Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken up about the torture he endured at the hands of his “tyrant” Nazi father as a child, which he says contributed to his enormous success but unfortunately took his brother’s life too soon.
A new three-part Netflix documentary named “Arnold” follows the life of “The Terminator” hero, an Austrian native who went from athlete to actor to American politician.
Schwarzenegger recalled the “tough” upbringing he and his older brother Meinhard had in the Austrian hamlet of Thal in the first episode.
The actor claimed that his father Gustav Schwarzenegger, who served in the Nazi Party’s paramilitary wing, the Sturmabteilung (SA), and participated in the invasion of Leningrad, returned from the war “suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.”
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Arnold Schwarzenegger says his Nazi father was a ‘tyrant’ who physically and mentally abused him and his brother — which may have caused his sibling’s death https://t.co/7fac4v2g14
— Insider (@thisisinsider) June 6, 2023
The actor was born just two years after the end of World War II. Speaking to the camera, the former bodybuilding champion said:
“He was buried underneath buildings, rubble, for three days, and on top of that, they lost the war. They went home so depressed. Austria was a country of broken men. I think there were times where my father really struggled.”
Schwarzenegger remembers his father as a “tyrant and a very tough police officer,” making him and his brother “earn breakfast” and forcing them to “compete against each other.”
On a Mother’s Day, Schwarzenegger recounted, his father even made choosing flowers for his mother, Aurelia Schwarzenegger, a contest.
The “True Lies” star revealed that his father beat them and smαcked them with belts, and he also added that his father’s behavior deteriorated when he drank.
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“There was a kind of schizophrenic behavior that my brother and I witnessed at home,” according to Schwarzenegger. “There was the kind father, and other times when my father would come home drunk at three in the morning and he would be screaming.”
“We would wake up and, all of a sudden our hearts were pounding because we knew that meant that he could, at any given time, strike my mother or go crazy. So there was the kind of strange violence.” However, he said that “everyone was going through the same thing,” as “the kid next door was hit also by his father.”
Schwarzenegger was driven to immigrate to the United States at 21 in 1968 due to his father’s psychological and physical abuse. In 1971, he discovered his brother had passed away three years later while still on a high from his several Mr. Universe victories.
Meinhard, driving while intoxicated and was 24 at the time, struck a telephone pole and d!ed instantly, as the actor recalled in the documentary. In his own words, Arnold Schwarzenegger believes that his brother “started drinking because our upbringing was very tough.”
He continued, “The brutality that was at home, the beatings that we got from our parents sometimes — all of this I think he could not sustain.” “He was much more delicate of a person by nature.”
“The kind of upbringing that we had was beneficial for someone like me, who was inside very strong and very determined, but my brother was more fragile,” the man claimed. “Nietzsche was right: what does not kill you will make you stronger.”
“The very thing that made me who I am today was the very thing that destroyed him.” While Schwarzenegger’s mother survived until 1998, his father passed away from a stroke in 1972, a year after Meinhard’s passing. On Wednesday, “Arnold” will start streaming on Netflix.
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