Gustav Schwarzenegger was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire on August 17, 1907. He was the son of Cecelia (née Hinterleitner, 1878–1968) and Karl Schwarzenegger (1872–1927). Gustav had an uneventful middle-class upbringing. He joined the Austrian army in 1930 and served as a military policeman until his discharge in 1937. In 1938, some 11 days before the reunification of Austria with the German fatherland, Gustav Schwarzenegger applied to join the Austrian branch of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. It was a time of crisis and Schwarzenegger felt that he had to take a stand, rather than just sit on the sidelines as a spectator. On May 1, 1939, he deepened his commitment to National Socialism by joining the Stormtroops (Sturmabteliung or SA). In November of that year, shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, he enlisted in the Wehrmacht. He again became a military policeman, eventually rising to the rank of Hauptfeldwebel (Master Sergeant). Schwarzenegger took part in military operations in Poland, France, the Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia. The role of military policeman may suggest to some that he was behind the front lines, where he was removed from the dangers of combat. Not so: He fought on the front in numerous engagements, winning the Iron Cross First Class and the Iron Cross Second Class. He was also awarded the East Front Medal, which was given to all soldiers who survived the brutal winter campaign in Russia of 1941-1942.
On August 22, 1942, he was severely injured in combat and evacuated to a military hospital in Poland. He subsequently received the Wound Badge. At some point, he contracted malaria, which led to his discharge from the army in February 1944. He became a postal inspector, and in 1947 resumed his career as a police officer. In October 1945, he married Aurelia “Reli” Jadrny, whose first husband has been killed in the War. They had two sons: Meinhard and his famous brother Arnold. We do not want to suggest the Gustav was a saint or that he was without faults. It is possible that he suffered from PTSD because of his wartime experiences. Arnold said that his father drank more than he should have, and that he would explode in anger on occasion over something trivial. But overall, he was a good husband and father. Gustav Schwarzenegger was what we might call an “ordinary hero,” that is, he was an average man who rose to the occasion and performed extraordinary acts of courage when the situation demanded, and then went back to being an average man. His voluntarily involvement in the National Socialist movement, if only on a basic level, indicates that he was also a man of character, who took his civic responsibilities seriously. This is also suggested by his career in law enforcement. Gustav Schwarzenegger was far from unique: There were hundreds of thousands of men and women like him who served the National Socialist Cause.Sadly, his more-famous son Arnold is not cut from the same cloth. He has pandered to the Jews on numerous occasions, most notably in his 2003 bid for governor of California. He has also denounced his father in the media. Gustav was a real-life hero: Arnold just plays a hero in Hollywood movies. In most (if not all) of his roles, he portrays an exaggerated caricature of masculinity, with hypertrophied biceps and an ultra-aggressive persona.