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Friday, September 16, 2011

Soros: Childhood

Let’s start with some background on George Soros:

George Soros was born in Hungary August of 1930 to non -practicing Jewish parents, Tivadar and Elizabeth (I have seen various spellings of their names).  His father, a doctor, lawyer and author, was a prisoner of war during WWI.  He was also the founder of the Esperanto magazine Literatura Mondo in 1922.  

The family name was originally Schartz, but his father changed it in 1936 due to an increase in anti-Semitism and because Hitler voiced a distrust of Esperanto in his book Mein Kampf.  Both Jews and Esperantists were killed in the holocaust during Hitler’s reign of terror.  These motivating factors lead Tivadar to not only change the family name, but also to secure their safety the only way he knew how.  

To escape persecution from Hitler, Tivadar had fake identity papers made for his two children, both of whom were placed in the care of Christian families.  George was placed in the care of a man responsible for confiscating Jews property and assisted this man in his tasks.  

While a child of fourteen cannot be held responsible for what they are forced to do/witness, one would think the adult Soros would lament witnessing such atrocious acts on fellow Jews.  

Here is an excerpt from an interview in 1998 on “60 Minutes” with Steve Kroft:  

Kroft: "You're a Hungarian Jew ..."
Soros: "Mm-hmm."
Kroft: "... who escaped the Holocaust ..."
Soros: "Mm-hmm."
Kroft: "... by posing as a Christian."
Soros: "Right."
Kroft: "And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps."
Soros: "Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my character was made."
Kroft: "In what way?"
Soros: "That one should think ahead. One should understand that -- and anticipate events and when, when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a -- a very personal threat of evil."
KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.
SOROS: Yes. Yes.
KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.
SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.
Kroft: "I mean, that's -- that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?"
Soros: "Not, not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't ... you don't see the connection. But it was -- it created no -- no problem at all."
Kroft: "No feeling of guilt?"
Soros: "No."
Kroft: "For example, that, 'I'm Jewish, and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be these, I should be there.' None of that?"
Soros: "Well, of course, ... I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was -- well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in the markets -- that is I weren't there -- of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would - 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 the -- I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt."

(Please read the last few lines again) then make what you will from these statements, but please keep in mind we should not judge others… walking in his shoes would be difficult and we do not know how we would have reacted, it is easy to be on this side of the equation and pass judgment and much harder when faced with the reality of living through a “personal threat of evil”.  Also we should not judge his character off of one or two quotes.

 Here are two possible rationales supporting or refuting Soros’ statements:

1)  He was young and didn’t assimilate what was being done to others as what could have been done to him.  That the property was going to be taken regardless of who was there or who took it so he felt no personal guilt.  What he learned was self preservation and it is that which has helped him to be the success he is today.  Many who have suffered abuse or traumatic experiences have similar self preservation outlooks.  

2) That at fourteen he should have  more sense of right and wrong and at least have felt bad for what was being done to fellow humans even if he wasn’t brought up practicing the Jewish faith.  That he is expressing a lack of empathy and compassion for others.  I have even heard him called a sociopath due to comments like this, but I will let you make your own decision after more information is provided.  

Side Note: 
Soros means “next in line” in Hungarian and “to soar” (in the future tense) in Esperanto. Esperanto is a made-up trans-European language used as a universal second language by those who speak it.  It is a language meant to be free of any one national identity, seeking to unify people of the world.  It has never been made an official language of any country but has had much popularity and controversy over the years.  Soros was taught to speak Esperanto from birth along with its key principles. 

What do you think about Soros' interview?  

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