Arnold Schwarzenegger compares Jan. 6 to the Kristallnacht of Nazi Germany: 'This whole thing can go really quickly south'

Arnold Schwarzenegger compares Jan. 6 to the Kristallnacht of Nazi Germany: 'This whole thing can go really quickly south'

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger leans conservative and served as governor of California as a Republican, he has been a blistering critic of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement — and during an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, the Austrian immigrant compared the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building to events of Nazi Germany during the 1930s.

When the 74-year-old Schwarzenegger, interviewed for Bash's CNN podcast, talks about fascism in Europe before and during World War II, it doesn't come across as over-the-top rhetoric. The Never Trumper was born in Austria in 1947 only two years after World War II ended, and Austrians had painful, vivid memories of that conflict when he was a kid.

Schwarzenegger told Bash that the events in Nazi Germany during the 1930s reflected "what happens…. when people are being lied to about the elections," and he drew a parallel between the lies of the Nazis under Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump's Big Lie — the false and debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump because of widespread voter fraud. And he compared the January 6 insurrection to the Kristallnacht of November 1938.

The Kristallnacht (which means "Crystal Night" in German) occurred when Nazis carried out thousands of attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses in Germany and Austria. In English, the Kristallnacht is often referred to as the Night of the Broken Glass, and historians consider it a prelude to Adolf Hitler's Final Solution.

One of the lessons of Nazi Germany, Schwarzenegger warned, is that when extremists gain power, all hell can break loose in a hurry.

The action film star and former California governor told Bash, "I just felt that it was so sad what happened on January 6. Eventually, this whole thing can go really quickly south."

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