Schwarzenegger compares Capitol riot to Kristallnacht
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) compared the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week to Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, the 1938 anti-Semitic riot in Germany considered one of the preludes to the Holocaust.
Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria two years after the end of World War II, described the paramilitary members and civilians who destroyed synagogues, private homes and Jewish-owned businesses as “the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.”
“Wednesday was the day of broken glass right here in the United States,” he said. “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.”
The actor and former governor went on to describe his childhood in postwar Europe, saying, “Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.”
Not all of those men were committed fascists or anti-Semites, Schwarzenegger said, but “many just went along, step by step, down the road. They were the people next door.”
My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week’s attack on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/blOy35LWJ5
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 10, 2021
Schwarzenegger went on to describe the abuse he and his mother suffered at the hands of his father, a former Brownshirt. “I didn’t hold him totally responsible, because our neighbor was doing the same thing to his family, and so was the next neighbor over,” he said. “Being from Europe, I’ve seen firsthand how things can spin out of control.”
He went on to compare his father to those who stormed the Capitol as a result of the president’s unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud, adding, “I know where such lies lead.”
Schwarzenegger closed his remarks by displaying the sword he wielded in his breakout role in “Conan the Barbarian,” comparing democracy to a sword. “The more that it is tempered, the stronger it becomes,” he said.
Five people died during the riot last week, including a Capitol Police officer. House Democrats have said they are preparing articles of impeachment against President Trump on charges of inciting the violence. If the House approves the articles, it would be the first time in history that a U.S. president would be impeached twice.
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