Jan 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schwarzenegger likens violent Capitol siege to Kristallnacht

Former Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Sunday that Wednesday's violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob "was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States," comparing the attack to Kristallnacht, a violent turning point in Nazi Germany.

Why it matters: Schwarzenegger's widely-shared denouncement of Republicans, and of President Trump as "the worst president ever," comes as Democrats plan a second impeachment and some Republicans look to distance themselves from Trump in the wake of the attack that left five people dead.

What he's saying: "Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history. Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many just went along, step-by-step, down the road. They were the people next door," Schwarzenegger said, speaking of his childhood in Austria.

  • "John F. Kennedy wrote a book called 'Profiles in Courage.' A number of members of my own party, because of their own spinelessness, would never see their names in such a book, I guarantee you. They're complicit with those who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the Capitol."
  • Schwarzenegger described Kristallnacht as carried out by "the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys," the far-right group that participated in burning property from historic Black D.C. churches during pro-Trump protests in December.
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