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What's with Glenn Beck's fascination with Nazis?

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The fight between Fox News commentator Glenn Beck and liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros has escalated to the rhetorically nuclear stage.

How much worse can it get when one links the other to anti-Semitism and Nazism? And how much weirder can it get when the target of that charge escaped the Holocaust as a young Jewish teenager?

That, in essence, is what Beck is now saying about Soros, the controversial financier who’s long been the target of Beck’s ire. “Here’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to the death camps,” Beck said this week.

The story is a lot more complicated than that.

Soros was 13 when Nazi Germany invaded his native Hungary. In order to escape detection as a Jew, his family had him live with a Hungarian government official as the official’s Christian “godson.”

The basis of Beck’s charge is that young Soros had to accompany the official when the man was ordered to inventory Jewish property for confiscation – an episode likely to have remained obscure but for the fact that Soros himself mentioned it in interviews.

While he’s a supporter of Israel, Soros today is no Zionist. He’s been criticized for his support of “J Street,” the liberal Jewish lobbying group that (among other things) sees Jewish settlements in the occupied territories as an obstacle to peace in the region.

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