Friday, April 6, 2012

Günter Grass's Israel poem provokes outrage

Germany's most celebrated writer's lyrical warning of a looming Israeli aggression against Iran triggers international row
Günter Grass
Günter Grass’s poem What Must Be Said was first published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

During his long literary career, Günter Grass has been many things. Author, playwright, sculptor and, unquestionably, Germany's most famous living writer. There is the 1999 Nobel prize and Grass's broader postwar role as the country's moral conscience – albeit a claim badly undermined in 2006 when it emerged that the teenage Grass had served in the Waffen SS. But at the ripe old age of 84, Grass has triggered a furious row with a poem criticising Israel.

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