Schwarzenegger vows to fight hate during Auschwitz visit

STORY: Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, 75, is the son of a Nazi party member who served in the German army in World War Two.

The former California governor used a press conference alongside Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation Chairman Simon Bergson, the son of Holocaust survivors, to highlight how prejudice can be wiped out in the space of a generation.

"He (Bergson) was born after the Second World War to this wonderful Jewish family and I was the son of a man who fought in the Nazi war and was a soldier," he told reporters.

"One generation later – here we are... we both fight prejudice and hatred and discrimination."

More than 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, perished in the gas chambers or from starvation, cold and disease at Auschwitz, which the Nazis set up in occupied Poland during World War Two.

Schwarzenegger entered the camp through the main gate which bears the phrase "Arbeit macht frei", or "Work makes you free." He then visited the exhibition of the Auschwitz Memorial museum and a crematorium.

He placed candles at the 'Death Wall', where German soldiers shot many inmates, and at a monument to the camp's victims.