US movie star-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger likens last week’s riot at the Capitol by a mob supporting US President Donald Trump to the November 9, 1938, Nazi pogroms known as Kristallnacht.
Schwarzenegger compares the insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, DC, to the rise of Nazi Germany and speaks for the first time about his father’s past.
In a lengthy video posted to Twitter, Schwarzenegger calls last week’s storming America’s “Night of Broken Glass,” or Kristallnacht, and refers to the perpetrators as the “Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.”
My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week's attack on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/blOy35LWJ5
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 10, 2021
“The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol — but the mob did not just shatter glass, they shattered the ideas we took for granted,” he says.
“They did not just break down the doors of the building that houses American democracy, the trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”
“I’ve never shared this so publicly because it is a painful memory, but my father would come home drunk once or twice a week, and he would scream and hit us and scare my mother,” Schwarzenegger says, of his childhood in Austria. “I did not hold him totally responsible because our neighbor was doing the same to his family, and so was the next neighbor over.
“They were in physical pain from the shrapnel in their bodies, and in emotional pain from what they saw or did. It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance.
“So being from Europe, I’ve seen first-hand how things can spin out of control…”
Schwarzenegger’s father Gustav, a police chief, voluntarily joined the Nazi Party in 1938, and served in World War II as a “Hauptfeldwebel.” Wounded in 1943’s Battle of Stalingrad, he was discharged later that year after suffering malaria. Schwarzenegger asked the Simon Wiesenthal Center to look into Gustav’s wartime record, and it found no evidence of atrocities.