Now, Questions About Rep-Elect's Claim of Jewish Background

Did George Santos' grandparents really flee the Holocaust?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2022 12:40 AM CST
Did Incoming Congressman Fake Jewish Background?
Republican candidate for New York's 3rd Congressional District George Santos campaigns outside a Stop and Shop store, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Glen Cove, NY.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

More doubts are being raised regarding the background of the congressman-elect accused of faking his resume. George Santos, a New York Republican who has referred to himself as a "Latino Jew," claims his maternal grandparents are Holocaust refugees. But, as the Forward first reported and CNN confirmed, there's no evidence of that in genealogical records. Those records show Santos' maternal grandparents were born in Brazil years before the Nazis rose to power in Europe; Santos claims they "fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII," ultimately settling in Brazil, where his mother was born. The records also show three of his four maternal great-grandparents were born in Brazil; a fourth was born in Belgium in 1863 and immigrated to Brazil in 1884.

His father, who is Catholic, was also born in Brazil, and Santos has identified as a practicing Catholic who is ethnically Jewish. But it's Catholicism, not Judaism, that's mentioned on Santos' mother's Facebook page. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is also curious about whether Santos actually has a Jewish background, and has not yet gotten a response from Santos, his sister, or his lawyer, though the agency makes sure to note Santos' claims could still be true—but the inconsistencies need to be addressed. The head of the Republican Jewish Coalition says the coalition "is aware of the claims being made against Congressman-elect George Santos, and we have reached out to his office directly to ascertain whether they are true." Santos attended an RJC event Sunday night. Meanwhile, calls for his resignation are growing, CBS News reports. (More on his allegedly faked resume here.)

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