Günter Grass's revelations about his Nazi past will end the temptation to take his political pronouncements seriously—which is no bad thingby Hans Kundnani / November 19, 2006 / Leave a comment
Published in November 2006 issue of Prospect Magazine
Beim Häuten der Zwiebel by Günter Grass
To most people outside Germany, Günter Grass is just a writer. In Germany, however, he has always been something more. Since revealing this August that, as a 17 year old, he was a member of the Waffen-SS, Grass has regularly been described as Germany’s “moral conscience.” Yet even that description does not quite convey his precise role in postwar Germany or explain the wider significance of the revelation, made—cynically, his critics say—ahead of the publication of his memoir, Beim Häuten der Zwiebel (Peeling the Onion, to be published in Britain next September).