Rudy Giuliani has claimed he is ‘more of a Jew’ than financier George Soros despite the billionaire surviving the Holocaust as a child in his native Hungary.
The former New York mayor made the bizarre accusation during an interview with New York Magazine in which he questioned the liberal financier’s religion.
But in reality, the background and ethnicity of the two men could not be more different with Giuliani, the grandson of immigrants, raised a Catholic in an Italian area of Brooklyn and Long Island, while Soros grew up in Budapest, Hungary and survived the Holocaust.
In the rambling interview with the magazine, Giuliani said Soros is ‘hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is’ and branded him an ‘enemy of Israel’.
Although Giuliani at one time considered becoming a priest, he has not publicly declared his particular religious affiliation as an adult.
In contrast, Soros was raised in the Hungarian capital in a middle class, non-observant Jewish family, and was forced into hiding after the Nazi invasion of 1944.
Rudy Giuliani speaking at a Turning Point USA student action summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center last Thursday
Hungarian-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros receives the Schumpeter Award 2019 in Vienna, Austria, in June
Billionaire tycoon George Soros pictured as a young man (above). He went into hiding in his native Hungary during the Second World War after the Nazis invaded
Giuliani’s religious affiliations have been more opaque, preferring to avoid confirming if he is or isn’t a practicing Catholic.
When asked about his religion in 2007 during his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Giuliani said: ‘My religious affiliation, my religious practices and the degree to which I am a good or not-so-good Catholic, I prefer to leave to the priests.’
Giuliani was born May 28, 1944, in the Italian-American enclave of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and raised on Long Island, though he commuted back to attend Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School.
He is of Tuscan origins from his father side, as his paternal grandparents were born in Montecatini Terme, a small town in the hills of Tuscany.
Giuliani’s large large Italian-American family consisted mostly of cops and firefighters, although his father Harold ran a tavern and worked for a brother’s mob-connected loan sharking business.
At the age of seven Giuliani 1951, he moved with his family to Long Island and commuted back to attend Brooklyn Catholic school, St. Anne’s.
His father Harold had served time in Sing-Sing prison for robbery and assault.
George Soros seen as a Wall Street analyst of European securities in 1962 (left) and Rudy Giuliani seen in his high school yearbook in 1960 (right) had very different backgrounds
A young Rudy Giuliani pictured with his high school weight-lifting team in 1960
Prospect Heights in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Giuliani was born in the area and lived there until the age of seven when he moved to Long Island
Giuliani’s yearbook from his school shows how he had planned to become a doctor, and later a priest, and was an enthusiastic Democrat.
At Manhattan College he majored in political science and when he went to New York University School of Law he became a Republican.
During his time as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York he led the Mafia Commission Trial which sought to prosecute the heads of the so-called Five Families.
In his magazine interview on Monday, Giuliani claimed it was not anti-Semitic to oppose Soros’ politics.
But his remarks soon drew a rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, one of the country’s most influential Jewish organizations, who told him to apologize.
Giuliani said: ‘Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him. Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is.
‘I probably know more about – he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion – synagogue.
Rudy Giuliani when he was New York City Mayor in the 1994. He was raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn and Long Island
Candidate Rudolph Giuliani during a GOP fundraiser for his mayoral campaign featuring then President George Bush Snr
Soros with his mentor, the philosopher Karl Popper, in 1990, two years before he famously made a billion dollars in a day by shorting the pound, sending Britain crashing out of the ERM
‘He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel.
‘He’s elected eight anarchist DA’s in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.’
While Giuliani considers Soros an ‘enemy of Israel’, his early years saw the billionaire tycoon persecuted for his family background in Nazi-occupied Hungary.
Soros was raised in Budapest, Hungary, and lived with his parents as well as his brother, Paul, in an idyllic home on Lupa Island in the River Danube.
At the age of 14 he was taken in by two separate families and posed as a Christian to avoid being deported to a concentration camp.
Soros’ father paid a man called Baumbach, who was an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, to protect his son.
George Soros working on phone in his office during his investment banker days in the 1970s
The idyllic home on Lupa Island in the Danube where Soros lived with his father before the WWII, which is now owned by a theater director
Later the young Soros was hidden behind a cupboard in the home of a man called Prohászka, who worked with Baumbach.
His father, Tivadar, saved not only his immediate family but also many other Hungarian Jews by helping them hide in non-Jewish homes.
In 1945 Soros survived the Siege of Budapest, in which Soviet and German forces fought house-to-house through the city.
By 1947 Soros had emigrated to England where he studied a bachelors in science and a masters in science in philosophy at the London School of Economics.
Soros went on to become a currency trader and famously made a billion dollars in a day by shorting the pound, sending Britain crashing out of the ERM in 1992.
As a philanthropist he has given away £25 billion to liberal causes and has become a focal point for anti-Semitic right-wing conspiracy theories.