Arnold Schwarzenegger released a video on his YouTube page on March 20, addressing the topic of hate, discrimination and antisemitism.
Former bodybuilder, actor and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released a 12-minute video amid the global rise of hate, discrimination and antisemitism, warning those who „stumbled… into the wrong path” to change course before its too late, for there is only a future of misery if they continue down that path, reports the CBS News.
„I don’t know the road that has brought you here, but I’ve seen enough people throw away their futures for hateful beliefs,” he says in the video. „So I want to speak with you before you find your regrets at the end of that path.”
Schwarzenegger is using his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, a former Nazi soldier who took part in the 900-day-long siege of Leningrad in World War II, as an example, pointing out that he was a „broken man” after the war, „riddled with guilt.”
„They felt like losers, not only because they lost the war, but also because they fell for horrible, loser ideology. They were lied to and misled into a path that ended in misery,” Schwarzenegger said. „…In the end, it didn’t really matter why they joined [the Nazis]. They were all broken in the same way. That’s the bottom line here.”
Schwarzenegger describes his experience visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp a few months ago as „One of the darkest moments of my life.” He warns that those who fall for antisemitic and discriminatory beliefs should not follow the same path as those who perpetuated the crimes of the Holocaust and other atrocities. „You will not find success at the end of that road.”
He refers to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination and concentration camp in Poland as the prime example of where harnessing hate can lead, explaining that it was the largest of such Nazi camps during the Holocaust in World War II, where more than 1.1 million people were killed.
In his video, Schwarzenegger speaks directly to those „at the crossroads” of going on a path driven by hate. Choosing to focus on hate, he says, is essentially choosing to create a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility.
„When you spend your life looking for scapegoats, you take away your own responsibility. You remove your own power. You steal your own strength,” he said. …You have to give up your war against everyone you hate. … The war you really have to fight is the war against yourself.”
Recent years have seen a rise in antisemitic incidents in the U.S. and worldwide. The number of incidents increased by more than 34% in 2021 in the United States, hitting the highest number ever recorded by the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism.