Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gunter Grass: Leftist Scold Was A Member Of The SS

Anyone unfamiliar with author Gunter Grass and his cultural role in Germany probably can't appreciate how shocking it is to have Grass confess after all these years that he joined the SS just a few months before the end of World War II. Since the publication of "The Tin Drum" in the Fifties, Grass has been the conscience of Germany, often condemning it for refusing to look clearly at its Nazi past. To find out he's been hiding his own role (we already knew he served and Grass has said he joined the Hitler Youth and believed in it and Hitler right up to the end of the war) is stunning. Authors like John Irving and Salman Rushdie are defending him while others like Lech Walesa have been furious. Walesa said Grass should renounce his honorary citizenship in a Polish town. Others diagreed.
Adam Michnik, the editor of the daily Gazeta Wyborcza, also spoke up for Mr. Grass, adding that “literature has never been Lech Walesa’s strong card.”

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