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Die Welt - Germany | Monday, August 14, 2006

Günter Grass was in the Waffen-SS

Novelist Burkhard Spinnen, born in 1956, calls for a "gentle" reaction to Grass's admission and notes that Günter Grass learned from his mistake in a way that many others haven't. "There was a time when my father used to receive invitations from the various veteran soldiers' clubs. My mother remembers him saying: 'You can throw them away!' Günter Grass is one of the few among his generation who has shown ways of thinking and appeals for action that go beyond forbidding contact with mass hysteria and criminal ideologies. This 'flaw' in his biography has not only been a source of self-discipline and self-criticism but has also motivated his lifelong struggle to improve the general situation. Therefore we sons and daughters of such fathers should be as 'gentle' as we can in our reaction to this confession."

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