Was he really a Nazi? (1 Viewer)

Charlie

Founding member
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

Founding member
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

Founding member
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

Founding member
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
Founding member
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

Founding member
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

Founding member
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

Founding member
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?"
 
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

Founding member
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.
 
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

Founding member
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

Founding member
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
Founding member
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

Founding member
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

Founding member
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

Founding member
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

www.bospress.net
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............
 
of course he wasn't

well,he actually never cared about politics.He even wrote a poem against 'engag?s' writers wasting their talent with social problems.
He attended nazi boys at college,that's true:but that was just because he could get free beer at their meetings.I think he did write a short novel about those early times at college...
 
nazis etc

Being a nazi and anti semitic are two different issues. The most actively virulent element of that party was it's murderousnous to Jewish people which has become somewhat diluted in modern times to murderousness to all non "aryans."
You can hate Jews without being a nazi but I don't see how you can be a nazi without hating Jews, since that is a defining trait of that "party".

All the posts i've seen here on this issue defend bukowski from this association...just a boyish prank etc. And that well may have been the case. But, within our pranks, and other gestures we feel we don't have to take responsibility for because they are after all just "pranks", lie real impulses and feelings.

I haven't studied bukowski's politics, and his material suggests he's largely apolitical. I would say from this "evidence", assuming it is accurate and serves as an sort of personality biopsy, that bukowski wasn't fond of Jews.

Being one myself, I have to say that if bukowski thought i'd be better off in a gas chamber, or maybe just on a different planet then him, it wouldn't effect my sense of his writing abilities, which are what they are regardless of his sensibilities or delusions, but I might remind him about some "incompetent" Jewish writers like Saul Bellow or Elias Canetti, to name a couple of Nobel Laureates, next time he's on his way to a nazi dance for a couple free beers, or whatever classy activity he's got in mind.
 

mjp

Founding member
Well, you might be on to something there, I think Bukowski had many prejudices, most of which were rolled up in his general distaste for anyone other than himself. ;)

But I think the whole nazi thing was blown out of proportion - partly by his own writing - but there's a story early in South Of No North (if I'm remembering correctly) where he makes it pretty clear that he was never a member of the nazi party, never believed in their tenets.

But really, he had bad things to say about almost everyone, so what can you draw from that? He was a fucked up, disagreeable guy much of the time, no doubt about that.
 

SamDusky

Founding member
dave11 said:
I haven't studied bukowski's politics, and his material suggests he's largely apolitical. I would say from this "evidence", assuming it is accurate and serves as an sort of personality biopsy, that bukowski wasn't fond of Jews.

Being one myself, I have to say that if bukowski thought i'd be better off in a gas chamber, or maybe just on a different planet then him, it wouldn't effect my sense of his writing abilities, which are what they are regardless of his sensibilities or delusions, but I might remind him about some "incompetent" Jewish writers like Saul Bellow or Elias Canetti, to name a couple of Nobel Laureates, next time he's on his way to a nazi dance for a couple free beers, or whatever classy activity he's got in mind.


Can a 1/8th Jew be considered a Jew? I think I heard that the nazis locked up anyone up to 1/64th of the blood (a WWII expert could clarify). Be that as it is, and being a 1/8th, I feel a certain kinship to the "tribe' so to speak [many persons call themselves ?Cherokee? who are 1/16th]; and, put forth that many of Buk?s buddies were Jews (stated elsewhere in this forum). Also, in the famous kicking scene with his wife (to-be) Linda, he said something to the effect that he was going to get his "Jewish" lawyer: ?I can move your ass out of here, so bright and so fast, with a Jewish attorney.? If that doesn't speak of an affection for the Jewish race in general, it at least shows how he felt there was an exceeding judiciary competence displayed by his Hebrew legal staff; so I have problem with your ?bukowski wasn't fond of Jews? statement. He seemed to take Jews, Blacks, Italians, Germans, women, parking attendants, dogs, cats, etc. on an individual basis. Someone who sliced the words as carefully as he did, would not be into generalization (except where it served an artistic end).

SD
 
First newbie statement so please bare with me but I'm sure I read a short story by Henry that was about Hitler and from what I can remember (lost the book ages ago and have yet to be able to find a replacement)it was quite detremental.
 
We havn't defined Nazi.
Is it one sympathic to all Hitler's programs or just the economic or just the genetic. Is using HItler as the base correct?
Can one be a left leaning Nazi?
Was Buk a prson who agreed the over man goal was worthy but the anti Semitic crap is insane?
Rogets:NAZI
A member of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, founded in Germany in 1919 and brought to power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler.
often nazi An adherent or advocate of policies characteristic of Nazism; a fascist.
 
definitions

"We" haven't defined dogshit yet either. What sort of definition would you like? Let's see: sociopathic murderous sadists, fanatically adhering to bizarre dogma, goosestepping around in freakish uniforms to a tune called by a mega-serial killer with a penchant for grandiose architecture.

Really the whole notion of defining that sort of thing is ludicrous to me. I don't go around with a chip on my shoulder about the past, I'm just aware of who my enemies are. Was bukowski a nazi...frankly I doubt it...was he a jew hater...probably...and to site an example of bukowski saying that if he needs to hurt someone legally he'll get his jewish mouthpiece, to use that as an example of a "pro-jewish" remark, shows your utter ignorance of the way its used.

I want some watermelon, i think i'll call some nigger. I want to do something legally repugnant, kikes are great with money, those nickle noses, i'll get my jew kike lawyer.

But this is "industrial prejudice"..common stuff...old school, archie bunker stereotypes. Since most of bukowskis crap was published by firms that have "kikes" as ceos, and that may well mean a lot of legal work done for him, maybe even keeping his delirious sloppy ass out of jail, may well have been done by "kikes" he can go around saying whatever he wants, and when sued for liable or slander, can go find a "Jew lawyer" to straighten out the situation.

and as a corollary...hating jews doesn't mean you can't be good friends with some on an individual basis. It's in the nature of the human race's discomfort with the insane programmed ideas it blindly accepts. And stereotypes are usually accurate in general ways, thats why they are streotypes. If I have a vocabulary of 100 words, am "black", live in a ghetto apartment complex, carry a gun, sell dope, and every sentence out of my mouth is like..."Ahhh beees goin to dee crib .......know wha ahhhh mean? then ahhh be seein mahhh awhnty....mufuhhh.....well there is a way to sterotype this sort of thing...likewisw with certain jews who definately act like "jew lawyers"

people are trained certain ways and then act those ways...ahhh fuck it...

For the record, being 1/8 a jew or a .001% jew doesn't get it. If your mother isn't a jew, and some people say both parents have to be many generations back, you are not a jew.

And you should be happy about that, as we are the most hated people on earth, bar none. After all, I'm told we singlehandedly own every bank, the federal reserve, the treasury, the entire media complex, every apartment and condo onearth etc. and we exist to exploit the non-jew. After all, that's what hitler said so it's gotta be right.

What i like is that the "non jew" whatever the hell that is, that goes around "worshipping " that poor dumb schmuck hanging on a cross..ARE WORSHIPPING A JEW!!!!!!!!!! fuckin morons

bukowski was a decent writer, and...his "legend" did for him what Van Gogh's ear did for him...put him on the map.

People admire bukowski, first and foremost, because it's fashionable, or used to be, in the sense that decadence, or what is perceived as such...self destruction, always gets some attention. His litereary gifts, such as they are, come second. If he wasn't a notorius self destructive capering drunk, most of his audience wouldn't have been intrigued enough to check him out. If you want to read a great writer read malcolm lowrey or dostoyevsky...then go back and look at your hero.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
dave11 said:
If you want to read a great writer read malcolm lowrey or dostoyevsky...then go back and look at your hero.

I can't argue with most of your post, it just makes sense.
but to say that the people here haven't read Lowry (no "e" by the way) or Dostoyevsky is ignorant. Under the Volcano is my favourite book, I've read Crime and Punishment twice. I've read Ulysses twice, and parts of it several times. I've read every word Samuel Beckett dragged out of his brain. I've slogged through Dante's Inferno, The Odyssey and The Illiad. And I'm pretty sure that 90 % of the people here are better read than I am.
so don't fight ignorance with ignorance.
in peace and against ignorance....
Steve.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top