Actor and former California governortweeted an impassioned seven-minute video on Sunday, recalling his post-World War II childhood in Austria, and comparing the with Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass,” was an attack on Jews and Jewish-owned businesses that occurred in in Nazi Germany in November 1938.
“Wednesday was the ‘day of broken glass’ right here in the United States,” Schwarzenegger said. As of Monday morning, his video has more than 33 million views and over 1.1 million likes.
Schwarzenegger, a Republican governor of California from 2003 to 2011, has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump. In the video, he calls him the “worst president ever.”
Schwarzenegger shares memories of his father, Gustav, a member of Austria’s military police, getting drunk and then coming home and screaming at and hitting his family. The other fathers in the neighborhood did the same, the actor said, calling them “broken men drinking away their guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.”
At one point in the video, Schwarzenegger displays the sword he carried in the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian, using it as an example of how democracy, like a tempered sword, becomes stronger under pressure.
“To those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this,” Schwarzenegger said. “You will never win.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is among those who have responded to the message, calling it powerful and thanking Schwarzenegger on Twitter for “reminding us what’s at stake in this moment.”