The former California governor and ‘Terminator’ actor meets with Holocaust survivors, vows to ‘fight prejudice together’ and return to the notorious death camp in the future.
Film icon Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the site of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp on Wednesday, meeting a Holocaust survivor and the son of Holocaust survivors and saying it is time to “terminate” hatred.
The “Terminator” actor and former California governor viewed the barracks, watchtowers and remains of gas chambers that endure as evidence of the German extermination of Jews and others during World War II. He also met with a woman who as a 3-year-old child was subjected to experiments by the notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.
“This is a story that has to stay alive, this is a story that we have to tell over and over again,” he said after his visit to the site of the death camp, speaking in a former synagogue that now is home to the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation.
He stood alongside Simon Bergson, the foundation’s chairman, who was born after the war to Auschwitz survivors, and mentioned his own family history.
“I was the son of a man who fought in the Nazi war and was a soldier,” the 75-year-old Schwarzenegger said in Oswiecim, the town where the Auschwitz site is located.
He said he and Bergson, who are close in age, were united in their work.
“Let’s fight prejudice together and let’s just terminate it once and for all,” Schwarzenegger said.
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.”
His visit to the site in southern Poland, which was under German occupation during WWII, was his first and came as part of his work with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, whose mission is to fight hatred through education.