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The Prince of Peace and the Nazi?


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There are some bizarre, peculiar & sometimes quite embarrassing Brits-Nazi- incidents, but don´t let them fool you, I don´t think there is any sympathy for Nazi ideology involved.

Wheter it is our skinny hero in partial SS costume, fueled with cocaine, smack and visions of Charlotte R., or Kula Shaker, with the weird act of burning huge swastikas onstage during their 1999 tour.

And don´t forget the late Lemmy Kilmister, the man had an extraordinary big collection of Nazi devotional objects. The Eisernes Kreuz around his neck was an original, I´ll bet you.

Last AND least: the bunch of bright looking young men of the Hells Angels party organisation, most of them wearing Wehrmacht or SS helmets, as seen on the 1969 Brian Jones Hyde Park memorial concert.

By the way, stormtroopers isn´t a correct & fitting translation for SS, Schutz-Staffel = Shield Squadron

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Vot is zis 'baby'?! Thing is, it only looks bizarre, peculiar and embarrassing from this perspective - because the context in which younger British people in the late '60s and early-mid '70s sometimes wore Nazi regalia has now been lost. From a 21st-century perspective, it's hard to grasp that people did this just to wind-up the older generation who never stopped banging on about how they'd 'defeated Hitler'. 
Prior to things like Rock Against Racism raising awareness of the racist connotations, the Nazis were just the faintly ridiculous baddies with the stupid marching and salutes that we'd beaten in the war.
And it made your granddad tetchy if the bassplayer from The Sweet wore a swastika armband on Top of the Pops. 
None of it was meant to signal any sympathy with Nazi ideology - I doubt if Steve Priest could spell 'Birkenau' if you paid him - which is why it all stopped once RAR, etc, managed to make people understand the implications. And when the penny dropped, you thanked God that your granddad had 'defeated Hitler' and you realised exactly why that generation reacted the way they did to daft kids sporting swastikas for what they thought was 'a laugh'.              

Edited by Brigante
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Before the 80s and political correctness in Britain casual racism was the norm. It certainly didn't mean you supported oppression. 

As a consequence people could say and do pretty much anything outside violence and get away with it. Dressing as a Nazi was seen as a joke and not given a second thought. 

I often wondered if Jimmy got the Nazi gear from his mate Chris Farlowe who dealt in Nazi memorabilia for a living. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/17/2019 at 5:05 AM, Brigante said:

it made your granddad tetchy if the bassplayer from The Sweet wore a swastika armband on Top of the Pops. 

Love your reference:). . that and the silver hot pants with a Hitler stash to boot. .It is all done for show. .which is why everything today sucks b/c weve seen it all. .

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Hmm, do you remember the shooting scene featuring Cole and Grant from the beginning of the movie, The Song Remains The Same?

fbsv.jpg

Do you recall what happens to the dive guys playing some sort of strange, twisted Monopoly, complete with skull, watchtowers and swastika envelopes?

Edited by seaweed gate
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  • 2 years later...

Was Jimmy playing to the audience, some of whom might be Nazi sympathizers? There was a march in a suburb of Chicago held by some American Nazi's. Then there is the "Immigrant Song" which is about an invasion of northern Britain by marauding Scandinavians. Someone also mentioned the Nazi connection to the occult, which the SS was involved in.

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1 hour ago, Tom Allison said:

Was Jimmy playing to the audience, some of whom might be Nazi sympathizers? There was a march in a suburb of Chicago held by some American Nazi's. Then there is the "Immigrant Song" which is about an invasion of northern Britain by marauding Scandinavians. Someone also mentioned the Nazi connection to the occult, which the SS was involved in.

Nope, not at all and I was there, at that show. Jimmy and Cole were really into The Night Porter and it is essentially the same outfit Charlotte Rampling's character wears in a scene. That's it, nothing more. He also wore a white fedora after he ditched the SS cap so was he also giving a nod to The Outfit (Chicago mob).

BTW, the Nazi's march in Skokie was supposed to take place in 76' but injunctions were made. This delayed the march and SCOTUS ruled in June of 77' allowing the march based on 1st amendment precedent, however they also ruled the Swastika was NOT protected or covered under 1st amendment protections so they could march, but they could not carry, display, or wear anything with a Swastika so the march was called off. They never marched in Skokie and if they had they would not have made it out alive (hundreds of Holocaust survivors and their families lived in Skokie, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood). SCOTUS saved the lives of many Illinois Nazis' with that ruling.

Us Chicago folk don't take kindly to Nazi's, especially Illinois Nazi's

 

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5 hours ago, BobDobbs said:

Nope, not at all and I was there, at that show. Jimmy and Cole were really into The Night Porter and it is essentially the same outfit Charlotte Rampling's character wears in a scene. That's it, nothing more. He also wore a white fedora after he ditched the SS cap so was he also giving a nod to The Outfit (Chicago mob).

BTW, the Nazi's march in Skokie was supposed to take place in 76' but injunctions were made. This delayed the march and SCOTUS ruled in June of 77' allowing the march based on 1st amendment precedent, however they also ruled the Swastika was NOT protected or covered under 1st amendment protections so they could march, but they could not carry, display, or wear anything with a Swastika so the march was called off. They never marched in Skokie and if they had they would not have made it out alive (hundreds of Holocaust survivors and their families lived in Skokie, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood). SCOTUS saved the lives of many Illinois Nazis' with that ruling.

Us Chicago folk don't take kindly to Nazi's, especially Illinois Nazi's

 

Great post and thanks for the local history. What a great movie that was as well. I have great memories of my dad making me watch this to have a clue into his sense of humor. Certainly none of this woke crowd. Nothing was ever too soon to joke about, and nothing was off limits. 
 

Thanks again BobDobbs! 

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13 hours ago, Plant77 said:

Great post and thanks for the local history. What a great movie that was as well. I have great memories of my dad making me watch this to have a clue into his sense of humor. Certainly none of this woke crowd. Nothing was ever too soon to joke about, and nothing was off limits. 
 

Thanks again BobDobbs! 

Boom! That's what comedy is all about. In comedy it's never "too soon" as that is a key cornerstone to comedy, call out what is current and expose it for what it is. That joke Gilbert Gottfried made after the tsunami hit Japan which got him cancelled was brilliant as it was pointing out how stupid it was to build a nuclear reactor along the coast AND on a major fault line as well.

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On 9/9/2021 at 5:53 AM, BobDobbs said:

Nope, not at all and I was there, at that show. Jimmy and Cole were really into The Night Porter and it is essentially the same outfit Charlotte Rampling's character wears in a scene. That's it, nothing more. He also wore a white fedora after he ditched the SS cap so was he also giving a nod to The Outfit (Chicago mob).

Jimmy has also insisted it was merely intended to shock (as an artistic statement) and pointed out he didn't wear the full uniform, "just the boots, jodhpurs, and hat". As a by the way, note also the men Grant, Cole and Skelton gun down in the opening montage of TSRTS have the Nazi symbol on their cards on the table. 

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17 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

Jimmy has also insisted it was merely intended to shock (as an artistic statement) and pointed out he didn't wear the full uniform, "just the boots, jodhpurs, and hat". As a by the way, note also the men Grant, Cole and Skelton gun down in the opening montage of TSRTS have the Nazi symbol on their cards on the table. 

Sometimes I believe people will grab on to anything and claim intent just for the outrage (meaning people thinking Jimmy was a Nazi, supported Nazi's, etc.). When Prince Harry sported a full Nazi uniform at a Halloween party everyone lost their shit then too which, IMO, makes no sense. People dress up as monsters and such for Halloween, what is more monstrous than a Nazi?

It's one thing to BE a Nazi, it's quite another just to wear a hat during a performance, or a costume around Halloween. Just imagine if this happened today. OYE! The outcry! Jimmy & Zep would be cancelled if this happened today.

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As noted from the beginning of this thread ten years ago, I'm not sure I'd look for deep political themes from the (one-time) stage outfit of a 70's rock god/junkie.  Having said that, I'd be surprised if Page was unaware of the occult aspects of Naziism.  

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3 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

As noted from the beginning of this thread ten years ago, I'm not sure I'd look for deep political themes from the (one-time) stage outfit of a 70's rock god/junkie.  Having said that, I'd be surprised if Page was unaware of the occult aspects of Naziism.  

If you look deeply into the "occult" aspects of Nazi'ism, you will find it all leads back to primarily one guy, Himmler, and he was a dilettante at best. Hitler, after getting to power, outlawed all occult activities and groups and only allowed Himmler and the SS this indulgence but Hitler himself thought the occult was nonsense. Much had to do with Hitler's favorite psychic who was bankrolled by Hitler until Hitler found out he was Jewish. After that the occult was verboten in Germany. 

The real occult practitioners (Thule Society & Vril) supported and helped bring the Nazi's to power with their influence in the 20's, but once Hitler had what he wanted he tossed them out with the trash. Maria Orsic who was one of the main leaders of Vril along with two other female mediums was creepy and weird as hell. You should check her out, quite the rabbit hole. Her and the other two mediums just "disappeared" never to be heard from again after late 44'. Legend has it the three mediums left on the only operational Die Glocke (an anti-gravity, inter-dimensional craft) for another "world." Who knows, however the Americans & British did find a fully completed, but not fully operational Die Glocke in Poland after the war. Nothing was heard about it after that except that allied scientists supposedly mothballed it after trying to fire it up and discovered it was too dangerous.

I doubt Page knew about the Nazi / Occult connection as that did not come out to the public until the 90's when many of these documents were released to the general public. Then again, anything is possible.

Funky stuff

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1 hour ago, BobDobbs said:

If you look deeply into the "occult" aspects of Nazi'ism, you will find it all leads back to primarily one guy, Himmler, and he was a dilettante at best. Hitler, after getting to power, outlawed all occult activities and groups and only allowed Himmler and the SS this indulgence but Hitler himself thought the occult was nonsense. Much had to do with Hitler's favorite psychic who was bankrolled by Hitler until Hitler found out he was Jewish. After that the occult was verboten in Germany. 

The real occult practitioners (Thule Society & Vril) supported and helped bring the Nazi's to power with their influence in the 20's, but once Hitler had what he wanted he tossed them out with the trash. Maria Orsic who was one of the main leaders of Vril along with two other female mediums was creepy and weird as hell. You should check her out, quite the rabbit hole. Her and the other two mediums just "disappeared" never to be heard from again after late 44'. Legend has it the three mediums left on the only operational Die Glocke (an anti-gravity, inter-dimensional craft) for another "world." Who knows, however the Americans & British did find a fully completed, but not fully operational Die Glocke in Poland after the war. Nothing was heard about it after that except that allied scientists supposedly mothballed it after trying to fire it up and discovered it was too dangerous.

I doubt Page knew about the Nazi / Occult connection as that did not come out to the public until the 90's when many of these documents were released to the general public. Then again, anything is possible.

Funky stuff

Sure, but Alfred Rosenberg should be mentioned in all of this as well.  Rosenberg and other Baltic/Ukrainian Germans who fled the Russian civil war had a big influence on Hitler, who had been a garden-variety socialist in the 20's (he remained a politician, of course).  And of course the swastika as a pagan rune predates any kind of 20th century ideology.  Most likely Page and other rock stars who flirted with Nazi symbolism did it mainly for the shock value, but that's sort of the point:  certain rabbit holes are more interesting than others, and I'm guessing someone with Page's time and money could pursue those.

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BTW, on the question of what literature Page would have been familiar with, the (notorious?) right-wing philosopher Julius Evola was an admirer of Crowley, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that Page would have come across Nazi-occult connections this way.  Again, he probably only flirted with this stuff (if at all really) for shock value, but I would be surprised if someone as intelligent and widely read as Page was oblivious to the background.

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2 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

Sure, but Alfred Rosenberg should be mentioned in all of this as well.  Rosenberg and other Baltic/Ukrainian Germans who fled the Russian civil war had a big influence on Hitler, who had been a garden-variety socialist in the 20's (he remained a politician, of course).  And of course the swastika as a pagan rune predates any kind of 20th century ideology.  Most likely Page and other rock stars who flirted with Nazi symbolism did it mainly for the shock value, but that's sort of the point:  certain rabbit holes are more interesting than others, and I'm guessing someone with Page's time and money could pursue those.

Your right about that, one could argue it was Dietrich Eckart & Rosenberg who made Hitler who he would become. Those two were a couple of evil bastards. The swastika is a very interesting symbol as it has roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, Asian, Native American, African, you name it. How and why this symbol is universal among ancient civilizations, some of which had no contact with each other? Strange indeed.

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More speculation, as long as we're speculating:  I wonder what effect wartime deprivations (it's mentioned in Hammer of the Gods as context for some debauchery with groupies involving food) as well as Britain's descent into second-class nation status in the postwar period (not to mention the background of the Americans' stupid war in Vietnam), played in tempting British rock stars of the late 60's/mid 70's to dabble in Nazi imagery?

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15 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

More speculation, as long as we're speculating:  I wonder what effect wartime deprivations (it's mentioned in Hammer of the Gods as context for some debauchery with groupies involving food) as well as Britain's descent into second-class nation status in the postwar period (not to mention the background of the Americans' stupid war in Vietnam), played in tempting British rock stars of the late 60's/mid 70's to dabble in Nazi imagery?

Good question but no clue on my end. However I can tell you my father grew up in abstract poverty, 15 people (parents & 13 kids) in a two bedroom, one bath 1,100sq ft house. He would have to literally fist fight his siblings for food as my grandfather made them. As a result my father ate his meals with one hand always on his glass with arm hooked around his plate, looked like a wild animal when he ate. He finally got over it when he turned 40. Deprivation can cause some weird behaviors in some people.

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22 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

 I wonder what effect wartime deprivations...as well as Britain's descent into second-class nation status in the postwar period...played in tempting British rock stars of the late 60's/mid 70's to dabble in Nazi imagery?

I'd say none. It was an easy way to piss off the older generation. That's it. 

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27 minutes ago, Brigante said:

I'd say none. It was an easy way to piss off the older generation. That's it. 

I always thought it funny the "selective" manner in which Nazi imagery is either accepted (The Producers, made only 22 years after WWII), or derided (Jimmy wearing an SS cap or Prince Harry in Nazi uniform at Halloween party).

It is so random it makes no sense. 

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Indeed. If the media likes somebody, they get a free pass. If they don't and they see a chance to put the boot in, they'll pick on anything - and any hint of Nazi imagery is an open goal to them. They don't actually care - it's just an opportunity to give somebody a slap. Prince Harry in fancy dress? I laughed. Half of Prince Harry's paternal aunties were married to actual Nazis and Hitler would've put his great-uncle David back on the throne if he'd won - but Prince Harry hasn't got the brains to even know any of that, let alone understand it - he was just a braying lout, taking the piss. British tv used to be full of fancy dress Nazi and Hitler pisstakes -  mockery and ridicule are very good tools for undermining something. That's probably part of the reason Mel Brooks wrote The Producers in the first place. 

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