Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the annual gala of the Holocaust Museum LA on Monday, received the inaugural Award of Courage in recognition of his longstanding opposition to racism and antisemitism.
The oldest Holocaust museum in the United States, Holocaust Museum LA, is hosting its 15th annual gala. Guy Lipa, board chair, opened the event by stating, “Our community it devastated by the atrocities committed by Hamas. We are angry and scared when we see violent antisemitism in our backyard and around the globe, but I am heartened seeing our community come together tonight.”
Producer Mike Medavoy presented Schwarzenegger with the award, and the actor acknowledged Medavoy for kickstarting his acting career following his bodybuilding success.
Reflecting on his life, Schwarzenegger shared his aspirations to be the world’s most muscular man and to achieve wealth and fame upon arriving in America.
But as a native of Austria, and as the son of a Nazi, he also wanted to fight “for inclusion against hatred and speak out about hatred, and how wrong it is to not look at everyone’s life equally. And to attack each other because of someone’s religion and religious background or their colour or their sex, whatever it is.”
The star continued, “I felt it was very important, especially since I come from a country that is known to be a big part of the Second World War and had the most vicious Nazis during the Second World War and beforehand. I thought it is important to go out and to let people know that the next generation doesn’t have to be the same, that the next generation can change.”