Arnold Schwarzenegger will receive the Holocaust Museum LA’s “Award of Courage” for his work in opposing antisemitism, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Thursday.
Schwarzenegger has a strong record of speaking up against antisemitism and other forms of bigotry, a habit informed largely by his Austrian roots.
Schwarzenegger was born in Austria to a father who joined the Nazi party during World War II and was injured fighting in Leningrad.
“I’ve talked a lot about my father, and the broken men that I was surrounded by when I grew up in Austria after World War II,” Schwarzenegger said in a March video the former California governor posted in response to rising rates of antisemitism.
Hate ruins lives
“Nobody who has chosen the easy path of hate has gotten to the end of that road and said ‘oh, what a life.’ No. They die as miserably as they lived.”
In the video, he recounted a trip he took to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“When I walked through that camp in Auschwitz and I put myself in the shoes of those people herded into those gas chambers, it was horrifying. One of the darkest moments of my life. But in that darkness, a woman who survived the horrors of Auschwitz helped me find the light,” Schwarzenegger said.
“I spent some time with her. It was a wonderful conversation with her. She told me that the Nazis could conquer cities and countries. They could take her freedom, her friends, her family, and even her life. But they could never conquer her mind. What strength that woman had.”
Schwarzenegger will receive the award from the LA Holocaust Museum at its 15th annual gala on Nov. 6 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, according to KTLA, an LA-based television station.
“[Schwarzenegger’s] personal commitment to fighting antisemitism and extremism and his leadership were instrumental in convening the many experts to address this issue,” the museum said in an announcement explaining the decision to honor the former governor.
The Holocaust Museum LA will additionally honor artist and director Gregory Annenberg Weingarten. Weingarten is the vice president of the Annenberg Foundation.