Former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has doubled down on his comments regarding the January 6th peaceful protests-turned-riots that took place on Capitol Hill, wherein the Terminator franchise star compared the event to Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht.
In a now-infamous speech issued in January of 2021, the former California governor compared the Capitol Hill protests to Nazi Germany, specifically to Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass.
As per History, Kristallnacht took place on the 9th of November 1938, “in an event that would foreshadow the Holocaust, German Nazis launch a campaign of terror against Jewish people and their homes and businesses in Germany and Austria.”
“The violence, which continued through to 10 November and was later dubbed ‘Kristallnacht’ (literally ‘Crystal Night’), or ‘Night of Broken Glass,’ after the countless smashed windows of Jewish-owned establishments, left approximately 100 Jews dead, 7,500 Jewish businesses damaged and hundreds of synagogues, homes, schools and graveyards vandalised,” it further details.
History notes that an estimate of “30,000 Jewish men were arrested, many of whom were then sent to concentration camps for several months,” explaining that Kristallnacht “represented a dramatic escalation of the campaign started by Adolf Hitler in 1933 when he became chancellor to purge Germany of its Jewish population.”
“I grew up in Austria,” Schwarzenegger prefaced in his speech following the Capitol Hill riots. “I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.”
He further accused, “Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States. The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol — they shattered the ideas we took for granted.”
Schwarzenegger would go on to put the blame on Donald Trump, baselessly accusing the former president of attempting to overthrow the results of the 2020 election and seemingly comparing him to Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler.
“President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election — and of a fair election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies,” he noted before he brought up his father — member of the Nazi Party’s Sturmarbteilung, Gustav Schwarzenegger — to illustrate his comparison.
“My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies,” the Terminator: Dark Fate actor claimed. “I know where such lies lead. President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.”
In October of 2021, during an episode of CNN political correspondent Dana Bash’s Total Recall: California’s Political Circus podcast, Schwarzenegger elaborated on his controversial speech following the Capitol Hill protests.
“I just felt that it was so sad of what happened on January 6th,” prefaced the actor. “You know, this is so much kind of a feeling of what they were talking about… when we were talking about… in the Nazi time of when people were lied to all the time and what that led to.”
Schwarzenegger proceeded to explain, “It’s not to call anyone here Nazis, by any means, but just what happens to when people are being lied to about elections. How eventually this whole thing can go really quickly south.”
“So we went through some unbelievable times in America, and we always kind of pull out of it. And so, it reminded me of one of these very difficult moments, again, when this happened on January 6th,” the Fubar actor elaborated.
In last week’s episode of CNN’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace, Schwarzenegger doubled down on his comparison of the January 6th Capitol Hill protests to Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht, saying it was “absolutely” fair to compare them.
“I mean, I think that is of course a different time and all that, but it’s kind of like a threat to democracy and a threat of what happens to people when they’re lied to and this is why I compared it to that,” he said, echoing his past comments.
He explained, “Because in Kristallnacht, I know with my father who was part of the Nazi Party, you know, they were lied to. They were misled. And I think a lot of people in America today are being misled.”
As if devoid of self-awareness, in August of 2021 Schwarzenegger said “screw your freedom” in support of the draconian COVID-19 restrictions imposed on Americans, labelling those who opposed wearing facial masks as “schmucks.”
The actor would eventually issue a half-hearted apology, claiming, “I try to be relentlessly positive, but sometimes my mouth gets ahead of me,” and attributed his authoritarian behaviour to a lack of communication skills, adding, “I should have communicated better.”
What do you make of Schwarzenegger’s doubling down on comparing January 6th protests to Kristallnacht?