Arnold Schwarzenegger says it's time to 'terminate' hate in emotional Auschwitz visit

The visit was part of his work with the Auschwitz Jewish Centre Foundation


Film icon Arnold Schwarzenegger toured the site of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp on Wednesday, meeting a Holocaust survivor and saying it was time to “terminate” hatred.

The “Terminator” actor and former governor of California viewed the compound made up of gas chambers, watchtowers and barracks that still stand today since being used to murder up to 960,000 Jews and over 100,000 Poles, Roma, and Soviet prisoners of war.

Speaking in a former synagogue that is now home to the Auschwitz Jewish Centre Foundation, Mr Schwarzenegger said: “This is a story that has to stay alive, this is a story that we have to tell over and over again,”

The 75-year-old actor toured the site alongside Simon Bergson, founder of the Auschwitz Jewish Centre Foundation, who was born to survivors of Auschwitz.

The native Austrian, who became a naturalised US citizen in 1983, said that he and Bergson, who are similar in age, were united in their work.

“I was the son of a man who fought in the Nazi war and was a soldier,

“Let’s fight prejudice together and let’s just terminate it once and for all.” Schwarzenegger said in Oswiecim, the town where Auschwitz is located.

Bergson added: “Arnold and I are living proof that within one generation hatred can be shifted entirely. Governor, thank you for joining us here today.”

During his visit, which was his first to the site, Mr Schwarzenegger also met a Holocaust survivor who, as a 3-year-old child, was subjected to experiments by the notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

Mr Schwarzenegger has spoken openly in the past about being the son of Nazi soldier Gustav Schwarzenegger.

In a video posted to social media in March, Mr Schwarzenegger appealed to Russians to look beyond the lies that they were being fed from President Vladimir Putin in regards to the war in Ukraine.

In the video, he described his own painful memories about how his own father returned home from war a broken man, physically and emotionally, after being lied to concerning the reasons for war.

Mr Schwarzenegger’s visit to Auschwitz is part of his work with the Auschwitz Jewish Centre Foundation, whose mission is to fight hatred through education.

He received the foundation’s inaugural “Fighting Hatred” award in June for his anti-hatred stance on social media.

Vowing it would not be his last visit, Mr Schwarzenegger said, “I’ll be back."

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