Arnold Schwarzenegger to receive award of courage from Holocaust museum

Los Angeles' Holocaust museum says chose Hollywood legend for his extensive campaigns against hate and antisemitism around the world

Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger will receive the Award of Courage from the Holocaust Museum LA for his efforts in opposing antisemitism.
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Schwarzenegger has never hidden his background: his father voluntarily joined the Nazi army and took part in the 900-day Siege of Leningrad – an experience that left him a "broken man," according to Schwarzenegger.
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ארנולד שוורצנגר
ארנולד שוורצנגר
Arnold Schwarzenegger
(Photo: Mauricio Santana / Getty Images for Netflix)
“My father was, and so many other millions of men were, sucked into a hate system through lies and deceit. And so, we have seen where that leads,” he said.
In recent years, Schwarzenegger has worked in several campaigns against hate crimes and become a symbol in the fight against antisemitism. Last year, he traveled to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland and documented his journey. In a later shared video, he called the visit "one of the darkest moments of my life."
He uses his social media platforms with tens of millions of followers to share videos against hatred, including a 12-minute speech he made earlier this year where he addressed the rise of antisemitic incidents worldwide.
The phenomenon is familiar to him – antisemitic incidents in California, where he was once a governor, jumped 24.3% last year. California’s annual hate crime report shows that Jews are the number one religious group targeted in attacks in the state.
This includes violent crimes such as vandalism and assault, but doesn’t include verbal insults such as slurs, curses, or the distribution of hate speech.
In total, 2,120 hate crimes were reported in California in 2022 – a 20.2% increase compared to 2021, and more than double the number reported in 2019, when 1,015 incidents were reported.
This marks the second consecutive year that hate crimes have been on the up – not only against Jews but also against African Americans and the LGBT community – which together constitute 61% of all reported hate crimes in the state in 2022.
"I think we have to figure out a way of toning it down," he said. "I think it's very clear that the more liberal we go with social issues, you see the other side becoming more and more angry and there's more and more hate in general."
"Hate burns fast and bright. It might make you feel empowered for a while, but it eventually consumes whatever vessel it fuels. It breaks you," Schwarzenegger added.
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ארנולד שוורצנגר
ארנולד שוורצנגר
Arnold Schwarzenegger
(Photo: AP)
"I want to talk to you if you've heard some conspiracies about Jewish people or people of any race, gender or orientation and thought, 'That makes sense to me.' I want to talk to you if you've found yourself thinking anyone is inferior or out to get you because of their religion or the color of their skin or their gender,” he said.
"I don't know the road that's brought you here, but I've seen enough people throw away their futures for hateful beliefs, so I want to speak to you before you find your regrets at the end of that path."
The museum defended its choice of Schwarzenegger, despite his background, saying that “[Schwarzenegger’s] personal commitment to fighting antisemitism and extremism and his leadership were instrumental in convening the many experts to address this issue,”
The actor will receive the award at the museum's annual gala event, which will take place on November 6 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, hosted by Melissa Rivers, the daughter of the late Jewish comedian Joan Rivers.
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