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Günter Grass was Germany’s troubled conscience

The author acknowledged the extent of his complicity with the Nazis before his death

By Sameer Rahim  
Gunter Grass, who has died at the age of 87. ( © Maurizio Gambarini/PA)

Gunter Grass, who has died at the age of 87. ( © Maurizio Gambarini/PA)

 

Günter Grass, who has died at the age of 87, was the most audacious German novelist of his generation. His first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), was narrated by Oskar Matzerath, a dwarf writing his memoirs in an insane asylum. That exhilarating work addressed Germany’s suspension of morality during the war from an oblique, almost fantasy-like perspective. It also dared to show…

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