In a new 12-minute YouTube video, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offers “a powerful message for those who have gone down a path of hate.” It includes a warning about the “Terminator” star’s father, who supported the Nazis.
Schwarzenegger posted a photograph of his father, Gustav, and noted the member of the Austrian police grew up around “broken” men who numbed their pain with alcohol. Not only did they regret losing the war and nurse injuries, but “they felt like losers,” he said. “They fell for a horrible loser ideology.”
The bodybuilder and actor connected that mentality with those who marched as part of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017. “It’s the path of the weak,” he said. “It breaks you.”
A month ago, Schwarzenegger revealed, he toured Auschwitz-Birkenau. The video includes footage from that visit, including displays of suitcases and shoes used by Jewish men, women and children, collected before the majority perished in the concentration and death camp.
“How do we stop this from ever happening again?” he asked. “I want to talk to you if you’ve heard some conspiracies about Jewish people or people of any race or gender orientation and thought ‘that makes sense to me.’ ”
To those who told him that addressing antisemites is a lost cause, he disagreed. And to the latter, he said: “I care about you. I think you’re worth it.”
He emphasized to Jew-haters that blaming another people for their problems conspiratorially removes their own responsibility and diminishes their agency in life.
“You steal your own strength,” he told them. “I want you to know that you still have the chance to choose a life of strength.”
On brand, Schwarzenegger also told viewers that identifying and responding to problematic and painful beliefs is not all that different from developing the necessary strength to build muscles.
“I don’t care how many hateful things you may have written online. I don’t care how often you’ve marched carrying that hateful flag or what hateful things you may have said in anger. There is still hope for you,” he said. “There is still time for you. Choose strength. Choose life. Conquer your mind. You can do it.”