Schwarzenegger visits Auschwitz with anti-hate message

OSWIECIM Film icon Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the site of the Nazi Auschwitz death camp on Wednesday and met a Holocaust survivor and son of a Holocaust survivor and said it was time to “end” the hate.

The “Terminator” actor and former California governor saw the barracks, watchtowers, and remnants of the gas chambers that survived as evidence of the German extermination of Jews and others during World War II.

He also met a woman who, as a 3-year-old girl, had undergone the experiments of the notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

“This is a story that must survive, this is a story that we must tell again and again,” he said after visiting the death camp site, speaking at a former synagogue that is now home to the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation.

He stood by Simon Bergson, head of the foundation, who was born after the war to survivors of Auschwitz, and mentioned his family’s history.

“I was the son of a man who fought in the Nazi war and was a soldier,” said the 75-year-old Schwarzenegger in Oswissim, the city where the Auschwitz site is located.

He said that he and Bergson, who are close in age, are united in their work.

“Let’s fight prejudice together and let’s end it once and for all,” Schwarzenegger said.

Bergson added: “Arnold and I are living proof that in a single generation hatred can be completely changed. Governor, thank you for joining us here today.”

His visit to the site in southern Poland, which was under German occupation during World War II, was his first and came as part of his work with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, whose mission is to fight hate through education.

He received the foundation’s inaugural “Fighting Hate” award in June for his anti-hate stance on social media. He said he couldn’t attend in person at the time because he was filming a new action series in Canada and was in a “COVID bubble.”

He vowed that Wednesday’s visit would not be the last.

“I’ll be back,” he said, using a famous phrase from “The Terminator.”

Schwarzenegger, who is originally from Austria, has spoken publicly in the past about his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, who was a Nazi soldier during the war.

He told the Russians in Video shared on social media In March, they were lied to about the war in Ukraine and accused President Vladimir Putin of sacrificing Russian soldiers to achieve his own ambitions.

In this video, he evokes painful memories of how his father was lied to during his fight, and how he returned to Austria a broken man, both physically and emotionally, after being injured in Leningrad.

Historians estimate that around 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz during the war. About a million of them were Jews. About 75,000 Poles were killed there, as well as Russian prisoners of war and others.


Gera reported from Warsaw.

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