Because of his lifelong dedication to human rights and social justice, my father George Soros has become the enemy of choice for despots at home and around the world. That means he is frequently targeted by malicious lies and wild conspiracy theories.
Until now, I have been mostly silent on these matters because I have not wanted to add fuel to the fire by giving them further attention. But I find one lie so odious that I feel duty bound to address it directly: the false assertion that my father somehow collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation of Budapest.
On Tuesday morning, Roseanne Barr became the newest promoter of this egregious slander. In a tweet, she called my father a “nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth.”
Here is what actually happened to my father, as documented in Michael Kaufman’s biography “Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire.”
When Jews in his native Budapest were being rounded up and killed by the Nazis, my grandfather Tivadar Soros saved many lives including his own family by securing false identity papers and helping put Jews into hiding. Among those he helped was the wife of an official of the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture.
In exchange, my grandfather asked the official to hide my father and pretend he was his godson.
The official’s duties included taking inventory of the estate of a Jewish family that had fled earlier under duress and he took my then 13-year-old father with him. This story is also told in my grandfather’s memoir of surviving the Holocaust, “Masquerade: The Incredible True Story of How George Soros’ Father Outsmarted the Gestapo.”
George Soros did not collaborate with the Nazis. He did not help round people up. He did not confiscate anyone’s property.
I am alive because of my grandfather’s heroism. And like my grandfather, my father is also a hero. It was his experience in the Holocaust that made him an advocate for marginalized and subjugated people. It is also why he created the Open Society Foundations.
It is shameful that, in 2017, over 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, heads of state, celebrities and pundits alike are using anti-Semitic rhetoric and lies to attack my father. I hope that the next generation of world leaders, public intellectuals and entertainers won’t stoop so low. Roseanne Barr’s claims are not just an insult to my father, but all those who endured the Holocaust.