Dan Burros

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Daniel Burros
Born(1937-03-05)March 5, 1937
DiedOctober 31, 1965(1965-10-31) (aged 28)
Cause of deathSuicide by gunshot
Known forBeing a Jewish member of the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan

Daniel Burros (March 5, 1937 – October 31, 1965) was a Jewish American who joined the American Nazi Party (ANP) and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). While initially an ANP member, Burros became a Kleagle for the KKK's United Klans of America (UKA) in the aftermath of a falling-out between him and ANP founder George L. Rockwell. The UKA was the most violent white supremacist group within the KKK at the time.[1]

On October 31, 1965, Burros' Jewish heritage was exposed to the public by American journalist John McCandlish Phillips, Jr., who published an article about Burros in The New York Times. Some hours after the article was published, Burros committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest and then in the head. He was reportedly listening to music composed by German composer Richard Wagner prior to his death.[2]

He was highly influenced by American far-right theorist Francis Parker Yockey, who advocated the establishment of a pan-European empire.[3]

Early life[edit]

Daniel Burros was born to Jewish parents George and Esther Sunshine Burros in the Bronx. The family moved to Queens a few years later and Burros attended Hebrew school at Talmud Torah in Richmond Hill, where his bar mitzvah was held in 1950.[4]

Military career[edit]

Burros expressed a desire to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point (which never came to fruition). However, he enlisted in the National Guard while still in high school and wore his uniform to class on drill days. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1955, but he was later discharged after a series of suicide attempts involving the ingestion of large amounts of aspirin and non-fatal cuts on his wrists. He praised Adolf Hitler in a suicide note. His discharge was ascribed to "reasons of unsuitability, character, and behavior disorder".[5]

Political activity[edit]

Burros eventually joined the American Nazi Party. He was an editor of the party's newsletter, Stormtrooper.[6] Burros's Jewish heritage had been suspected by a number of fellow American Nazi Party members. Many of Rockwell's stormtroopers distrusted Burros not only for being Jewish, but also a self-hating Jew, and for his bizarre behavior. Burros would sometimes bring a knish to the American Nazi Party headquarters and make such statements as "Let's eat this good Jew food!" Burros also frequently spent time with Jewish women. In one incident, described in William H. Schmaltz' 1999 book, Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party, Burros once publicly described a lurid fantasy in which the keys of a piano were modified to deliver electric shocks via wires attached to the Jewish victim of their choice. He believed that the combination of music from the piano and the electric shocks would cause them to convulse in rhythm to the piano and provide entertainment. Another example is that he owned a bar of soap wrapped in paper with the words "made from the finest Jewish fat" imprinted on it.[5] According to the writer Martin Lee, "a former Nazi associate claimed that Burros enjoyed torturing dogs, including his own pet, Gas Chambers".[6]

In 1964, Burros and seven other neo-Nazis were convicted of trying to incite a riot at a civil rights demonstration. Each of them, including Burros, was sentenced to one to two years in prison. Burros was freed on bail pending an appeal.[7][8]

During the investigation into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, it was found that Lee Harvey Oswald had Burros listed in his address book.[3]


Burros's Jewish background was made public in a New York Times article written by reporter John McCandlish Phillips.[9] Phillips initially tried to reach out to Burros by bringing up statements which indicated that he felt trapped in the racist movement. However, his attempts were unsuccessful. Not long after the Times issue disclosing the revelations of his Jewish heritage went on sale, Burros died by suicide in the residence of his friend and fellow Klansman Roy Frankhouser in Reading, Pennsylvania.[10]

In a press conference, a morose George Lincoln Rockwell praised Burros's dedication. He took the opportunity to rail against Jews, whom he referred to as "a unique people with a distinct mass of mental disorders" and ascribed Burros's instability and suicide to "this unfortunate Jewish psychosis".[11] Despite the fact that Burros was a Jew and distrusted by his stormtroopers, Rockwell had wished to maintain at least a working relationship with him.

Analysis of being a self-hating Jew[edit]

Burros is sometimes cited as an example of a self-hating Jew. He was also influenced by Francis Parker Yockey's Imperium.[12]

The story of Dan Burros was also loosely adapted into Henry Bean's 2001 film The Believer. It also inspired the fifth episode of the first season of the TV series Lou Grant, titled "Nazi", which aired on October 18, 1977,[13] and the season 5 episode of Cold Case titled "Spiders".


  1. ^ Ted Robert Gurr. Violence in America: The History of Crime. Sage, 2004. pages 142–143
  2. ^ The Believer DVD, "An Interview with Director Henry Bean", 2001
  3. ^ a b Coogan, Kevin (1999). Dreamer of the day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. pp. 585–586. ISBN 1-57027-039-2.
  4. ^ Old Smoke: The Death of Daniel Burros: A Jewish Klansman who did more than just hate himself
  5. ^ a b From Jew to Jew-hater: the curious life (and death) of Daniel Burros. Archived February 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b Lee, Martin A. (2000). The beast reawakens. New York. ISBN 978-1-135-28124-3. OCLC 858861623.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ "Neo-nazis Given Stiff Prison Terms, Denounced As 'hatemongers'". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  8. ^ "SIX GET JAIL TERMS IN BRONX DINER CASE". The New York Times. 1964-07-17. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  9. ^ State Klan Leader Hides Secret of Jewish Origin.
  10. ^ Bryk, William (25 February 2003). "Old Smoke: The Death of Daniel Burros: A Jewish Klansman who did more than just hate himself".
  11. ^ William H. Schmaltz, Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party, 1999., Pg. 263
  12. ^ Phillips, McCandlish (1965-10-31). "State Klan Leader Hides Secret of Jewish Origin". New York Times. p. 1.
  13. ^ "Hulu - Lou Grant: Nazi - Watch the full episode now". Archived from the original on 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-12-20.

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