Was he really a Nazi?

Charlie

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I read, online, that essay or whatever the hell it was about Buk being a Nazi, but I don't know if this is true.

I read somewhere that during his college years, or right before Factotum, he was part of a pro-Germany club which, since it existed during WW2, was pro-Nazi as well. But apparently Buk wasn't into that, although he sort went on the run and into the life portrayed in Factotum because the FBI sought him out due to his connection to the group.

But in Ham On Rye, he explicitely states something to the effect of, "I do not hate Jews or Blacks or Asians or other minorities. The only few I despise are white men." I can't remember it exactly, and my only copy of Rye is in someone else's hands, so I cannot refer back to it.

I haven't read any of the bio's on Buk, so maybe this is addressed fully in some place beyond my knowledge, but has this been verified as either fact or fiction?
 

mjp

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In some of his letters and according to anecdotes from those who new him well, he expressed a kind of restrained admiration for the Germans in World War II. Restrained perhaps because he knew it was politically incorrect?

We all have prejudices that are foisted onto us by our parents or those who were influential on us as young children. We may eventually realize that they are idiotic and work against them, but little bits inevitably remain. Bukowski was a product of his generation, and of the abuse he took from other kids in his early school years who taunted him and called him names because of his slight German accent.

Was he a Nazi? I doubt it. He didn't seem one to put his lot in with any crowd. In fact, some have said his Nazi talk was a tool, one he used to shock and offend. We know for a fact that he purposely did that on a pretty constant basis.
 

Charlie

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I think his admiration for Germany was just because it was his birthplace. I think that was also why he joined that pro-Germany club in his earlier years. Not because of Nazism, but because of his heritage.
 

cirerita

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I don't think he FELT he was a Nazi, even if Pleasants claims the opposite throughout his Visceral book. I believe he enjoyed himself quite a lot playing the Nazi role for a while for different reasons.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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I like the part where Buk gets tears in his eyes when he sees some hopeless, uniformed young nazi-demonstrators in LA and says "That could have been me..."

Thing is he understood and acknowledged the feelings and frustrations that make people join up with warped causes like nazidom.
 

HenryChinaski

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no when he was in college, everybody was against the nazi's. he decided to side with them to be different from everybody else. he even says in Ham On Rye that he didnt mean that shit. basically he did it for attention.
 

HenryChinaski

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I guess since he didnt really want to be part of any crowd and everybody else in his school was all ANTI NAZI...he decided to go against the grain.
 

Andy

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i'd say it was to wind up the politically correct. no writers perfect nor should they be. any inclination he had initially was nothing compared to the relish which say Yeats, Pound, Heidegger, Eliot, Celine or Knut Hamsun displayed. he addressed it a bit in his poem Combat Primer which can be found here
http://members.tripod.com/~Raindog/buk2000.html where he sees writing as a war in which certain forces hound and blacken the name of great writers in an effort to destroy them. "they called Celine a Nazi/ they called Pound a fascist/they called Hamsun a Nazi and a fascist/they put Dostoevsky in front of a firing squad...and you want to be a writer?"
 

Olaf

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If Bukowski had lived under Nazi Rule he would probably have been executed for being an 'artist'....and a degenerate!
 
Perhaps Hank and Dee Dee Ramone had some things in common: a German heritage, dysfunctional backgrounds in America, the need for attention, a creative streak, frustration, and their positions as the ultimate outsiders. Neither were particularly impressed with the prospect of sobriety either. Does this lyric make Dee Dee a fascist?; "I'm a Nazi baby, I'm a Nazi, yes I am"? I rest my luggage. "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN".....
 

mjp

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The Ramones were goofing on everything and everyone. The lyric you (mis)quoted is from a song called, "Today your love, tomorrow the world," which is obviously a joke. Lots of punk era musicians adopted stances and symbols purely for shock value, with little regard to their meaning and certainly no real allegiance to any group or party. Most of them couldn't have found Germany on a map, trust me.

I'm a shock trooper in a stupor yes I am
I'm a nazi schatzie y'know I fight for my fatherland
Little German boy
being pushed around
little German boy
in a German town


Bukowski later explained away his "involvement" in the nazi party in the same way. Saying he did it to be shocking and irritating and to go against the grain of what was accepted as the societal norm in most of the world at the time. Only he knew if that was true or not, so anything anyone says now is speculation.
 

Olaf

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Mind, we can't forget the relationship between Bukowski and Nietzsche...not that either was a Nazi...but that they may well be seen (mistakenly) in that vein!

Nietzsche wanted a Stronger Men (hah, ok, make homosexual inferences all you like).
Bukowski, in some sense, tried to live as a Strong man.

I read Bukowski and Nietzsche in equal measure...if anything these men, by and large, perhaps by implication, wanted to cut through the bullshit, to live life 'in its raw form' or 'write philosophy in its raw-eloquent form' - they went to the dark places were very few go or at least suggested that as their mission or the passing torch!

Nazi can become a by-word for anyone who doesn't stick to the status-quo, who choose real amorality over sanitised civility, endure hardship rather the pander to a soft life.

(Personally, I have much to learn...)
 
Nazis

mjp said:
The Ramones were goofing on everything and everyone. The lyric you (mis)quoted is from a song called, "Today your love, tomorrow the world," which is obviously a joke. Lots of punk era musicians adopted stances and symbols purely for shock value, with little regard to their meaning and certainly no real allegiance to any group or party. Most of them couldn't have found Germany on a map, trust me.

I'm a shock trooper in a stupor yes I am
I'm a nazi schatzie y'know I fight for my fatherland
Little German boy
being pushed around
little German boy
in a German town


Bukowski later explained away his "involvement" in the nazi party in the same way. Saying he did it to be shocking and irritating and to go against the grain of what was accepted as the societal norm in most of the world at the time. Only he knew if that was true or not, so anything anyone says now is speculation.
Its ridiculous to suggest Hank was a Nazi. Just look at the mans Humanity. Still not sure where I misquoted on the Ramones lyric in "Today your Love, Tomorrow Your Love". You might check the other verse. "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN".....
 
Sorry mjp. I meant to type "Today your love, tomorrow the world". All due respect, but I dont think the Ramones were the goofers many people make them out to be. In fact probably one of the most intelligent bands from that or indeed any era. But like you said yourself, and according to Hank himself, it was just a little bit of shock value. They were in essence ALL punk rockers. Just different trousers. I will have to lay off that amazing Australian Chardonnay. "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN".....
 
The idea that Buk was a genuine Nazi, a man who believe that Jews are trying to take over the world and must be exterminated, a man who believe in a fascist rule (one dictator and his henchmen ruling the land), a man who believes that 'might makes right' is ridiculous.

He wrote about his sympathy with the Germans during his high-school years in the book Ham on Rye, but he also blatantly shows through his writing that he really had no idea what the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei really was. He did it, as he writes, simply because it pissed of the others around him and it made him feel special. Buk was always about provoking people, even at a young age, and what better way to do so than saying you're a nazi.

If you read his later works one clearly sees that Buk feels the exact same hatred towards blacks, jews, hispanic and asian that he feels towards his fellow white men. He even sympathizes alot with the blacks, as seen in his novel 'Hollywood' when he goes to visit his movie-director friend who has an apartment in the ghetto.

Personally I really think Buk never really cared much for politics. He was generally discontent about America and was not impressed when he went on his first trip to France. All Buk wanted was to have his women, his bottle, his writing and perhaps some good classical music on the radio.

Sorry for ranting on.
 

mjp

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David Dunne said:
...I dont think the Ramones were the goofers many people make them out to be. In fact probably one of the most intelligent bands from that or indeed any era.
Their "four knuckleheads from New York and New Jersey" image was certainly fabricated, but I wouldn't call them an intelligent band. Dee Dee was clever and Johnny was a ruthless businessman, but that's about as far as their intelligence went. They were aware of what they were doing, of course, and the vast majority of their early work was very tongue in cheek. Some people got the joke, some didn't.

Still not sure where I misquoted on the Ramones lyric in "Today your Love, Tomorrow Your Love". You might check the other verse.
There isn't another verse. Heh. Like most early Ramones songs it is short and sweet. Nowhere in any Ramones song do they sing, "I'm a Nazi baby, I'm a Nazi, yes I am." At least on the original album. If there's a later live version with those lyrics, I would chalk them up to Joey's laziness as a "vocalist." ;)

I'm not trying to be a hair-splitting dick about it (that just comes naturally), it's just that what you attributed to them is much different from what they actually sang, so I just wanted to point that out. Not that it matters, since I think we can agree that the Ramones weren't nazis, and most of them are safely in the grave at this point.
 

mjp

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By the way, I'm not putting the Ramones down when I say that I don't consider them "intelligent." Hearing their first record in 1976 literally changed my life, for better or worse.

Now I'll stop dragging this thread off topic.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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David Dunne said:
Its ridiculous to suggest Hank was a Nazi. Just look at the mans Humanity.
Hear, hear!

The thing is, I think Buk understood the mentality underlying Nazism (as well as a host of other "mentalities"). Nazism worked (works) because it tapped certain basic instincts present in human nature. Buk may have explored these instincts, in his writing, but that doesn't make him a Nazi. On the contrary: the process of becoming aware of "basic instincts" puts us on our guard, and helps us avoid the pitfalls of blurred, fear-based politics; what Buk called "the genius of the crowd" (http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4508/).

Buk had, in my opinion, so much angry madness coiled up inside (banged in there by his ever loving dad), that he just had to become an expert at controlling his dark inclinations, simply in order to survive. And survive he did...
 
mjp said:
By the way, I'm not putting the Ramones down when I say that I don't consider them "intelligent." Hearing their first record in 1976 literally changed my life, for better or worse.

Now I'll stop dragging this thread off topic.
I've been the lead singer in a Ramones tribute band called Pinhead for the last 3 years young man, and I know my onions! I just think that words like Nazi and Fascist are too easily bandied about. For instance, Randy Newman often portrays himself as an asshole in order to let us inside the mind of an asshole. We must have common sense about these things or else we end up like Nazis ourselves, censoring everything that doesnt fit. When I get on stage in front 300 people and give the Nazi salute whilst singing "I'm a Nazi baby, I'm a Nazi, yes I am, I'm a Nazi baby, gonna fight for the fatherland" everyone gets the joke and salutes back. Including the black guys. The Ramones were indeed ahead of their time. They allow us to laugh at the madness. That Australian Chardonnay by the way is called McGuigans: check it out. "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN".....
 
One last thing before I go (I'm off to London for the weekend) and that is that this is an interesting thread. An interesting topic.The relationship between politics (either percieved or otherwise) and art. The Ramones were just an example. Goodnight. "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN"....
 

mjp

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FYI David Dunne, if you click on "User CP" up there to the left, then "Edit Signature" you can automatically append "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN".... to all of your posts.

A Ramones tribute band, eh? Well there you go. I first saw them in '76, but I wasn't old enough to get into the bar, so I stood out back, on top of a crate, and jumped up and down to get brief glimpses through a ventilation fan. That's my tribute. ;)
 

SamDusky

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David Dunne said:
When I get on stage in front 300 people and give the Nazi salute whilst singing "I'm a Nazi baby, I'm a Nazi, yes I am, I'm a Nazi baby, gonna fight for the fatherland" everyone gets the joke and salutes back. "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN".....
You haven't yet attributed the specific source for your lyric yet. I am curious as to its origin (now that subject has been brought up).

SD
 
Thanks mjp. I gave it a go. I'm not good with this kind of thing, so we'll wait and see. PS. How did you know I had'nt already activated the Edit Signature feature??? Now, lets see if I roared.....
 
SamDusky said:
You haven't yet attributed the specific source for your lyric yet. I am curious as to its origin (now that subject has been brought up).
Go to any half-arsed Ramones website and check out LYRICS. Just to check I wasn't going triple nuts that's what I did. And there it is: I'm a Shock Trooper in a stupor, yes I am, I'M A NAZI SHATZE, AND I FIGHT FOR THE FATHERLAND". It's from the first album entitled Ramones. The song is called "Today your love, tomorrow the world". In my experience, ALL the subsequent live versions have the line " I'M A NAZI BABY, I'M A NAZI YES I AM, I'M A NAZI SHATZE, AND I FIGHT FOR THE FATHERLAND". Which, I suggest, is not a million miles from the lyric I quoted, or indeed, the original. Now here's a real one for you; was Hitler Jewish?
 
mjp said:
FYI David Dunne, if you click on "User CP" up there to the left, then "Edit Signature" you can automatically append "I ROARED LIKE A MADMAN".... to all of your posts.

A Ramones tribute band, eh? Well there you go. I first saw them in '76, but I wasn't old enough to get into the bar, so I stood out back, on top of a crate, and jumped up and down to get brief glimpses through a ventilation fan. That's my tribute. ;)
You probably caught an entire verse on the upbounce
 

mjp

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David Dunne said:
How did you know I had'nt already activated the Edit Signature feature???
I didn't know. I just noticed that it was part of your messages.
 

mjp

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David Dunne said:
You probably caught an entire verse on the upbounce
You're right, I think I did. It was a crazy, legendary evening, and bad seat aside, I was glad I was there.
 

bospress.net

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Hi,
His father (Henry Charles Bukowski Sr. was an American-Born serviceman when he met Bukowski's mother, Katarina Fett in Germany. They moved to the US in 1922 (I believe that date is correct).

Bill
 
His parents details?

I have been checkin his poems out for the first time here using the Manuscripts.I wasnt too sure at first when i picked at random a couple of different ones.1972/3,being around the same time as Tales of Ordinary Madness 's stories were put together,I checked em out.They have this degenerate excellence which I love.My father passed away due to his alcoholism.I am reminded of him in these stories.He was a real funny guy but could also be the worst crudest asshole.He was a dirty bugger too. He like buk,loved the booze,birds and bookies.I get a nostalgic feeling of childhood reading him............
 
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