This article in German on the website of a weekly news magazine, Falter (Butterfly), published in Vienna says that Schwarzenegger wore a Totenkopf ring on his visit to his hometown Graz, Austria in late July, 2007.
In contrast to most Americans, the Austrians definitely know what this symbol can mean and the author of the article suggests the message Schwarzenegger is sending to his hometown with his Totenkopf ring is “you can kiss my ….”.
In 1999 Graz, his hometown named their sports stadium after him and gave him a “ring of honor”. Due to protest over executions in California, there were threats to remove his name from the stadium. Schwarzenegger pre-empted them by withdrawing the right to use his name and returning the “ring of honor” to the City of Graz.
It seems Schwarzenegger wore a Totenkopf ring on this first trip to Graz in several years in response to that incident. The Totenkopf Ring can be seen as a symbol of Nazism and for that reason would be considered a provocation.
This incident suggests that Schwarzenegger is quite aware of what the Totenkopf symbol means. Recently, he also displayed a Totenkopf belt buckle on the cover of Time magazine. Who is he telling to “kiss his …” on the cover of Time?
Doesn’t it seem a little strange to have a governor flashing Nazi code signals in the national media and on official visits to other countries. It is reported in the article that he met with the French President, Sarkozy, and then still British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on the same trip, thankfully without his SS-Totenkopf accessories. It’s all beginning to seem a bit cuckoo. Is it time to bring out the butterfly net?