Arnold Schwarzenegger uses Terminator quote ‘I’ll be back’ in Auschwitz guestbook

Arnold Schwarzenegger, centre, and Simon Bergson, chairman of The Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation (AP)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, centre, and Simon Bergson, chairman of The Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation (AP)

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been defended from criticism by Auschwitz Museum after he signed a guestbook with,“I’ll be back,” - a quote from his film The Terminator.

The actor toured the former concentration camp as a guest of the Auschwitz Jewish Foundation on Wednesday and raised the importance of education against hatred.

A photo shared on Twitter by Auschwitz Museum showed “I’ll be back,” was his brief parting message.

The use of his catchphrase in the guestbook left some Twitter users feeling the star had not respected the sensitivity of the concentration camp where more than one million Jews and members of other minority groups died from 1940-45 under the Nazi regime.

One wrote: "I'm glad he visited and wrote in the book but I had to think twice about the message.

“I'm sure he meant it in the nicest possible way and having been there I know it's hard to find the right words… but I'm not sure these were the best."

Another added: "Not sure the tone of that was entirely suitable."

Mr Schwarzenegger has spoken previously of his Austrian childhood being troubled by the fact his father Gustav was a Nazi-aligned soldier. The star has frequently used his profile to campaign against racism and anti-semitism.

“I was the son of a man that fought in the Nazi war,” he said in a televised address alongside Jewish activists “And one generation later, here we are…fighting prejudice and hatred.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in four Terminator movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in four Terminator movies

On Twitter he made another passing reference to his 1984 blockbuster: “We can all do our part to terminate hate if we are willing to do the work and educate ourselves,” he wrote.

“This is a story that has to stay alive, that we have to tell over and over again.”

Auschwitz Memorial responded to the initial backlash. A spokesman wrote on Twitter: “This visit was planned to be relatively short. The inscription was meant to be a promise to return for another and more in depth visit.”