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Schwarzenegger begs haters and haters not to "Throw away their future"

When Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the Auschwitz concentration camp site a few months ago, it was “one of the darkest moments of my life.” Now, he is using that experience to urge those who hold anti-Semitism and other discriminatory beliefs not to fall down the same path as those who perpetuated the crimes of the Holocaust and other atrocities, warning them, “You’re not going to succeed in the end. That’s the road. .”

In a 12-minute video posted on his YouTube page on Monday, the former professional bodybuilder, actor and California governor said he wanted to address the issue amid recent upheavals worldwide. hatred And antisemitism.

He says those who actively oppose discrimination don’t want to “preach to the choir”. Instead, he wants to speak to those who have “stumbled down the wrong path”.

“I don’t know the road that got you here, but I’ve seen enough people throw away their futures for hateful beliefs,” he says in the video. “So I want to talk to you before you find your regrets at the end of that road.”

Schwarzenegger pointed to his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, who is close to him Said in the past A Nazi soldier and part of the Siege of Leningrad in World War II which famously lasted nearly 900 days. His father, he said, was one of the “broken men” after the war who were “delinquent in crime”.

Gustav Schwarzenegger’s soldier’s book and other documents, pictured Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003, which he carried in his left shirt pocket while fighting for the Germans during World War II. The book is now preserved in the Austrian State Archives, which contains millions of Nazi-era documents.

Susanna Loof/AP

“They felt like losers, not just because they lost the war, but because they fell for horrible, loser ideals. They were lied to and misled down a path that ended in misery,” Schwarzenegger said. “…In the end, it doesn’t really matter why they joined (the Nazis). They’re all broken the same way. That’s the point here.”

Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination and concentration camp serves as a prime example of where hatred can be exploited, he said. It was the largest of such Nazi camps during the Holocaust in World War II, where more than 1.1 million people were killed.

From the moment you walk through the site, “you feel a tremendous weight,” he says, describing the powerful impact of seeing the physical remains of the victims.

“Suitcases were never claimed by prisoners who were asked to remember where they put their belongings so they could retrieve them after they finished their showers… Gas chambers with scratches on the walls from human fingernails tried to hold on to life… Crematoria , where the Nazis tried to erase all their atrocities,” Schwarzenegger remembered watching.

Arnold Schwarzenegger visits the Auschwitz Memorial

Arnold Schwarzenegger visits the former Nazi German Auschwitz Birkenau concentration and extermination camp on September 28, 2022 in Brzezinka, Poland.

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“Let me tell you something, the weight on your back hits you in the beginning, heavier than any squat I’ve ever done. And it never goes away,” he said. “It’s the sense of history, the sense of millions of voices that were silenced decades ago, begging you, begging you, not just to look at their shoes, but to spend a few hours in them.”

In his video, Schwarzenegger speaks directly to those who are “at the crossroads” of going down a hate-driven path, saying that such a path may seem easy, but those who follow it “will not find success at the end of the road.” Choosing to focus on hate, he says, is essentially choosing to create a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility.

Anti-Semitic incidents have increased in the United States in recent years, and the number of incidents has increased more than that 34% in 2021, the highest number ever recorded by the Anti-Extremism Defamation League Center. In a January report, the agency said at least 85% of Americans “believe in at least one anti-Semitic trope” — up from 61% in 2019.

“Hate comes fast and bright. It can make you feel empowered for a while, but eventually it consumes the vessel it fuels. It breaks you,” Schwarzenegger said in his video. “…There has never been a successful movement based on hate. … I don’t want you to lose.”

Instead of clinging to the mistaken belief that other groups are to blame for the problem, Schwarzenegger said people should choose personal responsibility and a life of true power.

“When you spend your life looking for scapegoats, you take away your responsibility. You take away your power. You steal your power,” he said. …You must give up your war against those you hate. … The battle you really have to fight is against yourself.”

The most important thing, Schwarzenegger said, is that there is “still hope” for those who have so far lived their lives in hate.

“There is still time for you,” he said. “Choose power. Choose life. Win your heart.”

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Lee Cohen


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