WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the violence at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass.
Kristallnacht was a pogrom against the Jews carried out by paramilitary forces and civilians in Germany in November 1938.
“I grew up in Austria. I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass,” Schwarzenegger said in a video posted to Twitter Sunday. “It was a night of rampage carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.”
He called Wednesday the “Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States.”
The broken glass, he said, “was in the windows of the United States Capitol.”
“But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol,” the politician continued, “They shattered the ideals we take for granted. They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy. They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”
Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria in 1947, goes on to discuss his childhood in Europe during the post-war period.
He said he was “surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history,” including his own father.
For the first time, Schwarzenegger publicly revealed that his “father would come home drunk once or twice a week and he would scream and hit us and scare my mother.”
“I didn’t hold him personally responsible because our neighbor was doing the same thing to his family and so was the next neighbor over,” he said.
The cycle of violence “all started with lies and lies and lies and intolerance,” he continued.
In closing, Schwarzenegger called for “healing,” “not just as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans.”
He promised to stand by President-elect Joe Biden “today, tomorrow and forever in defense of our democracy from those who would threaten it.”