Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an emotional speech Sunday comparing the MAGA riot and Donald Trump’s attempted ‘coup’ to the Nazi takeover of his native Austria.

The former California governor, 73, called the murderous riot in the Capitol ‘America’s Day of Broken Glass,’ comparing to Kirstallnacht, the night of mass attacks on Jews in Austria and Germany which presaged the Holocaust.

And he condemned Trump as ‘the worst president’ saying that his elected enablers must be ‘held accountable’ as he issued a call for unity behind President-elect Joe Biden.

Although the former actor has made no secret of his childhood with an abusive father who joined the Nazi party either just before or just after the German takeover of Austria in 1938, he has rarely spoken so emotionally about its impact.

He told how his father and the other men of his childhood were shattered mentally by the guilt of ‘what they saw and did.’

Gustuv Schwarzenegger was wounded in combat on the Eastern Front in 1942 having served in a Panzer group as a military policeman in Poland, France, Belgium, Ukraine, Lithuania and finally modern-day Russia.

‘Now, I’ve never shared this so publicly because it is a painful memory but my father would come drunk once or twice a week and he would scream and hit us, and scare my mother,’ Schwarzenegger said.

‘I didn’t hold him totally responsible because our neighbor was doing the same thing to his family, and so was the next neighbor 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.

‘It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance. So being from Europe I’ve seen first hand how things can spin out of control.’

Comparing 1930s Austria to modern America he said: ‘President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election and of a fair election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies.

‘My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies. I know where such lies lead.’  

Schwarzenegger said that while Trump’s ‘attempted coup’ failed, those who ‘enabled his lies and treachery’ must be held to account.

Although he named no names, 147 Republican lawmakers – 139 House members and eight senators, led by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley – voted to overturn the election results, which the former California governor called ‘a fair election.’

‘They’re complicit with those who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the Capitol,’ he said.

And he compared American’s democracy to the sword he used in the Conan the Barbarian movies, brandishing it as he said: ‘The more you temper a sword, the stronger it becomes.

‘Our democracy has been tempered by wars, injustices and insurrections.

‘I believe, as shaken as we are about the events of recent days, we will come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost.’

He ended the more than seven-minute address from his home in Los Angeles, delivered in front of the United States and California flags, by appealing for uniting behind Biden.

‘I ask you to join me in saying to President-elect Biden: “President-elect Biden, we wish you great success as our president. If you succeed our nation succeed. We support you with all our hearts as you seek to bring us together,”‘ he said.

‘And to those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this: You will never win.

‘President-elect Biden, we stand with you today, tomorrow and forever in defense of our democracy from those who would threaten it.’

Schwarzenegger has made clear his views on Trump from the moment the president sought elected office.

The former California governor wrote on Monday in The Economist that Trump’s attempt to overthrow the election was ‘stupid, crazy and evil,’ and compared Wednesday’s vote to confirm the results to his movie Judgment Day.

‘For those in my party considering standing up against the voters on January 6th, know this: our grandchildren will know your names only as the villains who fought against the great American experiment and the will of the voters. You will live in infamy,’ he wrote.

After serving as California governor, he has campaigned on climate change and against gerrymandering, and last autumn offered to pay to re-open polling places being closed, to ensure people could vote.

He has previously said that he and Trump were friends but he declined campaign cash when he ran for governor in 2003 because it came from casinos, and told Trump in 2016 that he could not endorse him because of his denial of climate change.

Schwarzenegger has not said who he voted for in 2020, but has said that in 2016 he wrote in Ohio governor John Kasich.

He also told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt – himself a Trump loyalist – that he would happily serve in a Biden administration if he was asked.

Schwarzenegger has spoken previously of his childhood with a distant and abusive father, and of his father’s wartime activity.

His father had been a soldier in the Austrian army from 1930 to 1937, then a police officer, and rejoined the military as the equivalent of a military policeman in November 1939.

Schwarzenegger grew up knowing that his father had been wounded in action on the Eastern Front – he was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery in combat – but in 1990 it emerged that he had been an active member of the Nazi party.

At the time the actor commissioned the Simon Wiesenthal Center to investigate what his father had done and made the findings public.

His father had joined the Nazis, sometime either shortly before or shortly after the Nazi takeover of Austria in the Anschluss, and joined the paramilitary SA in early 1939.

The older Schwarzenegger held the equivalent rank to master sergeant in a military police unit attached to a tank group and was wounded in August 1942, and eventually discharged in 1944 having also suffered from malaria. 

The Wiesenthal investigation did not find evidence which linked him to atrocities during his military service, or as a police officer. He died of a stroke aged 65 in 1972.