Silence is not Golden: the case of Gunter Grass

The death on April 23, 2015 at age 87 of Günter Grass, the prominent German novelist who was long silent about his own past in Nazi Germany, presents an opportunity to question the combination in his personal behavior of forthrightness, truth and fiction, as well as the general unending discussion of moral culpability and responsibility of Germans in relation to the Nazi regime. Can the German people be held collectively responsible for the Nazi crimes? To what extent has there been insufficient acknowledgment of personal responsibility for participation in or tacit approval of those crimes through silence? Günter Grass, a native of Danzig (now Gdansk), born in October 1927, was Germany’s most well known writer, as well as an artist, sculptor, and poet, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1999 and was also an activist left wing intellectual in the Social Democratic Party, taking part in national and international political discussions. He knew that political...(Read Full Article)