The savory wretchedness of the cellist’s
song rang out, harmonizing with the metallic
hum humming of the subway. The reverberations
of the cars clamorously shot down the rails,
rumbling in tune with his melody's melancholy.
The chaotic euphony burrowed itself deeply
inside of me and made itself a dwelling;
Housing this bitter sweet hymn I knew all too well
helped me hear, just maybe, what my soul sounds like.
“Let me play for you,” he said, looking beyond, or,
perhaps, seeing me more than had ever been seen.
Shaved heads, bomber jackets, black boots with white shoelaces -- it used to be easy to spot a Neo-Nazi. But young far-right extremists are wearing more stylish and more coded clothes…Many of the symbols are straightforward. On one Thor Steinar T-shirt, the word kontaktfreudig is splashed across red splotches that look like spatters of blood. The word could be translated as "outgoing," or more literally, "happy to make contact."...The German far right likes the "N" on New Balance shoes for the same reason.
"They are getting harder to spot," she (Esther Lehnert at the Mobile Counseling Team Berlin, a non-profit that identifies trends in the German far right) said, taking a picture out of a folder showing far-right and far-left activists facing off at a march. Both groups wore Che Guevara T-shirts and checked scarves -- long a leftist symbol of solidarity with Palestinians. But the far right co-opted both symbols, she explained, just as neo-Nazis have taken to wearing all black, which used to be an anarchist fashion statement. Guevara may be the strangest appropriation of all. Neo-Nazis wear his image but don't hesitate to beat up people who look different -- including Latin Americans.
By Rachel Nolan in Berlin/Spiegel Online International/11/20/2008
Himmel donner wetter! It’s Springtime and Berlin again reeks of scheiße on its fashionable Kurfuerstendamm boulevard. Yessiree, Indiana Jones’ favorite Nazi leiter are back, having undergone a fashion makeover. Well, that’s not quite true because the word ‘back’ might erroneously suggest that these goose stepping, schwantzlutscher-ing, schweinhund-fuckers had ever left. Let me make this perfectly clear. Nazis do not disappear; they simply hide under a rock, waiting for an opportune moment to rear their ugly arschgesichters. History has repeatedly shown that these optimal moments are times of economic hardship, not unlike…today.
The new breed of Nazis are a cross between old Nazis heel-kicking ideologues and today’s bust-a-cap-in yo’-ass gang bangers. I’ve coined the word Doppelgängerbangers to atenebrate this unholy union. Since the use of old Nazi symbols are banned by German law, the Doppelgängerbangers have become expert at Verstekspiel, that is, the ‘hiding game’, coding their Nazi symbols as numbers and acronyms. For example, 88, a code for the 8th letter of the alphabet, refers to the letters HH, which is Heil Hitler; 28 refers to the letters B&H;, which is the acronym for Blood & Honor; and you can guess by now, 18 refers to AH, the carpet-fresser himself, Adolf Hitler, as opposed to 52, EB, his carpet-munching consort, Eva Braun. So, if you walked into a Doppelgängerbangers’ comedy club the jokes would have the familiar ring of 2nd grade math: ‘18 + 28 = (-6,000,000)’; ‘18 + 52 = wall to wall carpeting’. Instead of laughter, the crowd stamp their New Balance sneakers in approval, chanting, ’26-8’, ’26-8’, ’26-8’ (Zig Heil). Hecklers are clubbed with swizzles of bratwurst (to quickly digest the evidence if the police are summoned) and then bounced on a one-way transport to the Black Forest for target practice.
I visited Simon Wiesenthal, the famed Nazi hunter who brought Adolf Eichmann to justice, to get his personal tips on spotting Nazis who don’t want to be spotted, like leopards with a can of spot remover. Wiesenthal was a frisky nonagenarian, who spoke in a Jewish sing-song voice typical of Talmudic scholars or the alte-cocker retirees who keep losing the keys to their Miami condos. We met at the Second Avenue Deli in New York's East Village.
“I have ah toasted Everything with a shmear,” Wiesenthal told the waiter. “Excuse me, who’s paying for lunch?”
“I am,” I volunteered, caught off guard.
“Vaiter, change my order. I’ll have the corned beef and pastrami, very lean on wry laughter. Just kidding. On rye-bread. Get it! Wry. Rye. Nooo? Gornischt? Oy, getruffen a shlemazel with a goyishe kop!”
“I’ll just have coffee,” I said to the Puerto Rican waiter, who stood dumbfounded by Wiesenthal’s multi-linguistic verbal assault. “So, Mr. Wiesenthal…”
“Call me Simon. It’s more simple. Get it? Simple Simon!”
“Very clever,” I said, stroking his ego. It swiftly dawned on me that I was dealing with a man with a desperate need for audience. He may have had a salt deficiency as well, having already gone through a half dozen complimentary sour pickles at our table.
“More pickles, please!” Simon yelled, hoping any waiter would be within earshot.
“So, Simon, what was your secret in spotting …”
“This is half-sour you shmegegi!” he yelled at a new waiter bringing the peck of pickles. The last waiter was still suffering from PTPS, post traumatic pickle syndrome and vowed to return to San Juan.
“What’s your secret in spotting Nazis!” I blurted out, hoping I could get through my question without interruption.
“Don’t holler so loud, or it won’t be a secret no more. Okkie, Dokkie.” Simon said, bringing his voice down to a whisper. With his hearing problem that meant a decibel below a 747 engine at take-off.
I would hang out at the chi chi outdoor cafés along Avenida Alvear in Buenos Aires or in the Ciudad del Este in Asuncion, keeping a keen eye out for Nazis and street vendors hawking panama hats below cost. One day, I see this guy wearing embroidered elk leather Lederhosen. When he stands up to pay his bill, poof! A cloud of confectioner’s sugar falls from his chest. Right den and dere, I knew I’ve found dat sonovabitch, Eichmann.”
“I must be missing something.”
“Schlameil,” Simon admonished me. “Nazis are pigs who must consume a minimum of six German pastries before they’re sow bellies are sated -- mohnkuchen, kasekuchen, schwartzwalder kirschtorte, sachertorte, marzipan, stollen, krappel—the list is endless. Like pigs, they’re sloppy eaters. So, when I saw the cloud of sugar, it was like a halo from heaven pointing me to the swine. And I was right. It was Eichmann, yemach shmo.”
”Weren’t the lederhosen a giveaway. Who wears lederhosen in Paraguay?”
“I didn’t tink of dat. You know, shmendrik, with your eye for detail you should replace me when I retire at a hundred and twenty.” Simon then added, “If it’s alright wit you I want to order a little tongue sandwich to take home for my wife.”
“But I read your wife passed away four years ago.”
“It’s to put on her shrine. Oy, did my Rocheleh love tongue.”
“O.K., order the tongue,” I said. “I write it off – to experience.”
“Nu, it was a pleasure meeting you. I suggest you go to Germany if you want to get the 411 of this new litter of Nazi piglets. I’m clueless in dat department. Please don’t forget to email me at email@example.com. Excuse me. Waiter! I need a doggie bag!”
After a final exchange of pleasantries and grandma’s recipes for cherry cheese strudel, I did as ‘Simon sez’ and boarded a Lufthansa flight for Berlin -- on frequent flyer miles, of course. Who pays retail?
In Berlin, I met with Herr Klaus S. Grueber, überfuhrer for ‘The Office for the Protection of the Constitution’, the government's ‘domestic intelligence’ agency who aggressively seeks out and deports Filipino domestics invading the Bundesrepluplik Deutschland to do honest house cleaning while it does squat to abate the sprawling neo-Nazi cancer. Grueber was a sprightly gentleman well in his eighties, nattily dressed in a hunting blazer with shoulder and elbow patches, emblazoned with the German coat of arms. Its minatory black eagle, flexing its wings in a classic Schwarzenegger bicep pose also appears on the flag of Germany and was appropriated by the Nazis as its Reichsadler insignia, with its eagle clutching a swastika in its talons. Grueber spoke nearly impeccable Victorian English in a cadenced pawl-and-ratchet monotone. Perfect, were it not for the Teutonic tendency to supplant ‘w’s with ‘v’s as in, ‘Ve have ways to make you talk,’ or ‘Vat! Not vienershnitzel again’. He sat behind a massive carved mahogany desk, stroking his white Persian cat, Schrödinger, which bore a small patch of black fur between its hoary whiskers.
Aspiring Nazi hunter that I was, I cut to the chase. “How many Doppelgängerbangers are there are in Germany today?”
“Please show me your papers.”
“My papers?” I asked, puzzled.
“Your press credentials.”
“I am a freelancer. My work appears in many American magazines. You can Google me.”
“I don’t Google. I’m more a Yahoo myself. I vill take you at your vord as a gentlemen and answer your qvestions. There are about 40,000 active members of the German far right, vith roughly another 82,000,000 awaiting indoctrination.
“Why aren’t they prosecuted? Doesn’t your constitution clearly forbid these groups?
“As long as they don't display swastikas or explicitly support Hitler or his party, these groups are left alone. Also they have made themselves bulletproof to prosecution by creating autonomous camaraderies called freie Kameradschaften, vhich is neither a club nor a party.”
“What is it then?”
“It is an organization vithout organization operating vithout membership directories or charters. In essence, it is a fellowship, vhich our constitution cannot prohibit vithout opening a can of vorms.”
“What about wearing clothing with coded symbols? Can’t you at least prosecute them for that?
“We tried, but ‘88’ can be Heil Hitler, Harry Houdini, Holly Hunter, as well as an infinite number of possibilities. And so their lawyers argued, and so these cases vere dismissed, von by von.”
“How do the freie Kameradschaften communicate?”
“There are 150 regional freie Kameradschaften with 5 to 20 fellows each. Typically, they communicate through the internet, where they announce marches, demonstrations and publish blacklists of the name, addresses and phone numbers of their political opponents.”
“Sounds like terror cells. Do they get violent?”
“Sure they do a little arson, a little murder and arms dealing. Though ve did thvart a bomb attack at the groundbreaking of the Jewish Cultural Center on St. Jakobsplatz in Munich. Vhen they are violent ve close down a particular autonomous branch but days later they continue their activities under a different name.”
“So what do you think is the best way to deal with these elusive Doppelgängerbangers who fly under the radar and have learned to circumvent your unenforced laws?
“We feel the best approach is education. We distribute brochures to the youth of Germany to create an awareness of these right wing groups and their gemeinschaft philosophy.”
“But,” I said, my frustration mounting, “you might as well make a bonfire of the brochures and toast marshmallows. Nazism is an ineradicable temperamental bias with cruelty and the hatred of the ‘other’ as its innate dispositions. Potential Doppelgängerbangers are not turned by speeches of tolerance, nor dissuaded by the schwerpunct of rational argument. Can I argue you out of being yourself?”
“Not likely,” said Herr Grueber. “I’m sorry, but I must cut our lovely chat short. I am expected at a meeting at my hunting lodge. I am on the membership recruitment committee to bring in new blood to the lodge since a lot of us ‘old-timers’, like yours truly, have passed on or moved abroad to more temperate Latin climates.”
As Grueber stood up to shake my hand, I was dusted with a cloud of confectionary sugar spilling from his gold buttoned blazer.
“Kommen Schrödinger,” Grueber said to his cat, as they both decamped briskly into the impenitent German air.
Josef Schwantz, Hitler’s Hunchman
I back up my all my poetry
at the end each day ~
just in case.
I pour so much of my soul into my writing,
I fear that if it were lost,
I'd lose an essential part of me.
You may call this
foolishness, poppycock ~ even paranoia.
But I know what it feels like to lose poetry.
It is as deep as a lover's heartbreak.
It fills you with regrets, saying to yourself,
'I should have done this or that' and you swear,
'This will never happen again.'
But the sad reality is,
no matter how much we beautify life with our words,
the world we live can be a hostile place,
where bad shit can happen overnight.
So, I've because the woman
who's once been raped
and forever sleeps
with a gun under her pillow ~
just in case.
A bartender walks into a Bartenders Convention and sees
an Indian, a Rabbi, a bear, a horse, a duck a Minister, a Priest,
a terrorist, a prostitute, a stutterer, a dyslexic ~
in short he sees every character who ever walked
into his bar for the past twenty years.
He turns to the Priest and says,
'Wow, take a look at this turnout!
This here's the best bartender's convention I've ever been to.'
The Priest turns to him and says,
You're dead man and you're in Purgatory!
All these fine people have shown up here to torture you
because you beat your wife and watered down your drinks.'
The bartender says,
'Well then, I guess this time the jokes on me.'
Reply ᏰέƦẙḽԃṏሁ Լέῳ
If you want to follow the real Führer, follow the anti-Semite, Ormond, who regularly attacks the two most noticeable Jewish poets on this site.
He's written over 100 hate haikus like this one:
Haiku ( only fair )
Dear sensitive soul . . .
If you could purge fucking hacks,
. . . Burn ??? and Nat now!
Burn, as in 'toss in the ovens'. I'm the ??? in this one.
He's written over 100 hate haikus like this about me and Nat Lipstadt and reposts his hate mongering to a dozen collections, DAILY!
HP members, please write Eliot that though you fully support freedom of speech on this site, anti-Semitism and hate mongering have no place on Hello Poetry! The man has crossed the line and should be banned from this site.
Make your voice heard and write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Evil Prevails When Good Men do Nothing."
~ Edmund Burke
Please read my mom's memoir:
Sara: From Bialystok to Brooklyn, A Survivor's Memoir
I sincerely apologize for posting this message to unrelated collections, but I feel ridding HP of the ant-Semite Ormond calls for a collective action on the part of all members.
Hello Poetry is not just a poetry site ~
don't limit it
and it won't limit your growth
as a human being
or the writer you aspire to be.
For every free expression of the human spirit
every voice of hope
sharing of dreams
confession of guilt
manifesto of ideas
cry in the dark
announcement of triumph
peacocking of style
intimacy of endearment
definition of life
musing while the java brews
pie in the sky notion
communication to clarify
communion with a higher power
cry of freedom
observation within or without
gossipy detail of pillow talk
questioning of faith
repartee thought of too late
tête-à-tête with your audience
ventilation of displeasure
schmooze with your soul
appraisal of your relationships
articulation of politics
execution of intent
update of status
touch of humor
assertion of hopelessness
fire raging in belly
critique of art
declaration of independence
gradation of love
hint of resentment
subtlety of grief
dash of optimism
degree of happiness
shadow of depression
overflow of raw emotion
tinge of satire
elucidation of a thought
venting of anger
enunciation of ambition
exposition of a position
formulation of a hypotheses
shade of sadness
celebration of joy
mention of a broken heart
pronouncement of goals
verbal rendition of an image
impression of nature
intuition going beyond the senses
utterance of discontent
mindful choice of words
unique turn of the phrase
is the expression of the human spirit
yearning to be free ~
and that, my friends, is
poetry at its purest.
I've been seeing
poems on Hello Poetry
posted in Russian, Georgian,
Turkish, Urdu, Hindi and Tagalog.
If these poets really want to be read,
they'd be much better off knocking on
their hated neighbor's door, and sayin',
"Hey, wanna to read some awesome poetry
even a fucking idiot like you can understand?"