Wir sind es ja gewohnt, von Günter Grass Ratschläge zu Gott und der Welt zu erhalten. Erwünschte und weniger erwünschte Ratschläge. Immer natürlich mit dem erhobenen Zeigefinger der moralischen Entrüstung.
Remember the sad, sad story of left-wing, anti-American German poet and Nobel prize winner Guenter Grass, who - somewhat belatedly at the age of 80 - admitted his membership in the Division Frundsberg of the Waffen-SS in 1944?
Grass never spoke about his relation to Adolf Hitler - though he apparently was close to him in Berlin during the testing last days of WWII, as we can prove now. Medienkritik's history department is to be credited for the unearthing of this sensational photo:
"Guenter, I know you won't disappoint me" An emotional meeting of two German titans in the last days of WWII: Fuehrer Adolf Hitler and future Nobel prize winner Guenter Grass in April 1945. (Original photo optimized by Alexander)
Well, Guenter, now we know the root causes of your anti-capitalist, anti-American views post 1945...
Update: Stephen Brown and Jacob Laksin at Frontpagemagazin.com argue that anti-Americanism is the connecting link between the SS enthusiasm of the young Grass and his left-wing positions in later years:
At first blush, Grass’s conversion from SS man and Hitler admirer to leftist icon and relentless foe of capitalism, German bourgeois society and especially America, may seem incongruous. But as German commentator Jens Jessen, writing in the newspaper Die Zeit, notes, there is a common thread underlying his political weltanschauung. Jessen writes that in his work "Grass points out with verve the anti-bourgeois attitude of the Nazis" and the fascination of the Nazi 'Volksgemeinschaft' (people's community), in which there are no ‘class differences and religious darkness.’” At 78 years of age, Jessen darkly comments, the Nobel laureate still appears like someone “who could again immediately fall into another ideology if only it were anti-bourgeoisie enough and promised an end to the class society.” (...) Paul Hollander once wrote that “[f]or Grass, as for many other critics, the rejection of the United States and the rejection of his own society became intertwined; he detested West German society primarily because it was becoming Americanized, that is, materialistic, greedy, and polluted physically as well as spiritually.” (Hat tip Stefan Herre)
61 years after the end of the war, the today nearly 80 year old Nobel Prize winner Guenter Grass, literary monument of post war Germany, the doyen of the anti-American German left, admits he joined the Frundsberg division of the Waffen-SS in 1944 – voluntarily. You can inform yourself about the niggling details of the enlistment in the FAZ cultural section's interview conducted on the occasion of the appearance of his autobiography “Vom Häuten der Zwiebel”.
Grass on his admission: „It had to come out, finally.“
Finally indeed. For decades Grass nursed the lie that he had been called up as an anti-aircraft support troop. So now Grass is a member of the Waffen-SS – that Waffen-SS, the one that drove Jews into the