Democracy Now interviewed Martin Lee, author of the “The Beast Reawakens: Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today’s Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists”
When Schwarzenegger was married in 1986 at his wedding he made a very lavish and glowing toast to Kurt, the former Secretary General of the U.N., who, at that time was embroiled in an international scandal because it became public that Valdheim was a member of a Nazi S.S. unit that participated in war crimes in the Balkans.
For Schwarzenegger to have made this toast at that time after these revelations surfaced is really quite shocking. It shows, at the very least, insensitivity to the victims of Nazism and anti-Semitism.
This isn’t the end of the story. A few years later, Schwarzenegger had his photo taken with, Jorg Heider, the head of the extreme Right, Freedom Party in Austria, a catch basin for neo-Nazis, and Holocaust deniers. He, in a sense, is a supporter of Heider, and espouses similar policies with respect to immigration as Heider does in Austria.
Schwarzenegger has association with the Organization of U.S. English, which has a history of ties to white supremacists. Even though others have resigned from the board of advisors, he still lends his good name, so to speak, to this organization. Other people, even right-wingers have resigned because of the controversy. Schwarzenegger has stayed on; he should be called into account for this.
Initially when Butler circulated the book proposal, there was no qualifying statement in which Schwarzenegger was critical of Hitler. After Butler got a lot of money from Schwarzenegger, ostensibly to buy back this film, which coincided with his scuttling the book project, then you have a different version. <a version that said Arnold only admired certain things about Hitler>
One way or another the point is not that Schwarzenegger is a Nazi, the point is that it raises character issues that he’s not qualified to be in public office.