Arnold Schwarzenegger gave his opinions about the storming of the U.S. Capitol, and called Republican politicians “spineless.” The former Republican California governor compared last week’s Capitol chaos to Kristallnacht, the two-day attack and campaign of terror against Jews in Germany that was initiated by Nazi storm troopers.
“I grew up in Austria. I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass,” Schwarzenegger said in the 7-minute video. “It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys. 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,” the action flick actor said on Sunday. “But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideas we took for granted.”
“They did not just break down the doors of the building of American democracy,” he claimed. “They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”
The Kristallnacht began on the night of Nov. 9, 1938, and ended in the deaths of at least 91 Jews.
“Over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“The morning after the pogroms 30,000 German Jewish men were arrested for the ‘crime’ of being Jewish and sent to concentration camps, where hundreds of them perished. Some Jewish women were also arrested and sent to local jails. Businesses owned by Jews were not allowed to reopen unless they were managed by non-Jews. Curfews were placed on Jews, limiting the hours of the day they could leave their homes.”
In the aftermath of the destruction, “The German government made an immediate pronouncement that ‘the Jews’ themselves were to blame for the pogrom and imposed a fine of one billion Reichsmark (some 400 million US dollars at 1938 rates) on the German Jewish community. The Reich government confiscated all insurance payouts to Jews whose businesses and homes were looted or destroyed, leaving the Jewish owners personally responsible for the cost of all repairs.”
In November, CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour compared President Donald Trump’s four years in office to the Nazis’ Kristallnacht. Commenters labeled the comparison as “despicable” and “disgusting.”
Also in the video, Schwarzenegger attempted to lower the temperature on the nation’s rising political tensions that seem to be at a near-boiling point. He brandished the 3-foot-long sword from the 1982 movie “Conan the Barbarian” to make an unusual analogy.
“This is Conan’s sword. And here is the thing about swords – the more you temper it, the stronger it becomes,” the actor said of the movie prop. “Our democracy is like the steel of a sword. It has been tempered by wars, injustices and insurrections. I believe as shaken as we are by events in recent days, we will come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost.”
Schwarzenegger then called Republican politicians “spineless” and “complicit” to those who stormed the Capitol building.
“John F. Kennedy wrote a book called ‘Profiles in Courage.’ A number of members of my own party, because of their own spinelessness, would never see their names in such a book, I guarantee you,” Schwarzenegger said. “They’re complicit with those who carried a flag of self-righteous insurrection into the Capitol.”
Schwarzenegger then took aim at Trump.
“President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever,” the actor said. “The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.”
The bodybuilder concluded his video by sending a message to President-elect Joe Biden.
“We wish you great success as our president. If you succeed, our nation succeeds. We support you with all our hearts as you seek to bring us together,” Schwarzenegger said.
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