Arnold Schwarzenegger has pledged to visit Auschwitz in September with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation (AJCF) to see up close what it was like to be a prisoner in the death camp.
The AJCF honored Schwarzenegger with its first Award for Fighting Hatred on Thursday at New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, ABC News reported.
"I am witness to the ruins of a country broken by the Nazis," Schwarzenegger said in a statement, commenting on the award.
The former California governor added that he intends to work with the organization to “terminate hate.”
"I saw firsthand how this hatred spun out of control and I share these painful memories with the world in the hopes of preventing future tragedies and educating soldiers about personal responsibility. I stand with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation and their mission of education to ensure Never Again,” he said.
Schwarzenegger, who has previously spoken out against antisemitism and hatred, discussed the impact that antisemitism and the Holocaust had on postwar Austria, where he was born two years after World War II ended.
"Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away their guilt with their participation in the most evil regime in history," he said. "Not all of them were rabid antisemites or Nazis. Many just went along step by step down the road. They were the people next door."