Photo Shows Young George Soros as a Nazi-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A photo allegedly shows a young George Soros in a Nazi uniform and claims he served in the National Socialist German Workers Party before he became a wealthy businessman and champion of progressive causes.

The Truth:

The young man pictured in a Nazi uniform in this photo isn’t George Soros.

This particular post began circulating on social media in late November 2016, but claims that George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist and supporter of progressive causes, was a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer have persisted for years.

The post shows a young Nazi with a passing resemblance to George Soros. A caption argues that Hillary Clinton would have been a more dangerous president than Donald Trump given that one of her primary backers, Soros, was a Nazi:

I give you George Soros. A SS in the National Socialist German workers party. Nazi party. He served under Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. He said it was the best time of his life. The destruction and agony around him was euphoric to him. This man was making policy with Hillary Clinton. And some of you think Trump is dangerous. Wow!

George Soros was Born in Budapest, Hungry, in 1930. That would have made him 12 years old when the United States entered World War II and 15 years old when the war ended in 1945. That would make it seem that Soros was too young to wear an SS uniform before the fall of the Nazi party, but it’s been reported that Hitler forced boys as young as 12 into combat, particularly in the waning days of the war.

Still, George Soros was not the young man pictured in the Nazi uniform. A simple Google image search reveals that the undated photo from the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland shows Oskar Groening. Groening was the so-called “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz” who was prosecuted for war crimes at the age of 94. In 2015, Groening was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the death of 300,000 Jews at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944:

Undated photo of Oskar Groening
A photo showing Oskar Groening in SS uniform has been misidentified as George Soros.

Claims about George Soros’ alleged ties to the Nazi party have been circulating for years. Most are fueled by a 1998 interview with Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” in which Soros recounted how, at the age of 14, he accompanied an adult guardian in confiscating property from Jews in Hungry.

Portions of the interview in which Soros said he didn’t regret doing confiscating the property and that it wasn’t difficult for him have long been used to argue that Soros is a sociopath and/or Nazi sympathizer by his critics. However, those accounts intentionally leave out comments in which Soros explains (in broken english) why he doesn’t regret his actions or feel guilt as a 14-year-old boy:

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 … (If) I wasn’t doing it, 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.”

So, claims that George Soros was a Nazi are false. Soros did, however, accompany an adult guardian who confiscated property from Jews in Hungry as a 14-year-old boy, and that has frequently been used to call his character into question — and to undermine Democratic candidates supported by Soros.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Oskar Groening misidentified as George Soros