So often I find myself wondering - is this true, or was it just something reported by the Associated Press?
Meanwhile, the AP does a bit of historical sleuthing, and delivers the real dirt on Arnold's speech to the Republican convention:
Austrian historians are challenging California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for telling the Republican National Convention that he saw Soviet tanks in his homeland as a child...
...Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on Tuesday: "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."
Historians, however, are questioning Schwarzenegger's version of postwar history -- if not his enduring popularity among Austrians who admire him for rising from a penniless immigrant to the highest official in America's most populous state.
"It's a fact -- as a child he could not have seen a Soviet tank in Styria," the southeastern province where Schwarzenegger was born and raised, historian Stefan Karner told the Vienna newspaper Kurier.
Schwarzenegger, now a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born on July 30, 1947, when Styria and the neighboring province of Carinthia belonged to the British zone. At the time, postwar Austria was occupied by the four wartime allies, which also included the United States, the Soviet Union and France.
The Soviets already had left Styria in July 1945, less than three months after the end of the war, Karner noted.
Oh, they nailed that lying, crooked Republican all right, didn't they! HAH!
Patient readers who have burrowed this far into the AP coverage do get to read a response from the Schwarzenegger side:
Margita Thompson, spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger, defended Schwarzenegger's speech.
"Never in there did the governor reference that the tanks were where he grew up. It was a reference to visiting Soviet-occupied Austria," she said.
Well, no kidding. But does she seriously think that mere facts, or words, are relevant? Matt Yglesisas already explained this - Schwarzenegger was "misleading-without-lying" in the sense that someone, somewhere, might have misunderstood him. Thank heaven for the AP.
Now, for those who prefer a slightly stronger bond with reality, here is what Arnold actually said:
When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria. I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector. Growing up, we were told, "Don't look the soldiers in the eye. Look straight ahead." It was a common belief that Soviet soldiers could take a man out of his own car and ship him off to the Soviet Union as slave labor.
My family didn't have a car -- but one day we were in my uncle's car. It was near dark as we came to a Soviet checkpoint. I was a little boy, I wasn't an action hero back then, and I remember how scared I was that the soldiers would pull my father or my uncle out of the car and I'd never see him again. My family and so many others lived in fear of the Soviet boot. Today, the world no longer fears the Soviet Union and it is because of the United States of America!
MORE: The PrestoPundit rides tall in defense of Arnold - his enemies flee before him and we hear the lamentations of their women.
Now, call me a liar, but I too have memories of communism, and memories of passing Checkpoint Charlie and crossing into East Berlin. Incredible! And since I grew up in New Jersey, I must be lying. Except for that trip I took in High School, of course...