Günter Grass Replies





The Nobel Prize-winning German author Günter Grass, stung by condemnation after his confession that he served with the elite Nazi Waffen SS in World War II, responded yesterday by saying: “It is surely also an attempt by some people to make me persona non grata. That is why I am grateful that there are also discriminating opposing views.” Agence France-Presse reported that Mr. Grass had told the German news agency DPA that his service in the Waffen SS shamed him, and that he had tried ever since to lead an upstanding life.

Yesterday Lech Walesa, the former president of Poland and a Nobel peace laureate, was joined by the ruling party of Poland in calling upon Mr. Grass, best known for his 1959 novel, “The Tin Drum,’’ to relinquish his honorary citizenship of his birthplace, the port city of Gdansk (formerly Danzig) in northern Poland. Mr. Walesa, also an honorary citizen of the city, where the defiantly anti-Communist Solidarity movement was born, said, “If it had been known he was in the SS, he would never have received the honor,” Agence France-Presse reported.

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