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Photo depicting George Soros as Nazi soldier untrue

October 22, 2018 GMT

CLAIM: Democratic philanthropist George Soros was a Nazi soldier

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A photo said to be George Soros as a Nazi soldier is actually a photo of Oskar Groening, a former SS sergeant at Auschwitz Birkenau, the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp, operated from 1940-1945 in Poland.

THE FACTS: A photo circulating widely on Facebook is not Soros, but a young Oskar Groening, a former SS sergeant who became known as the “Accountant of Auschwitz.,” according to information provided to The Associated Press by the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. 

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Soros, who was just 9-years-old when Hitler’s army invaded Poland, was not a member of the Nazi party, despite what the photo said. Soros, who is Jewish and Hungarian, was 15 during the Nazi occupation of Hungary. He would have been too young to join the Hitler Youth, an organization that recruited and trained 16- and 17-year-old boys to fight.  

According to false information with the photo, Soros was an SS in the National Socialist German workers party and served under Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. The information also claimed,”He said it was the best time of his life. The destruction and agony around him was euphoric to him.”

Soros did not say that the destruction and agony was “euphoric” to him. This quote derives from Groening’s testimony in 2015, when he said his enthusiasm for the Nazi objective had evolved into “euphoria.”

Groening was convicted as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews in 2015, but died before he could begin his four-year sentence in 2018, according to The Associated Press. 

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536

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The Associated Press reviewed this story after it was surfaced to third-party fact checkers as part of an initiative with Facebook to assess the accuracy of news content.