This Saturday fascist Neo-Folk band Death in June will be ending their U.S. tour at the Bell House in Brooklyn. The tour is already mired with difficulty after vandalism in L.A., San Francisco, and a last minute venue-switch in Salem. We stand in solidarity with anti-fascists answering the call to disrupt the tour, but after discussion this collective has decided we will not be protesting the NY show. Our contribution, instead, will be to explain why Death in June is, in fact, a fascist project.
Many think that, despite the controversy, seeing Death in June will be just another concert. This account of last week’s show at the Mezzanine in San Francisco by a fascist blogger tells a different story:
“I wonder what percentage of the audience in San Francisco actually sympathize with National Socialism or White Nationalism more broadly. Judging from close semiotic readings of physiognomies, hairstyles, clothing, tattoos, accessories, Nazi uniforms, and Sieg Heiling, I would say there were a few. But the main reason to like Death in June, of course, is the music, and I am sure that the solid majority of the audience were there for that alone.
What this means, politically, is an open question. But any signs of cracks in Jewish-led anti-white coalition of homosexuals, feminists, environmentalists, and liberals should be welcomed by White Nationalists.”
Supporters of Death in June who are not dyed-in-the-wool fascists claim that Doug Pearce’s use of Nazi imagery is fetishistic shtick, that he works with Jewish artists and people of color, and actually comes from the leftist and anti-fascist 80s British punk scene. Those who are naïve enough to believe this line are encouraged to read-on.
Starting out in early punk band Crisis, Doug Pearce soon became disaffected with punk and the Left and moved onto “sunnier pastures,” as he said in an interview now published on an Italian White Nationalist website.
The change in genre coincided with a newfound interest in National Bolshevism and third-position fascism. This movement of occidentalist romanticism for a mythical pre-Modern and White Europe and focuses on the historical convergence of socialism and fascism. Constituting the so called “left” of the Nazi Party, Gregor Strasser’s Brownshirts represented these politics during the formation of the Third Reich. Drawing on Strasserian National-Socialism, Pearce named his new project “Death in June,” referring to the “Night of the Long Knives” when the Hitlerian wing of the Nazi party murdered Gregor Strasser and his faction.
His account: “At the start of the eighties, Tony and I were involved in radical left politics and beneath it history students. In search of a political view for the future we came across National Bolshevism which is closely connected with the SA hierarchy. People like Gregor Strasser and Ernst Röhm who were later known as ‘second revolutionaries’ attracted our attention.”
A major motivation of the DiJ project is speculating on how things would have turned out had this faction succeeded. But this is not much of a mystery. The Nationalism proposed by Strasser would still be based on a racist and anti-Semitic rejection of “outsiders” that “pollute” the “National characters” of Western countries. Pogroms, deportations, and terror against Jews, Roma, Homosexuals etc. were still inevitable. Strasser’s SA lead the boycott of Jewish businesses and the execution of communists and anarchists.
In interviews and on stage, Pearce has echoed this racist, xenophobic, White Supremacist, and Nationalist sentiment.
From Who Makes the Nazis [bold is added in all quotes]:
“In May 1999, a few days after BNP member David Copeland nail-bombed Brixton and Brick Lane markets and The Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, Death In June played The Garage in Islington (with fellow Nazi-admirers NON and Der Blutharsch). Copeland killed 3 people and injured 129. It has been widely corroborated that Pearce dedicated a song from the stage to the ‘White Wolves’ – a neo-Nazi grouping who had initially claimed responsibility for these atrocities. In much the same spirit, a valedictory message was posted to the Di6 Yahoo group forum immediately following Anders Breivik’s Utoya massacre, and mainland bombing.
The inference here is clear, despite the characteristic coyness; a diffidence which extends to the endlessly recycled back catalogue items listed for sale on the official Death In June website. “We STRONGLY recommend that all those living in Germany wishing to order ‘BROWN BOOK’ (Achtung!) UeBER DO NOT(!!) order direct from NER as random Customs checks do exist between the U.K. and the mainland of Europa… Talk to any of the million zillion illegal immigrants that now wander lonely as a black cloud through Europa’s streets forlorn….. Those not living in little red angel’s po-faced, goody 2 shoes Germany are also free to take advantage of these internet mail order firms….” he advises. The album in question, 1987′s Brown Book contains a version of the SA anthem ‘Horst-Wessel-Lied’, and has therefore been totally banned for sale or distribution by the German authorities”
Some more quotes demonstrating Pearce’s vile racism. Apologies for his use of caps:
AS I’VE SAID IN A PREVIOUS QUESTION I TRULY FEEL THAT ENGLAND, AND PROBABLY TO A LESSER EXTENT, MAINLAND EUROPA, HAS SEVERE STOCK PROBLEMS. THAT, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE HAS ONLY GOT WORSE. THOSE WHO SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO BREED ARE DOING SO WITH SUCH FREQUENCY THAT THE UK IS BEING OVER POPULATED BY MORONS WITH NOTHING TO DO EXCEPT HARASS THE REST OF THE POPULATION. THERE IS NO OTHER PLACE FOR THEM. BRITAIN AS AN INDUSTRIAL
POWER IS A THING OF YESTERYEAR. LARGE POOLS OF MANUAL, UNSKILLED LABOURERS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED. HOWEVER, THE OLD HABITS LINGER ON. MONEY IS STILL GIVEN TO THOSE WHO BREED. THE MORE KIDS YOU HAVE THE MORE MONEY YOU GET. THIS IS TOTALLY UNREAL. IN A COUNTRY THAT NOW GAINS ITS INCOME FROM THE ARTS, HIGH TECHNOLOGY AND TOURISM THERE ARE FEW PLACES FOR THOSE CAPABLE OF ONLY PUSHING A BROOM IN FRONT OF THEM.
BRITAIN IMPORTED MILLIONS OF UNSKILLED LABOURERS FROM THE COLONIES OR THAT KIND OF WORK AND LOOK WHAT A HUGE SUCCESS THAT WAS! THE HATRED IS BARELY RESTRAINED INTO THE OCCASSIONAL RIOT. I DON’T LIKE BEING IN A PLACE WITH SUCH AN ATMOSPHERE. EVEN GERMANY, THE FORMER RICHEST COUNTRY IN WESTERN EUROPA (sic) SEEMS TO BE TANGIBLY FALLING TO BITS. IT IS NO LONGER AS CLEAN AND AS WELL ORGANISED AS I REMEMBER FROM, SAY, 10 YEARS AGO. IT HAS BEEN FLOODED BY THOSE WHO WANT BUT, WITH LITTLE TO GIVE!“
“IT’S HARD NOT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE “END TIME” AS WE RACE
TOWARDS THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM. I DO THINK ABOUT IT AND I DO WONDER IF ALL THE PROPHECIES FROM ALL THE DIFFERENT RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD WILL COME TRUE OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS/YEARS. I EVEN SOMETIMES WONDER HOW PROPHETIC SOME OF MY WORDS COULD BE. I FEEL THAT ‘PURITY OF INTENT’ SHOULD ALWAYS DICTATE ART OF WORTH – IN ALL ITS FORMS. I’M VERY CAREFUL WITH THE WORDS I CHOOSE. “EUROPA HAS BURNED AND WILL BURN AGAIN” BECAME ONLY TOO TRUE. UNFORTUNATELY!
THE WORLD SEEMS TO BE SO FULL OF SO MANY DANGERS THAT IT’S HARD TO SINGLE ANY PARTICULAR ONES OUT. CERTAINLY THE MOST OBVIOUS THAT SPRING TO MIND ARE THE GROWTHS IN ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM AND OUT OF CONTROL BREEDING. EVEN IN EUROPA, WITH ZERO POPULATION GROWTH IN MANY COUNTRIES, THOSE WHO ARE DOING THE BREEDING APPEAR TO ME, AND I THINK MANY OTHERS, TO BE OF DUBIOUS CHARACTER. THEY FUCK, THEY HAVE KIDS AND THAT IS ALL THEY DO! I DON’T BELIEVE THAT IS ENOUGH!! I DON’T THINK I NEED TO TELL ANY RUSSIAN ABOUT ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM. I ALWAYS BACKED THE FORMER U.S.S.R IN AFGHANISTAN AND FEEL THE WEST, BY BACKING THE WRONG SIDE IN THAT WAR HAS STILL YET TO PAY THE FULL PRICE OF THAT MISTAKE. I’VE NEVER AGREED WITH THE PHILOSOPHY THAT IF HE IS MY ENEMY’S ENEMY HE MUST BE MY FRIEND. THAT TRULY IS NAIVE. AUSTRALIA IS NOW EXPERIENCING THE CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH NAIVETY WITH INDONESIA. BY THE TIME YOU GET THIS WE COULD BE AT WAR WITH THEM. TRADITIONAL ENEMIES WERE NEVER FRIENDS!”
“As Dutch, British and French explorers literally put this Great Southern Land on the map it would be ridiculous to say that modern day Australia is anything other than a grand – and successful – outpost of
Euro-colonialism and, more specifically Anglo-Celt British colonialism. It’s a fact of life like the Euro-colonization of the Americas etc. If it was an outpost of, let’s say, Iranian or Zimbabwean colonialism would so many people still be so desperately trying to get into Australia by any means necessary, legal or otherwise? It’s doubtful. Thank the Gods for Euro-colonialism!“
“What should we do with Mankind? Surely, it could shine better than it does? Or, should we push it towards the edge and “start afresh for Love and for Death”? My experiences make me naturally suspicious and fearful of the mass of Humanity. Is there any real escape from “humanity” and the confines of “good and bad”. To paraphrase PERE UBU, “I don’t need a cure, I need a Final Solution!” How could a fat Jehova’s Witness sing something so Correct?”
(Thanks to Bay Area Antifa for compiling these quotes)
But it is not just Pearce’s words and aesthetics that promote fascism, it is also his actions. Besides selling fascist literature at his shows, the proceeds of his “Something is Coming album” were donated to the Bolnichi Clinic in Zagreb, Croatia during the Balkan conflict, Pearce has said “This was not purely a humanitarian gesture. It was a cultural one. A socio-Euro political one.” The clinic was for wounded veterans of Croatian fascist militias.
Many think Pearce’s homosexuality is proof of his inability to be a Nazi sympathizer. In his own words, this is not the case. From the Bay Area Antifa call:
“While many claim that his work is clearly shock value because Douglas P. is gay, I am queer and recognize his aesthetic to be aligned with that of the SA who was lead by a gay fascist named Ernst Rohm.
Gay historian Frank Rector wrote “Although it was clear the Nazi party viewed homosexuals negatively, as was evident from the destruction of Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institute of Sexual Science in Berlin, “some gays [in the SS] may have been reconciled by the knowledge that Hitler’s right hand man, Ernst Rohm, was a homosexual.”
Gay columnist Johann Hari writes “Rohm often referred to the ancient
Greek tradition of sending gay solider couples into battle, because they were believed to be the most ferocious fighters. The famous pass of Thermopylae, for example was held by 300 soldiers – who consisted of 150 gay couples. In its early years, the SA – Hitler and Rohm’s
underground army – was seen as predominantly gay. Rohm assigned
prominent posts to his lovers, making Edmund Heines his deputy and Karl
Ernst the SA commander in Berlin. The organisation would sometimes meet
in gay bars. The gay art historian Christian Isermayer said in an
interview, ‘I got to know people in the SA. They used to throw riotous
parties even in 1933… I once attended one. It was quite well-behaved but thoroughly gay. But then, in those days, the SA was ‘ultra-gay.’ “
The SA was one of the most violent fascist groups during World War
II. In this 2011 interview Douglas Pearce acknowledges his interest in
gay fascist Ernst Rohm:
Douglas Pearce – “Regarding being Gay in the S.A. the early Nazi movement and brotherhood etc. then at this late stage of the game with few, if any, surviving members that were involved in any of that at the time we can only surmise or read books and wonder. And, it is a big wonder! A truly fascinating question as to what was, and what might have been. However, it’s an impossible question to answer with any accuracy. The only thing I can say is that nearly 20 years ago I did have a conversation with a then member of the SS who later became in the war a very high ranking member of the Waffen SS and was around in those early days in 1930s Germany and he said that during the Night Of The Long Knives the question of homosexuality was never brought up. They weren’t sure exactly what was happening when they were told to be on alert at the end of June, 1934 and that they expected an attempt on Hitler’s life from elements in the Storm Troops (S.A.) The Gay angle appeared only after the purge of Ernst Roehm and his comrades as some sort of extra excuse made up by Goering and Goebbels as to why such a purge was necessary. About a year later homosexuality then also became officially illegal in Germany which up until then had no specific laws against being Gay. That was unlike Britain or the USA which had outlawed homosexuality for decades and where it was still punishable by imprisonment and sometimes death. Hitler doesn’t have seemed to have made any direct comments, or even be concerned, about any of his close comrades being Gay and, in fact, there are strong rumours that when he was a struggling artist in Vienna he did spend time being a male prostitute to help pay his bills etc. Being Gay and being aligned to the Nazi Party certainly didn’t become apparently mutually exclusive until the change of laws in 1935.“
Likewise, his use of the Gestapo’s version of the Totenkopf shows his reverence for Nazism:
“The Totenkopf is used all over Europe as a sign of total commitment, so I’ve never really had any problems with it. When I thought of Death In June it was really the be all and end all of my life – it still is – so that’s why I chose to use that symbol, plus the fact that the simple symbolism reads easy. The Totenkopf for Death, and the six for the sixth month – June. I’ve always been interested, intrigued…and I suppose obsessive with symbols in so many ways and that particular one is a
For evidence of Pearce’s use of more esoteric fascist imagery, take a look at the second item posted here: http://www.deathinjune.net/news.htm
On both sides of the vinyl are Nazi iconography. The typical SS Totenkampf on the front, and the Black Sun on the back. While both images have roots pre-dating the Third Reich, they are both Nazi designs exclusively used by White Nationalists.
Another argument is that Pearce performed in Israel. Strangely enough, many neo-Fascists maintain a balance of anti-Semitism and support for Zionism. Pearce, who seems to be more of an Islamophobe than an anti-Semite is such an example. In his Euro-Centric worldview, Zionisim represents the import of Western values to a savage Islamic world. He says of his Israel show: “There are some fantastic people there and God knows how they cope with that situation day in and day out. But, I’m sure the rest of the Western World will find out soon enough.”
And if this wasn’t enough, here’s Pearce flatly stating his sympathy with racism (to put it nicely):
Interview: In interviews you’ve expressed Eurocentrics. How do you feel about fans that are Eurocentric/Racialist?
Douglas: Depending upon their ‘ version ‘ of Eurocentric Racialism, then 9 times out of 10 I feel very comfortable with it. [Source]
After reading these quotes from Man Behind the Mask himself, how can one argue that Death in June’s fascism is only an aesthetic? We urge fans of Death in June’s music to reconsider their financial support of the band, and we urge promoters worldwide to look past the dollar signs of sold-out shows and to stop the spread of Douglas Pearce’s racist ideology.
Some sources for the above quotes:
 – excerpt from – Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals by Frank Rector (New York 1981)