In a nearly eight-minute video posted to Twitter this Sunday (10), former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger condemned the invasion of Congress by supporters of Donald Trump, comparing the attack to one of the darkest moments of the Nazis: the night of the crystals.
Schwarzenegger, Austrian naturalized American in 1983, recalled the episode, which occurred in 1938, when about 100 Jews were killed, more than a thousand synagogues destroyed and thousands of Jewish cemeteries, homes and schools vandalized. in Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. of Czechoslovakia.
“Wednesday was Crystal Night right here in the United States. The broken glass was from the windows of the US Capitol,” said the actor, for whom the Proud Boys, a far-right group that supports Trump, are now the Nazis. . “But the crowd didn’t just smash the windows of the Capitol. They shattered ideas we took for granted.”
Comparisons with the past also passed through a personal account of Schwarzenegger. Born in 1947, two years after the end of World War II, he remembers growing up surrounded by men who, to cope with the guilt of having participated in “the most heinous diet in history”, drank from infinity.
“Not all of them were anti-Semitic or Nazi extremists, many just got together, step by step, along the way. They were people who lived in the houses next to mine,” he said. , before recalling a memory “never shared so publicly before”, indicating that the father was one of these men.
According to the actor, the father would come home drunk once or twice a week, scream and beat his children and terrify his wife. “I don’t blame him entirely, because our neighbor did the same to his family, as did the next neighbor. They suffered physical pain from the fragments in their bodies and suffered psychological pain from what they saw and did.
The personal story is a preamble to indicate how stories like this begin.
For Schwarzenegger, it all starts with “lies, lies, lies and intolerance”. “Coming from Europe, I saw with my own eyes how things can get out of hand. I know there is a fear in this country and in the world that something like this could happen here. I don’t think so. not that this will happen, but we must be aware of the terrible consequences of selfishness and cynicism. “
For the former governor, Trump not only sought to reverse the election results, “a fair election,” but also to promote a coup by deceiving people with lies. “My parents and neighbors have been deceived by lies, and I know where the lies lead.”
Like the current US president, Schwarzenegger is a member of the Republican Party, through which he ruled California between 2004 and 2011. But, like a few other legendary colleagues, he has not failed to criticize him. “He will come out as the worst president in history. The good thing is that he will soon be as irrelevant as an old Twitter post.”
The omission of supporters who continue to support the president, despite the stimulus he gave to the vandals who invaded Congress, also drew criticism from the actor.
Prior to his political career, Schwarzenegger made a name for himself in the cinema with the “The Exterminator” franchise, launched in 1984, in which he imposed his “android” style with short sentences (“I will be back”) and an expressionless face.
Under the name Arnold Strong, he directed his first film in New York, “Hercules” (1970), with his voice dubbed. In 1976 he used his own name to star in the movie “Stay Hungry”. But it was in 1982, with “Conan the Barbarian”, that Schwarzenegger became an action movie star.
It is with a sword of the character that he gave the final message of the video: like metal, the more it is forged, the more it becomes stronger, democracy goes through a similar process.
“Our democracy has been rocked by wars, injustices and insurgencies. We will become stronger because we now understand what can be lost.”