Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken candidly about the abuse he suffered from his parents during his upbringing in the upcoming Netflix documentary titled Arnold.
The Terminator actor, 75, famously grew up in Thal, Austria, with his military father, Gustav – a wartime Nazi Party official, and his “cleanliness buff” mother, Aurelia.
In the first episode of the project, the Hollywood icon talked about what it was really like for him and his late brother to grow up as the son of a decorated Nazi soldier, who returned to Austria a broken man from the war and moved on to Austria. unleash abuse on his family.
Our upbringing was very tough. The brutality that would be at home, the beatings we sometimes received from our parents,” said the True Lies star.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken candidly about his “tough” upbringing in the upcoming Netflix documentary, Arnold
The 75-year-old grew up in Thal, Austria, with his military father, Gustav – a wartime Nazi Party official, and his “cleanliness fanatic” mother, Aurelia
The former governor of California explained that the children in his town all grew up with the after-effects of the war as Austria became a country of “broken” men.
Arnold revealed his belief that his “tyrant” father may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, which was evident in the way he would “punch” his children and beat them with “the belt.”
The Predator star also revealed how his father exhibited “schizophrenic behavior,” meaning his kids never knew if they were going to get the “friendly dad” or the one who would come home “drunk.”
“He screamed at 3 a.m. and we woke up and our hearts were pounding because we knew that meant,” he recalls. “He can hit my mom or go crazy at any time. So there was this strange violence.’
He explained that after the war his father became chief of the provincial police and described him as a “tyrant” who was “very tough” in his role.
Gustav treated his house the same way, making sure they weren’t “messing around.”
“He felt he had to bring discipline into the house…you had to ‘earn’ breakfast,” Arnold recalls.
Meanwhile, his mother obsessively cleaned the house, making sure “everything was perfectly placed” or she would “go crazy.”
Arnold – pictured left, with his mother and half-brother, Meinhard – explained that his father returned to Austria a broken man from the war and then unleashed abuse on his family
In 2004, Arnold first spoke of his painful childhood when he described how his father beat him in an attempt to make him “compliant.”
He told Fortune magazine, “My hair was being pulled. I was beaten with belts. So was the boy next door, and so was the boy next door. It was just the way it was.’
Gustav Schwarzenegger (August 17, 1907 – December 13, 1972), was a Nazi soldier who fought during World War II
“A lot of the kids I saw were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. Break the will. They did not want to create an individual. It was all about conforming.’
He continued, “I was a non-conforming person whose will could not be broken. That’s why I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, “You can’t do this,” I said, “This won’t be long because I’m getting out of here. I want to be rich. I want to be someone.”
Despite all he suffered at the hands of his father, Arnold rebelled against the beatings and successfully realized his dream of fleeing his home to become rich and famous.
He famously made a name for himself as an international bodybuilding champion by the time he arrived in America at the age of 21.
A career in acting followed before becoming the governor of California from 2003 to 2011.
While reflecting on his childhood in the documentary, Arnold stated that his experiences gave him the drive he needed for his career.
“My dad always said, ‘Whatever you do Arnold, be useful,'” he said.
The action star, pictured bottom row, second from left, explained that the children in his town all grew up with the after-effects of war as Austria became a country of ‘broken’ men
In the documentary, Arnold also talks about the paternity of son Joseph Baena, 25, with his former housekeeper Mildred Baena, during a time when he was married to now ex-wife Maria Shriver.
At a 2011 marriage counseling session, the counselor had said at the time, “Today, Maria wants to be very specific about something,” he reveals. “She wants to know if you’re Joseph’s father.”
The former governor of California said, “I thought my heart stopped. And then I told the truth. ‘Yes, Mary. Joseph is my son.’ She was clearly devastated by that.’
Arnie explained that both he and Mildred initially assumed the child was Rogelio’s, and that she continued to work for the Schwarzenegger family. “At first I really didn’t know, but the older he got, the more it became clear to me.”
The documentary is one of several projects Schwarzenegger has worked on the streamer as he also stars on the show Fubar.
Arnold can be seen on Netflix from Wednesday 7 June.
Who was Gustav Schwarzenegger? Austrian Nazi military policeman who fought for Hitler all over Europe
Gustav Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian army from 1930 to 1937, reaching the rank of section commander, and in 1937 he became a police officer.
After enlisting in the Wehrmacht in November 1939, Schwarzenegger was appointed Hauptfeldwebel (Company 1st Sergeant) of the Feldgendarmerie, acting as military police units.
He served in Poland, France, Belgium, Ukraine, Lithuania and Russia.
He was awarded the Iron Cross First and Second Class for bravery, the Eastern Front Medal and the Wound Badge.
He was wounded in action in Leningrad, Russia and then suffered recurrent bouts of malaria, which led to his discharge in February 1944.
Considered unfit for active service, he returned to Graz, Austria, where he was appointed postal inspector.
Schwarzenegger died of a stroke on December 13, 1972, at the age of 65, in Weiz, Steiermark, Austria, where he had been transferred as a police officer.
In a 2021 video, Arnold publicly recalled how his father Gustav was often drunk and insulted his family when he was young.
He attributed this behavior to guilt and shame over what Gustav and other Nazis and collaborators had committed or enabled during the war.