California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the Nazis he encountered growing up in Austria to the white supremacists who participated in the Charlottesville riots in a video message Thursday.
“Your heroes are losers,” Schwarzenegger said in the video. “You are supporting a lost cause. And believe me, I knew the original Nazis, because you see, I was born in Austria in 1947, shortly after the Second World War.”
“And growing up, I was surrounded by broken men, men who came home from a war filled with shrapnels and guilt, men who were misled into a losing ideology. And I can tell you: that these ghosts you idolize spent the rest of their lives living in shame and right now, they’re resting in hell.”
Hundreds of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists flooded Charlottesville, Va., and the surrounding area Saturday in part to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. One white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring others.
Schwarzenegger also criticized President Donald Trump for not explicitly condemning the white supremacists for their violence in his original statement on the riots. Trump did not mention neo-Nazis or white supremacists in connection to the violence until the following day, and Monday he again placed blame squarely on “both sides” of the protest.
“There are not two sides to bigotry,” Schwarzenegger said. “There are not two sides to hatred. And if you choose to march with a flag that symbolizes the slaughter of millions of people, there are not two sides.”
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