Nazi collaborator:

During the later part of this tumultuous time, George went for a few weeks to live with a government official whose duty it was to take inventory of Hungary Jews who had been divested of their estates. The official was not only helping to protect Soros but also his own Jewish wife.

Soros's biographer and his father’s account both confirm that George went along for one of these inventory trips in Budapest, assuming the role as "godson" to the official. While Tivadar claims in his autobiography that George "even helped with the inventory" the biography of Soros by Michael Kaufman suggests that Soros did not assist with the inventory. All of this occurred while George Soros, a Jew, was hiding under a false identity as a young teenager in Nazi-occupied Hungary. As other fact checkers have noted, this is the only account of anything relating to George Soros and the inventory of dispossessed Jews.

Many who peddle the "George Soros was a Nazi" conspiracy rely on a 60 Minutes interview with Soros from 1998. During the interview, Soros was asked if he "helped in the confiscation of the property from the Jews" to which he responded "yes, that's right." Later on in that same line of questioning, Soros says that he "was only a spectator” and “had no role in taking away that property."

In other words, the only evidence we have that Soros assisted in the confiscation of Jewish property is 1, an autobiography by the man looking after Soros during this period of time Soros' own father, and, if that's not enough, 2, George Soros' own plain admission to this fact.

That's all. Just that.

Mere crumbs of evidence, Nancy Pelosi might say.

This hack claims that Soros' later claims -- that he was just a "spectator" to the "confiscation" and that he didn't himself take property -- do not disprove that he assisted in keeping inventory of the stolen property, nor do they disprove he was present at the homes being looted, acting only as a "spectator" embedded with the Nazi thieves.

Nor was this just a slip of the tongue. Watch the interview instead of relying on this apologist's claims about it:

After admitting that, he says that it created "no guilt at all" and explained that "Funny way, just like in markets, If I weren't there, because I wasn't doing it, somebody else would be doing it."

He is probably right about that. But that proves he didn't just misreport his work in confiscating property -- he has a whole defense thought out to excuse it.

But for the Weekly Standard, this is enough to claim that George Soros' own admission is not just "inaccurate" but "quite inaccurate."

Now, I do have to say that it is important context that Soros was himself a Jew hiding under fake identity papers as a Christian, and only 14 years old.

But that is only context to the factual record -- it is no rebuttal to the factual record itself.

Furthermore, I'd ask The Weekly Standard about which other collaborators it is willing to excuse.

The Jewish Ghetto Police -- Jewish collaborators with the Nazis who ratted on Jews in the ghetto -- were similarly in tough circumstances. Is The Weekly Standard ready to proclaim that the Jewish Ghetto Police were likewise not really helping the Nazis?

Or is this a service it only provides to deep-pocketed leftist billionaires?

Similarly, there are lots of non-Jewish collaborators. The Vichyite French were also in tough circumstances; their nation had been overrun and occupied by a very brutal foreign army. They collaborated with the Nazis, and -- like Soros -- helped here and there with the "Jewish Problem."

The Vichyites did not act, of course, with a completely free hand: Defying the Nazis would be dangerous. Cooperating with them would be safe.

No doubt, one can offer the "context" that defying the Nazis could get you jailed or killed.

And yet, few have claimed previously that Vichy collaborators should be absolved entirely of their collaborative work with the Nazis simply because they were in a tough spot.

Is the Weekly Standard prepared to also say that those who accuse the Vichy French of collaborating with Nazis are speaking "quite inaccurately" simply because the context of the situation means they weren't acting entirely of their own free, uncoerced will?

Or, again, is this an argument The Weekly Standard only makes in the context of a billionaire who is desperately important to the left (and possibly others) due to the huge amounts of money he throws at his pet political causes?

As for Soros' youth, of course his age is a mitigating factor, but it does not make the factual record "quite inaccurate." It only means that when he did bad things, it was partly because he was in a bad jam.

But it doesn't wholly excuse him, either.

There are lots of records of young Nazi and Soviet teenagers ratting out their parents or parents' friends for being insufficiently devoted to the Nazi or Soviet machines; is The Weekly Standard likewise willing to say that their tender age entirely excuses their behavior?

Or, once again: Is this a defense they only offer to George Soros and his billions of dollars all itching for donation to a worthy cause?

Yes, there is some truth to this defense: It is true that Soros-was-a-Nazi attacks rarely state that he was a Jewish boy in hiding. But... also, they don't state that because most people even talking about this matter know that; they simply do not find his circumstances to be fully exonerating as the Nazi-collaborator-sympathizing Weekly Standard does.

We're learning more and more about our NeverTrump friends as the weeks pass. We've learned they're quite willing to smear any conservative that disputes them a "Nazi;" we're also now learning that, given an extravagantly left-wing confessed assistant to Nazis, they're willing to defend him to the utmost.

Who knows what we may learn about this sterling group next week.

More:

Soros today recalls the German occupation of Hungary as "probably the happiest year of my life." "For me," he elaborates, "it was a very positive experience. It's a strange thing because you see incredible suffering around you and the fact you are in considerable danger yourself. But you're fourteen years old and you don't believe that it can actually touch you. You have a belief in yourself. You have a belief in your father. It's a very happy-making, exhilarating experience." --- from DiscoverTheNetworks.org

He said this as he was watching his fellow Jews get jailed, deported, and robbed blind.

But they couldn't touch him -- so it was the happiest year of his life.

That's not at all a strange -- or even sociopathic -- attitude to take about tremendous human suffering going on around you.

Correction: I added, briefly, a claim that the Weekly Standard didn't link this interview. They did. Though they don't quote from it very much, and they don't quote words in context.

Dan Greenfield does quote them:

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.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:33 PM

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