January 17, 2013
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants his name to be removed from a poster of historical figures and celebrities on display at a prominent mall in Istanbul, Turkey, because the poster prominently displays Adolf Hitler.
The poster, titled “Who Would You Like to Meet if You Could?” can be seen at the Sapphire Mall, an upscale mall in Istanbul. It has a list of historical figures as Suleiman, Ataturk, and Lenin as well as celebrities like Schwarzenegger, the Beatles and Michael Jackson. However, the most prominent name as well as the only figure depicted on the poster is Adolf Hitler.
Governor Schwarzenegger, in an e-mail this morning to Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Wiesenthal Center, wrote:
Thank you for alerting me about the offensive exhibit at the Sapphire Mall in Istanbul, Turkey. I understand that my name is included with others in an exhibit called "Who would you like to meet?" that features a large photograph of Adolph Hitler.
As someone who has had a long relationship with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and despises everything that Hitler stood for, it is repugnant to me to have my name in any way associated with history's greatest criminal, responsible for the murder of more than six million Jews, along with millions of other victims.
I authorize you to contact whomever is responsible for this exhibit and to take whatever steps necessary to immediately remove my name from this display.
Earlier this week, Wiesenthal Center officials protested the Hitler display to the Turkish ambassador in Washington, D.C. as well as Turkish officials in Ankara, urging that this offensive poster be removed.
For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).