Arnold Schwarzenegger Remembers a Childhood Memory Involving His Police Officer Father and a Relocation Camp in Austria: “Very Hard Work for Hours and Hours”

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in Austria when the country was trying to recover from the aftereffects of World War II. The Austrian Oak’s father was a police officer who always tried to discipline young Arnie. So, as a kid, the 7x Mr. Olympia champion had to help his parents with chores, be cautious about using limited resources, and face his father’s wrath for committing mistakes.

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Arnie is busy promoting his self-help book, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life, and recently recounted another childhood story in an interview. The 76-year-old spilled beans on his service at a refugee camp in his younger days.

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes down the memory lane


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Arnie’s life story started in an Austrian village called Thal. Living with a strict father, Schwarzenegger learned to toil hard to get his share of food at home. “My father made me do push-ups before I was allowed to have breakfast,” the 76-year-old once confessed. Arnie recently spilled the beans on his father’s yet another demanding task.

While appearing on the Daily Stoic YouTube channel, Schwarzenegger recalled how his father once asked him to serve food at the refugee camp. “When Russia or the former Soviet Union kind of invaded Hungary, 1956, then a lot of the refugees came over to Austria,” Schwarzenegger revealed. “So, my father was a police officer, so they made him in charge of the relocation camp there, and so he had us kids go there and serve soup,” the 7x Mr. Olympia champion recalled.

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But it wasn’t easy for Schwarzenegger to volunteer for refugees all day, serving soup, sausages, vegetables, and other simple food. “Very hard work! I remember for hours and hours, like, you know, 10–12 hours a day serving soup there and food,” the Governator confessed. Arnie’s tough childhood prepared him to pursue his bodybuilding goals seriously. But his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, was unhappy with his son just lifting weights at the gym.

Why was the Governator’s father upset?


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Gustav Schwarzenegger was upset with his younger son, Arnie, after noticing him train hard with weights during the latter’s teenage years. The police officer would say to his son, “You gotta be useful and building your body; you’re just building it for yourself, but you’re not really doing anything. Why don’t you go out and chop wood and shovel coal or do something that you can be useful?”

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father had a profound influence on his son, as the 76-year-old still hears his father’s advice, “Be Useful,” echoing in his ears with every extra hour of sleep. So, Schwarzenegger wakes up from his bed to pursue his goals without wasting time in bed.


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Despite an estranged relationship with his father, Schwarzenegger is pushing limits at 76 to follow his father’s advice. His newsletter and self-help book are enough proof of this fact. Don’t you agree? Let us know in the comments below.

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Author: ZeroToHero

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