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Kumpfmüller, Michael

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 17/08/2006

Eva Menasse and Michael Kumpfmüller on false debates

"It's a genuine Methuselah complot" write novelists Eva Menasse (born in 1970) and Michael Kümpfmüller (born in 1961) commenting on the hoards of over 70-year-olds who are flooding German feuilletons with their views on the Grass affair. "It's time this country finally freed itself from the narcissistic narrow-mindedness of its discourse on National Socialism; that it puts an end to all the navel-gazing and turns its attention to the world instead… It's disgraceful that in the space of three days the Grass affair has provoked more commentaries and moralistic views from German poets and intellectuals than the war in northern Israel and southern Lebanon did in the 33 days before these revelations… Where were all those German intellectuals who would have claimed: 'It doesn't take Auschwitz to get us to express our views here?' Or - 'We're on Israel's side not because Nazi Germany killed six million Jews but because Israel is a democratic state with enemies who want to destroy not just Israel but all democratic, pro-Western societies'?"

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