Blaming Nazi victims, forced into the Judenrat, is moral vivisection
One can accuse George Soros of many nefarious things: currency manipulation; profiting from others’ misfortune; orchestrating financial collapses; political meddling; buying influence. One can also oppose Soros’ politics, for example, his demonization of Israel. However, to accuse the Hungarian-born Jew of relishing in his forced collaboration with the Nazis is beyond the pale.
Here are the facts: As a teenager, Soros lived, together with his family, under Nazi occupation in Budapest. He, together with other teenagers, was tasked by the Judenrat, or Jewish Council, to deliver deportation notices to other Jews. The evil and coercive Nazi demands made of the Judenrat is a controversy as old as the Holocaust itself. However, the idea that to be part of the Judenrat was done willingly is dead wrong. Yet for Roseanne Barr and Morton Klein of the ZOA this forced cooperation is reason to accuse Soros of turning in Jews.
On May 29, Barr tweeted: “George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth.” The following day, May 30, Klein tweeted: “All people have asked of Soros does he regret helping Nazis locate Jews when he was 14-he said he has no regrets.”
To call someone a Nazi, as Barr did, is beyond the pale — unless that person was in fact a member of the Nazi party or a fascist party that collaborated with the Nazis, such as the Hungarian Arrow Cross. Misusing and abusing the term “Nazi” only serves to minimize what the Nazis did.
At the heart of both tweets is an issue that continues to rear its head: judgement of survivors who did what they had to do to survive. Yes, Jews did work with Nazis, but “collaboration” implies consent. The Jews who were forced to do the Nazis’ bidding — such as members of the Jewish Councils and members of the Sonderkommando — did so in order to survive (even for just a few more days or months, as ultimately the Nazis intended to kill them anyway).
Do non-survivors have the right to question survivors about their actions during the war — as Klein does? We’re firmly on the side of “No.” Non-survivors have the luxury of never knowing how they would have behaved in the tortuous, inhumane and evil circumstances that survivors were forced to endure.
There’s plenty to criticize about Soros. But we are not going to question whether he regrets or doesn’t regret his action during the Holocaust because, thankfully, we will never understand the choice he faced. Mr. Klein, criticize away. But focus on Soros’ behavior and actions as a financier and political influencer — not his actions as a young teen living under Nazi occupation.
Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News