Grass, Günter (Wilhelm)


Grass, Günter (Wilhelm)

biographical name


Grass—Authenticated News International

(born Oct. 16, 1927, Danzig) German novelist, poet, and playwright. Grass was involved in the Hitler Youth, was drafted at age 17 and wounded in battle, and became a prisoner of war. His extraordinary first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), brought him international fame, and he became the literary spokesman for the German generation that grew up in the Nazi era. Together with Cat and Mouse (1961) and Dog Years (1963), it forms a trilogy set in Danzig (now Gdansk, Pol.). His other works, all politically topical, include The Flounder (1977); The Call of the Toad (1992), about the uneasy relationship between Poland and reunified Germany; A Broad Field (1995), controversial for expressing his view that reunification was a mistake; and My Century (1999). He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. Grass's disclosure in his memoir Beim Häuten der Zwiebel (2006; Peeling the Onion) that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS (the elite military wing of the Nazi Party) during World War II caused widespread controversy.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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