13 April, Berlin
German Nobel laureate Guenter Grass died at Berlin today. He was 87. Grass made his literary reputation with “The Tin Drum,” published in 1959.
Three decades after its release, in 1999, the Swedish Academy honored Grass with the Nobel Prize for literature, praising him for setting out to revive German literature after the Nazi era.
Guenter Grass is considered to have given a voice to the generation that came of age during the horrors of the Nazi era .
However, Grass later ran into controversy over his own World War II past and stance toward Israel. He provoked the ire of many in 2006 when he revealed in his memoir “Skinning the Onion” that, as a teenager, he had served in the Waffen-SS, the combat arm of Adolf Hitler’s notorious paramilitary organization.
Again in 2012, Grass drew sharp criticism at home after publishing a poem, in which he criticized the Western hypocrisy over Israel’s nuclear program and labeled Tel Aviv a threat to already fragile world peace.