Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass published last week a new poem criticizing Israel’s policies against Iran. Grass, Germany’s most famous living author and the 1999 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature has sparked outrage in Israel with the publication of a poem, “What must be said,” in which he sharply criticizes Israel’s policies on Iran.(Snip) ”The nuclear power Israel is endangering a world peace that is already fragile?” says Grass. As the controversy rages on in Israel & elsewhere a Palestinian boy waves his national flag in front of an Israeli soldier standing guard during a weekly protest against Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank village of Maasarah near Bethlehem on April 6, 2012. AFP, Getty Images
THE UNFOUNDED BAN
Guenter Grass is a German Nobel Laureate, who criticised Israel over its tensions with Iran. Grass was born as Günter Wilhelm Grass (on 16 October 1927) and is an author, poet, playwright, sculptor and artist. Born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland) Grass came to Germany as a refugee in 1945. But in his fiction he frequently returns to the Danzig of his childhood. He is best known for his first novel,
His works frequently have a left wing political dimension and Grass has been an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 2006, Grass acknowledged that at the age of 17 he had volunteered for submarine service, was not accepted and instead drafted into a Waffen-SS Panzer Division.
Grass has received dozens of international awards and in 1999 achieved the highest literary honor: the Nobel Prize in Literature. His literature is commonly categorised as part of the artistic movement of Vergangenheitsbewältigung, roughly translated as “coming to terms with the past.”
In 2002 Grass returned to the forefront of world literature with
Crabwalk (Im Krebsgang). This novella, one of whose main characters first appeared in Cat and Mouse, was Grass’ most successful work in decades.
The representatives of the City of Bremen joined together to establish the Günter Grass Foundation, with the aim of establishing a centralized collection of his numerous works, especially his many personal readings, videos and films. The Günter Grass House in Lübeck houses exhibitions of his drawings and sculptures, an archive and a library.
Last week Grass published a poem (see below) claiming that Israel is endangering world peace by threatening
The Israeli Interior Ministry in a statement said that Grass’ poem titled “What Must Be Said,” published in Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung and other international papers, was an “attempt to inflame hatred against the State of Israel and people of Israel, and thus to advance the idea to which he was publicly affiliated in his past donning of the SS uniform.”
“If Guenter wants to continue publicizing his distorted and false works, I suggest he do it in Iran, where he will find a supportive audience,” The ministry official added.
Grass in an interview published in Germany over the weekend said that his poem should have been phrased differently, to make it clear that his poem targeted the current Israeli government, not Israel as a whole.
“Gunter Grass’s shameful moral equivalence between Israel and Iran, a regime that denies the Holocaust and threatens to annihilate Israel, says little about Israel and much about Mr. Grass,” Netanyahu said.
Grass, 84, wrote that Israel is “endangering world peace” and criticizes the German government for its support of the Jewish state.
The Israeilis further said, “If he wants to spread his twisted and lying works, we uggest he does this from Iran, where he can find a supportive audience.”
Grass published the poem called “What Must Be Said” last Wednesday in which he claimed a nuclear Israel was a threat to world peace and called for supervision of both Israel and Iran’s nuclear facilities.
| Here’s the poem so you DECIDE:
‘What Must Be Said’ by Günter Grass
But why have I kept silent till now?
Because I thought my own origins,
Tarnished by a stain that can never be removed,
meant I could not expect Israel, a land
to which I am, and always will be, attached,
to accept this open declaration of the truth.
Why only now, grown old,
and with what ink remains, do I say:
Israel’s atomic power endangers
an already fragile world peace?
Because what must be said
may be too late tomorrow;
and because – burdened enough as Germans –
we may be providing material for a crime
that is foreseeable, so that our complicity
wil not be expunged by any
of the usual excuses.
And granted: I’ve broken my silence
because I’m sick of the West’s hypocrisy;
and I hope too that many may be freed
from their silence, may demand
that those responsible for the open danger we face renounce the use of force,
may insist that the governments of
both Iran and Israel allow an international authority
free and open inspection of
the nuclear potential and capability of both.
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