There have been a vast number of comparisons made between Donald Trump and Adolph Hitler, and between the MAGA wing of the Republican Party and the Nazi Party itself. It’s a recurring theme as of late, with pundits and politicians leaning into it ever harder as the weeks go on.
More often than not, these comparisons are rebuked heartily by those whose lives were impacted by the events of The Holocaust and World War II. In fact, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League has condemned such hyperbole, believing that the evils of Nazi Germany would be softened by comparison to modern events.
This hasn’t stopped the rhetoric, however, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is the latest to invoke Nazi imagery to criticize President Trump.
In the nearly eight-minute clip, the actor turned politician directly invoked Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi attack against Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues that was a prelude to the Holocaust — and addressed his own father’s Nazi past.
President Trump “sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies,” the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger said, adding that Kristallnacht was conducted “by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys,” one of the right-wing groups that assembled in support of Trump’s false claims about the election. Egged on by Trump, the rioters stormed the Capitol Building and temporarily halted Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Congress reconvened and certified Biden’s win later that night.
“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,” Schwarzenegger said in the video. “But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol; they shattered the ideals we took for granted. They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed the American democracy; they trampled the very principles upon which our country was founded.”
The video itself was available via Twitter:
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
As of this writing, the ADL has yet to weigh in on Schwarzenegger’s statement.
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