Was Bukowski a Nazi/sympathizer? Does it matter in issues concerning turning his old bungalow into a civic monument? Here’s a choice old quote to remember the bum by and a story about a bungalow From CNN:
The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.
Now it’s up to fans of the gutter poet to take up the fight to have his beaten-down bungalow turned into a civic monument over the objections of the property’s owners, who claim he was a Nazi sympathizer.
Backers say the east Hollywood abode deserves recognition and the restoration that would go with it because it’s where Bukowski banged out stories and poems that transformed him from a working stiff with a literary streak into an internationally celebrated author.
“The great books that really started him on his career — that all happened on De Longpre [Avenue],” said Neeli Cherkovski, author of “Bukowski: A Life” and a friend of the writer. “It was where Charles Bukowski became the voice of Los Angeles.”
But the owners, who tried to sell the bungalow court as tear-down for $1.3 million, are poised to fight the proposal before a city commission Thursday based on allegations that Bukowski had Nazi leanings.
Co-owner Victoria Gureyeva refused to discuss the issue on her lawyer’s advice, but previously said she would enlist local Jewish activists in her campaign against landmarking.
“This man loved Hitler,” Gureyeva, who is Jewish, told the alternative newspaper LA Weekly. “This is my house, not Bukowski’s. I will never allow the city of Los Angeles to turn it into a monument for this man.”
Attorney Joseph Trenk said their challenge includes the Nazi allegations, an issue raised by poet Ben Pleasants in the book “Visceral Bukowski: Inside the Sniper Landscape of L.A. Writers.”
Pleasants, who has not been asked to appear at the landmarking hearing, said the author’s sympathies toward Nazi Germany are crucial to understanding his writing.
“There are many examples of him making the bad guys Jewish,” Pleasants said in an interview, citing a sneering reference to Jewish lawyers in the book “Ham on Rye.” In his own book, Pleasants recounts a time he was interviewing Bukowski at a deli when the writer “gawked at the predominantly Jewish diners” and belted out “turn on the gas,” a reference to concentration camp gas chambers.
But Gerald Locklin, author of the biography “Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet,” said he can’t remember any evidence of anti-Semitism in Bukowski’s work or correspondence he shared with the author.