ARNOLD Schwarzenegger has been candid about the abuse he and his brother suffered at the hands of their father.
The former Governor of California opened up about his father in his new Netflix docuseries, Arnold.
Who was Gustav Schwarzenegger?
Gustav Schwarzenegger was an Austrian police chief, postal inspector, and military police officer.
He served in the Austrian Army from 1930 to 1937.
He joined the Austrian faction of the Nazi Party in 1938 and fought for them during the Second World War.
Gustav is believed to have served in Poland, France, Belgium, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia, where he was wounded and won the Iron Cross.
Arnold spoke of his father being buried under rubble for three days, and how losing the war left his father a broken man.
Gustav left the Wehrmacht in 1944 and was appointed as a postal inspector in Graz, Austria.
He went back to the police force three years later.
How many children did Gustav have?
Gustav was married to Aurelia “Reli” Jadrny, who was a war widow.
The couple shared two children together – Meinhard and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Their firstborn, Meinhard, passed away in May 1971 after driving drunk.
Meinhard was engaged to Erika Knapp and a father to a three year old son at the time of his death.
Arnold paid for his nephew’s education and helped him move to the United States.
Arnold has said his father’s abuse “destroyed” Meinhard.
Arnie said: “I think he started drinking because our upbringing was tough.
“The brutality we got at home, the beatings . . . all of this he could not sustain. He was much more delicate.”
Gustav passed away in 1972 at the age of 65 due to a stroke.
Aurelia died on August 2, 1998, aged 76.
What has Arnold Schwarzenegger said about his father?
The bodybuilding champion-turned-actor has opened up about his father, Gustav, and growing up in Austria, with its Nazi legacy.
Gustav’s links first surfaced in 1990, when Arnold asked the Simon Wiesenthal Center to research his father’s past.
The star has been a backer of the organization that brings Nazis, and war criminals, to justice.
Following the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, Schwarzenegger compared the storming of the Capitol building to the rise of Nazi Germany in a widely shared video.
In that context, he spoke for the first time about the impact of World War II on his father’s conscience and behaviour.
He said in the video: “I have never shared this so publicly because it is a painful memory but my father would come home drunk once or twice a week.
“He would scream and hit us and scare my mother.
“I did not hold him totally responsible because our neighbour was doing the same thing to his family and so was the next neighbour over.
“I heard it with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes.
“They were in physical pain from the shrapnel in their bodies, and in emotional pain from what they saw or did.”
In April 2023, he told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview: “My father was, and so many other millions of men were, sucked into a hate system through lies and deceit. And so, we have seen where that leads.”
He continued: “I’ve seen it firsthand how broken this man’s – this man were.
“The kinds of atrocities that happened. How many millions of people had to die and then they ended up losers … in the Confederacy, losers, as they all have, this just doesn’t work.
“I mean, let’s just go and get along. And love is more powerful than hate.”
Arnie said of his father in his 2023 Netflix documentary: “There is a kind of schizophrenic behaviour that my brother and I witnessed at home.
“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’d wake up with our hearts pounding and we knew at any time he could strike my mother or go crazy, so there was this kind of strange violence.”