Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be honored by the Holocaust Museum LA for his ongoing commitment to combatting hate and bigotry, museum officials announced Thursday.
Schwarzenegger, the son of a Nazi, will receive the museum’s “Award of Courage” at its 15th annual gala on November 6 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Through USC’s Schwarzenegger Institute, the Hollywood legend recently brought hosted a forum titled “Terminating Hate: Breaking the Cycle of Extremism,” which included policy experts, educators and journalists.
“[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 its announcement.
Over the years, Schwarzenegger has spoken openly about his upbringing in Austria in the aftermath of World War II. His father, he says, was a Nazi soldier who participated in the 900-day siege of Leningrad and returned from the war “a broken man.”
In September 2022, the former governor visited the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland where over one million people were murdered, most of them Jews.
“Let’s fight prejudice together and let’s just terminate it once and for all,” Schwarzenegger said at the time.
He has also posted anti-hate videos on social media, including a 12-minute message in March of this year addressing a recent surge in antisemitism globally and in the United States.
“Hate burns fast and bright. It might make you feel empowered for a while, but it eventually consumes whatever vessel it fuels. It breaks you,” Schwarzenegger said in his message. “”Choose strength. Choose life. Conquer your mind.”
In addition to Schwarzenegger, Holocaust Museum LA will also honor Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, an artist, director and vice president of the Annenberg Foundation.