The Austrian actor’s visit to the museum in Poland comes after he was crowned with the inaugural Award for Fighting Hatred in June from the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation.
Following his visit, the museum shared a photo on Twitter, showing that the 75-year-old signed their guestbook with his iconic catchphrase, “I’ll be back” from the “Terminator” franchise.
Amid the mounting backlash, the Auschwitz Museum posted on the social media platform an explanation for the actor’s signature.
“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,” the organization wrote.
Schwarzeneggar visited the memorial to “honor all the victims of the camp and deepen his knowledge about history that would help him fight against prejudices nowadays,” the museum said.
After he was announced as the recipient of the newly created award earlier this year, Schwarzenegger wrote in a statement about witnessing hatred that “spun out of control,” Variety reported.
“I am witness to the ruins of a country broken by the Nazis,” Schwarzenegger wrote in a statement at the time.
“I saw firsthand how this hatred spun out of control and I share these painful memories with the world in the hopes of preventing future tragedies and educating soldiers about personal responsibility. I stand with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation and their mission of education to ensure NEVER AGAIN,” he added.
Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in a small village near Graz, Austria, called Thal and immigrated to the United States at the age of 21.