Steve Hochstadt: What's With the Pipe, Glenn?

Roundup: Historians' Take

[Steve Hochstadt of Jacksonville is a professor of history at Illinois College. His column appears every Tuesday in the Journal-Courier.]

A few days ago, Glenn Beck accused George Soros, a Holocaust survivor, of turning in Jews to the Nazis. Now some people want his head, calling him an anti-Semite.

I don’t agree. His head is worth nothing. Beck’s history lesson shows exactly why.

Beck doesn’t like Soros. Soros is one of the world’s biggest donors to liberal causes, and he has lots to give. He reportedly made $1 billion in an English currency crisis by correctly predicting that the pound sterling would be devalued. The organization that Soros created and leads, the Open Society Institute, promotes democratic ideals and liberal practices in countries with authoritarian governments.

Beck hates the causes Soros funds.

But that’s all irrelevant to what happened to Soros in 1944 when the Nazis occupied Hungary. He was a Jewish teenager trying to avoid being sent to Auschwitz, where over half a million Hungarian Jews were murdered that year. To survive, Soros had to do some unpleasant things. He once told a journalist that he and other kids were called to the Jewish Council, a group of Jewish leaders forced to transmit the Nazis’ orders to their fellow Jews....

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John a Wilson - 12/4/2010

By Soros' own admission, he collaborated with the Nazis and it was more than transmitting messages. And Soros manipulated the pound to his own benefit. He did the same in Indonesia and they want to have a talk with him about it.

Beck doesn't hate Soros. His problem is with what Soros does with his money.