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Gnter Grass

Gnter Wilhelm Grass, Nobel Prize-winning German author, was born in Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) on October 16, 1927. His parents had a grocery store in Danzig Langfuhr.

Grass attended the Danzig Gymnasium Conradinum. Drafted into the Arbeitsdienst, he was wounded in 1945 and sent to an American prison-camp. In 1946 and 1947 he worked in a mine and received a stonemason's education. For many years he studied sculpture and graphics, first in Dsseldorf, then in Berlin. He also worked as an author and travelled frequently. He married in 1954 and since 1960 has lived in Berlin as well as part-time in Schleswig-Holstein. He took an active role in the Social-Democratic (SPD) party and supported Willy Brandt. Divorced in 1978, he remarried in 1979.

Grass became active in the peace movement and visited Calcutta for six months.

From 1983 to 1986 he held the presidency of the Berlin Akademie der Knste (Academy of Arts).

During the revolution of 1989-90, Grass argued for continued separation of the two Germanies, asserting that a unified Germany would necessarily resume its role as belligerent nation-state. He abandoned his mission of gradual socialist reform through the existing West German political institutions. Grass instead adopted a philosophy of direct action, similar to that advocated by the younger generation of 1968.

English-speaking readers probably know Grass best as the author of The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) (film version by director Volker Schlndorff). He received dozens of international awards and in 1999 achieved the highest literary honor: the Nobel Prize for Literature. His literature is commonly categorized as part of the artistic movement of Vergangenheitsbewltigung.

Representatives of the City of Bremen joined together to establish the Gnter Grass Foundation, with the aim of establishing a centralized collection of his numerous works, especially his many personal readings, videos and films. The Gnter Grass House in Lbeck houses exhibitions, an archive and a library.

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Comments on World War II

My literary and political work was mostly involved with this German guilt. But in all these years I have had the feeling that we should also speak about our own victims. (Gunter Grass talks to Tom Rosenthal about being in Dresden after the bombing) (
We did begin this, we Germans, with Coventry and Liverpool and London, but Dresden was also a crime. There was no military reason to bomb the city. (ibid.) (


  • Danziger Trilogie
    • Die Blechtrommel (1959)
    • Katz und Maus (1961)
    • Hundejahre (1963)
  • rtlich betubt (1969)
  • Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke (1972)
  • Der Butt (1979)
  • Das Treffen in Telgte (1979)
  • Kopfgeburten oder Die Deutschen sterben aus (1980)
  • Die Rttin (1986)
  • Zunge zeigen. Ein Tagebuch in Zeichnungen (1988)
  • Unkenrufe (1992)
  • Ein weites Feld (1995)
  • Mein Jahrhundert (1999)
  • Im Krebsgang (2002)
  • Letzte Tnze (2003)

English translations

External links

da:Gnter Grass de:Gnter Grass es:Gnter Grass eo:Gnter GRASS fi:Gnter Grass fr:Gnter Grass he:גינטר גראס hu:Gnter Grass is:Gnter Grass it:Gnter Grass ja:ギュンター・グラス ko:귄터 그라스 ku:Gnter Grass lv:Ginters Grass nl:Gnter Grass no:Gnter Grass pl:Gnter Grass sa:गुंटर ग्रास sv:Gnter Grass zh:君特·格拉斯


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