Alex Jones is a man whose sworn enemy is a group known as The Globalists. Among these Globalists, the target most commonly in his sights is billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
In order to make his case that the Globalists are full-on evil people, Alex consistently refers to Soros as a "Nazi collaborator," or even worse. Here is a clip of him bringing up his feelings about George Soros:
The claim that George Soros actively worked for the Nazis in World War II comes from a 60 Minutes interview he did in 1998. You can watch the full story about him below, the part involving his time in the Holocaust at about the 6:55 mark.
Before we deal with the Nazi stuff, I'd like to just say that I'm not here to fully support or defend George Soros for everything he's ever done. I admit that I do not have a sophisticated enough understanding of the stock market to know enough to speak on that issue, with or without any amount of research.
I can, however, say that definitively, based on the evidence available, claiming that George Soros rounded up Jews in the Holocaust is a horrendous, irresponsible lie. Even to say that he "willingly" worked with them would be an insult to history and truth.
This claim is difficult to debunk, if only because the only real argument that needs to be made "no he didn't." Unfortunately, that doesn't pass muster around here, so here we go.
George Soros, born in 1930, was ages 9-14 when WWII was going on in Europe. Sensing real trouble coming, his father decided to split his family up and bought them all forged papers, in the hopes that they could hide their true Jewish identity, and if they were not all in one place, the odds of some of them surviving increased.
Soros's father then bribed an official in Budapest to take in George, with the backstory being that he was this official's Christian god-son. The official in question was in charge of cleaning up after Jews were sent off to camps; he would come in and take all their valuables, and as part of maintaining his cover, young George Soros assisted in this.
Some may claim that this was an unethical thing to do, but I would posit these important points to counter that argument:
- George Soros was, at this point, a maximum of 14 years old. To give some prospective, that is an 8th grader here in the United States. A freshman in high school. Even in ideal circumstances, 14 year olds deserve some wiggle room.
- This happened during the Holocaust, and it was a part of George maintaining his cover. If he were to not go along with the confiscations, or speak out against them, he would almost certainly be found out as a Jew in hiding, and be killed.
- As Soros puts it in the interview linked above: "...if I weren't there, of course I wasn't doing it, but someone else 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 I had no role in taking away that property."
I believe the essence of what he's saying that quote is that, no matter what he did, that property was going to be taken by the Nazis. A 14 year old boy cannot fight the will of a genocidal state.
But even beyond that, I believe that he is saying that in the actual confiscations that he went along for, he was not really an active participant, merely "a spectator." I would compare it to a "Bring Your Child To Work Day," where the kid is there, but they can't really do a whole lot, so maybe you give them some busy work to let them feel like they're helping.
But back to the major claims: 1) George Soros was a Nazi collaborator, and 2) George Soros helped round up Jews in the Holocaust.
As to the first count, there is no evidence that he was a willing participant or collaborator with the Nazis. In his biography, it is made clear that he only occasionally went our with his false god-father in his work to collect the possessions of captured Jews. He had a passing involvement in this, at best.
As for the claim that he helped "round up Jews," that is just made up out of whole cloth. It's a claim that's been repeated by every right wing blog, every bigoted talking head from Alex Jones to Glenn Beck, and the only evidence they ever provide is the 60 Minutes interview that is posted above, which does not contain any evidence to the claim.
I understand that Alex Jones has to grasp at straws to paint his enemies as terrible people, but this claim is particularly repugnant, and definitely at least borders on a slight antisemitism.
The truth, as is so often the case with these Little Lies Alex tells, is that context is incredibly important, and when you erase context, you are lying. As for the context here, I think that Matt Welch puts it perfectly in a 2010 post on reason.com:
As a native son of the free world you can and damn well should cheer a person who acted bravely in the face of a pervasive and murderous totalitarian state, but with the exception of the monsters who willfully abused power there, you had better err massively on the side of reticence before casting negative judgment on the compromises that captive citizens made under a pressure we literally cannot fathom.
In this instance, as is so often the case, Alex Jones errs massively, but does so on the wrong side.