In a Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column, author and "talk-show host with Fairness Doctrine Radio" Chuck Morse assails everyone who takes money from George Soros, and Jewish groups in particular, as having "spineless lack of courage" and "zero sense of principle." But Morse displayed his own lack of principle by repeatedly telling falsehoods about Soros' background, capped by the outright lie that Soros has a "pro-Nazi past."
Citing an interview Soros did on 60 Minutes, Morse wrote that in Nazi-occupied Hungary, "the 14-year-old Soros helped a man who was posing as his father make the rounds as this man confiscated property from Jews. Soros acknowledged that he served papers to Jews and watched as they were shipped off to the death camps." Morse goes on to bizarrely interpret Soros' statement that "I had no role in taking away that property" as admitting "he did indeed play an active a role in the confiscations."
But Morse is falsely portraying Soros' actions. 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, pointing out 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]
Morse's claim that Soros "served papers to Jews and watched as they were shipped off to the death camps" is also a false portrayal of what actually happened. In his book, Kaufman wrote that school-age Soros had been selected by officials to serve as a courier for the Jewish Council, an organization intended by the Nazis "as a first step leading to the identification and registration of Jews, which would be followed by herding them into ghettos and ultimately by their deportation to forced labor and death." Kaufman continued [emphasis added]:
When his father asked him if [he] had read the messages, George reached into his pocket and pulled out several slips printed in blue ink. He said he thought his father should read them before he delivered them the next morning. It turned out the slips were summonses ordering people to report at the rabbinical seminary on Rokk Szilard Street. Each addressee was to bring a blanket and food for two days. Tividar asked thirteen-year-old George if he knew what the message meant.
"I can guess," George replied with great seriousness. "They'll be interned."
George remembers the incident in vivid detail. "There were five or six such notices and my father realized that the names were taken from an alphabetical list of Jewish lawyers. My father looked at the pieces of paper and said these people are deporting lawyers. The names were at the front of the alphabet, starting with A or B, which gave him warning that within a short period they would get around to S and order him to report. He told me to deliver the notices, but to tell the people if they reported they would be deported."
The next day George followed his father's instructions. "I remember one man I went to see who told me, 'You know, I have always been a law-abiding citizen -- I haven't done anything wrong -- so I have no reason to disobey this order, and I am sure that nothing terrible can happen to me.' And when I went back and told my father about it, we had another conversation about rules, what rules you obey, and what rules you break."
Years after the war, the Budapest bar association put up a plaque in its offices bearing the names of more than six hundred Jewish lawyers who perished after responding to the summonses of 1944. After George delivered his handful of messages Tivadar ordered him to stop working at the council.
George liked the excitement of being a courier but he obeyed his father without complaint. [Pages 32-33]
Nevertheless, Morse insisted this was evidence that Soros has a "pro-Nazi past."
Morse went on to write that Glenn Beck was criticized by "liberal Jewish leaders" for "quoting from the Soros interview." In fact, as we documented, Beck selectively quoted from the interview without telling the full truth. He also claimed that Soros helped "send the Jews" to "death camps" and that Soros "saw people into gas chambers."
Morse also stated that "Abe Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that Beck's recitation of the ‘60 Minutes' interview with Soros was ‘completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.' After looking into the matter further, Foxman apologized to Beck for calling him an anti-Semite." In fact, Foxman never called Beck an "anti-Semite" regarding the Soros comments; the only time the term appears in his criticism of Beck over his Soros attacks is when he's quoting Beck. Foxman's apology to Beck -- in a letter dated more than two weeks before Foxman criticized Beck over Soros -- was for mistakenly including him in an ADL fundraising email's list of celebrities who had made anti-Semitic comments.
Morse even ran to the defense of Ohio Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott (whose name Morse misspells as "Rich Lott"), lamenting that "several liberal guests commenting on my daily radio program" criticized him "for wearing a Nazi uniform at a historical re-enactment," but "the same liberals have said not a word about George Soros' sordid past." Perhaps that's because those "liberal guests" researched all the facts regarding Soros -- something Morse has demonstrated he couldn't be bothered to do."
(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)