Is Hungary preparing to prosecute "lifelong Nazi" George Soros? No, that's not true: The claim, posted by a prolific publisher of fake news, is based on a single anonymous source. It repeats the oft-debunked claim that financier and philanthropist Soros was a Nazi. In fact, Soros, who is Jewish, lived through the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944-45, when he was 13 to 14 years old. A spokesman for Soros characterized the claim as "absolutely false."
The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by NewsPunch on March 8, 2023. Titled "Hungary Prepares To Prosecute 'Lifelong Nazi' George Soros For Holocaust Atrocities," the article opened:
Hungarian prosecutors are preparing charges against 92-year-old Hungarian-American financier George Soros for aiding and abetting the murder of thousands of Hungarians during the Nazi occupation during World War II.
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The NewsPunch article is based on a single anonymous source, allegedly from the prosecutor's office in Budapest, Hungary. That fact alone raises a red flag about the authenticity of its claims, as does the fact that the article was reported by NewsPunch, a well-known publisher of fake news.
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Additionally, there is no support for the extraordinary allegation that Soros "aid[ed] and abett[ed] the murder of thousands of Hungarians during the Nazi occupation during World War II."
Born in Hungary in 1930, Soros was 13 when the Nazi occupation of Hungary began and 14 when it ended. According to the website of his Open Society Foundations:
George Soros experienced ethnic and political intolerance firsthand. Born in Hungary in 1930, he lived through the Nazi occupation of 1944-1945, which resulted in the murder of over 500,000 Hungarian Jews. His own Jewish family survived by securing false identity papers, concealing their backgrounds, and helping others do the same.
The NewsPunch article further claimed that Soros has "been missing since at least March 5, shortly after news leaked about the impending charges."
Lead Stories reached out to Michael Vachon, Soros' spokesman, to ask whether Hungary is preparing to prosecute Soros and if he's missing. In an email, dated March 9, 2023, Vachon responded:
Both things absolutely false.
Lead Stories also reached out to Soros' Open Society Foundations to ask about the article's claims. We will update this story, as appropriate, if we receive a response.