Gunter Grass (pictured) admits he was in Waffen SS, Walesa is not pleased.
More nonsense from the Polish – German relations front?
Lech Walesa, Gdansk’s most famous son, thinks that Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass, Gdansk’s other famous son (when it was known as Danzig) thinks that the author of the Tin Drum and many other works should give up his honorary citizenship of Gdansk.
The Independent writes:
Grass told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that, aged 17, he was called to the Waffen SS 10th Armoured Division, the combat arm of Hitler's paramilitary forces.
Grass, 78, said in the interview: "My silence over all these years is one of the reasons I wrote this book. It had to come out, finally."
He has written a book of recollections, which details his war service. The book is due out in September.
Walesa, also an honorary citizen of Gdansk says he feels ‘uncomfortable’ in Grass’s company.
Ruling Law and Justice member of parliament, Jacek Kurski has also called on Grass to return his honorary citizenship.
Spiegel online reports:
From the middle of 1944 until the end of the war in the spring of 1945, Grass served in the Frundsberg tank division of the elite military outfit. Previously, he had contended that he was teenage helper of an anti-aircraft unit.
Grass makes the revelations in his new autobiography, While Peeling the Onion. In it he says that he was only in the SS for around 9 months just before the end of the war and did not fire a shot.
Some in Germany are calling for his Nobel prize to be stripped. It’s not that he served in the SS – albeit not as a volunteer – that has angered the German press but that he concealed the fact for so long.
And what about other, elderly German gentlemen who got caught up in the Nazi machine in their youth? Would devout Catholic Lech Walesa object to being in the same company as...Pope Benedict?