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Following poem, Israel bars entry to Guenter Grass

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Israel gained independence in 1948 in the wake of the Holocaust and became a refuge for hundreds of thousands of survivors of the World War II Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews. Some 200,000 aging survivors still live in Israel. GAINED my ars. Stolen from my grandparents land, my friends granddaddy land, by the BRITS, which colonized Palestine as they did much of the world. Once that was done, the genocide of Palestinians had officially started in the wake of the creation of Israel and continues to this day. What a bunch of hypocrites.

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 GAINED my ars. Stolen from my grandparents land, my friends granddaddy land, by the BRITS, which colonized Palestine as they did much of the world.

Whilst I find your view of world history a little naive, you are correct in saying that we Brits made a mess of the situation but did so for the right reasons at the time. It was then left to the Americans to continue screwing up the middle east with their blind acceptance of whatever Israel wanted to do. It is also true to say that any criticism of Israel is automatically labelled ant Semitism and because of this serious debate over this and many other issues is almost impossible.

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Is this really newsworthy? Or is it a way to get people to write comments and rehash the same arguments?

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The Israeli's are being a little overly sensitive here. Criticism may be unwelcome but dialogue is better. Still, if Grass was going to stir up trouble that's the last thing anybody needs.

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His sanctimonious, pathetic poem was clearly an attempt to gain himself some attention, 'the ex-Nazi who criticises Israel'. Very transparent. But having said that, I don't know why he should be banned from Israel just because he wrote a poem. I understand Israel can refuse entry to people who have been Nazis, so I can understand if they ban him on that front. But on the basis of writing a poem? I'm sorry, but many Israeli citizens themselves have levelled the same criticism at their government as Grass has. Israel's decision to bar entry is just further inflaming the media storm Grass helped create and giving him what he wants. No doubt he's in his element right now.

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This isn't news, it's an invitation to argue.

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This isn't news, it's an invitation to argue.

No, I'm pretty sure it's news.

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I think it is an invitation to argue about news.

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'the ex-Nazi who criticises Israel'.

Yeah dude. If the Waffen-SS banged on your door in Germany in 1945 with draft orders, at the tender age of 17, you would have given them a smackdown they would not soon forget!

And even if you want to hang on to that pathetic shot at his character, his character is not what is on trial here. Its his criticisms. And his criticism fit, and attacking his character won't change that. The hypocristy is rotten to the core. It stinking so God awful bad is why it gets ignored. To acknowledge it would crush a lot of ridiculously inflated views of self-righteousness.

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Nearly all of Europe's cultural elites are casually and often virulently anti-Semitic.Academics ape them, and the trade unions pile on out of envy.

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Nearly all of Europe's cultural elites are casually and often virulently anti-Semitic.Academics ape them, and the trade unions pile on out of envy.

^^ This.

But, any mention of it, and YOU'RE the one they accuse of being intolerant.

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Guenter Grass Poem: "What Must Be Said"

{This is an English translation by Daniel Grasenach of Guenter Grass's poem published earlier this week in Sueddeutsche Zeitung and reported throughout the world.}

WHAT MUST BE SAID

Why am I silent, silent too long, About what is obvious and has been rehearsed In war games, at whose conclusion we as survivors Are footnotes at best.

It is the claimed right of a first strike That could annihilate the Iranian people, Subjugated by a loudmouth And herded by organized jubilation, Because in this sphere of control, the construction Of an atom bomb is suspected.

Yet why do I forbid myself To name the other nation In which for years -- although kept secret -- A growing nuclear potential is on hand But out of control, because no inspection May be made?

The general silence on the evidence at hand, To which my silence owes obedience, I feel to be an incriminating lie, Coercion, where the penalty is announced The moment one missteps; The verdict "Antisemitism" is familiar.

But now, because from my own land, Whose own crimes, fundamental And beyond compare, Time after time catch up with her and take her to task, On the other hand and purely businesslike, if also Declared with facile lips to be a reparation, Yet another submarine shall be furnished To Israel, whose specialty consists Of guiding all-annihilating warheads To that place, where the existence Of one single atom bomb remains unproven, Yet where suspicion becomes evidence, I'll say what must be said. But why have I been silent up to now? Because I thought my origin, That bears a stigma, never to be redeemed, Forbade me to regard this fact as spoken truth About the land of Israel, to which I'm bound And will remain so.

Why do I say now for the first time, Aged and with my last ink: The atomic might of Israel endangers The already fragile peace of the world? Because it must be said, What may be too late tomorrow; And because we -- as Germans incriminated enough -- Could become suppliers to a crime, That is foreseeable, which is why our complicity Were to be effaced by none of the usual Making of excuses.

And let me say: I'll be silent no more, Because the hypocrisy of the West Disgusts me; besides it is to be hoped That many others may be freed from silence, May ask those responsible for the evident danger To renounce the use of force and Likewise insist, That an unhindered and permanent control Of Israeli atomic potentials And Iranian nuclear compounds By an international authority Be allowed by the governments of both nations.

Only so may all be helped, Israelis and Palestinians, And what is more, all people who live In this region occupied by delusion, Side by side yet hostile, And finally ourselves may be helped as well.

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Yeah dude. If the Waffen-SS banged on your door in Germany in 1945 with draft orders, at the tender age of 17, you would have given them a smackdown they would not soon forget!

There were many in Germany who resisted the Nazi regime, it didn't necessarily involve going underground, spying for the allies and conspiring to kill Nazis. Have your ever heard of the White Rose? Grass was a Nazi.

And even if you want to hang on to that pathetic shot at his character, his character is not what is on trial here. Its his criticisms. And his criticism fit, and attacking his character won't change that. The hypocristy is rotten to the core. It stinking so God awful bad is why it gets ignored. To acknowledge it would crush a lot of ridiculously inflated views of self-righteousness.

I think you need to read my post again. 'The ex-Nazi who criticises Israel' is something I accused Grass of deliberately going for, because he knew it would be controversial and give him the attention he clearly feels he needs. There was no attack on his character, he WAS a Nazi and did criticise Israel. There was no hypocrisy.

@ Virtuoso, wow, the poem is so terrible.

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Nearly all of Europe's cultural elites are casually and often virulently anti-Semitic.Academics ape them, and the trade unions pile on out of envy.

It's so unfortunate that anti-Semitism also remains a huge problem in the US.

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Virtuoso thank you for the poem post. I would have thought a news item about a poem that ruffled Israel's feathers would have a few quotes, but das ist Japan Today.

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Oginome maybe it sounds better in German, but he has a point no matter his past.

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Oh, geez, its even worse than I thought. At 15 he was serving as an anti-aircraft helper, basically a child soldier, and most likely drafted into that too.

But I cannot find anything that says he actually joined the Nazi party. But of course some people think being a Nazi and being a German soldier of the era is the same thing. I usually refer to those people as "children".

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Israel yet again playing the poor little victim to distract world attention from its ongoing reign of terror and oppression.

Nothing offensive in his poem except to those with an agenda.

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Who would have thought that Israel was so sensitive about the issue of free speech.As the only touted 'democracy' in the ME one would think that an invitation to the writer would have been seen as a chance for some free debate-obviously not......

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Grass is just another sentimental old leftist, grousing in his old age. Anything is better than facing the fact that he sympathized with the Nazis and then lied about it for decades. In his choice of modern , secular, democratic Israel, he has picked the easiest target to shake his fists at. Unlike Russia or Iran - two regimes which assassinate with impunity inside Europe - or the Mohammedans who killed Theo Van Gogh in Netherlands and have tried to kill cartoonists in Denmark, Grass knows the worst to come of this will be public notice that he is barred from Israel, a lot of hype from the lefty media, and a few more books sold because of it.

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You have again skipped over the fact that he was just 17 at the time. He grew up in brainwashing central, as Hitler took over when he was about 7 years old. Yet, did not join until he was DRAFTED, at 17! We don't even trust 17 year olds to drink a beer these days!

Yes, and those in the White Rose grew up brainwashed and they still made a conscious decision to rebel against the regime. There were far from the only ones.

And no, I never heard of the White Rose. So I looked them up. By the time Grass was drafted, White Rose was history, its leaders having all been BEHEADED a year or more before. I guess Grass simply had no choice but to get his head cut off or suffer your character assassination? And make the choice at 17? I would say he chose correctly! Because you are doing a great job killing your own character with this!

They were beheaded because they chose to make a moral decision and not back down, Even growing up in the midst of Nazi propaganda, they still managed to see the Nazi Germany for the vile, genocidal regime it was. Sophie Scholl was offered the chance to say she was 'mistaken' and avoid execution, and she refused. Yet you say she somehow made the incorrect decision? She stood by her principles which were at odd with the Nazi ideals. I'm killing my own character by stating that Grass was a Nazi? He WAS. Not assassiniating his character by stating the truth.

And his teen years are still not on trial here!

Who said his teen years were on trial? I correctly stated he was a Nazi, didn't delve into his motivations or what his mindset was when he put on that repugnant uniform.

Its a huge problem in many people's imaginations. Criticize Israel and "The verdict "Antisemitism" is familiar. "

Oh dear, who's assassinating their own character now? Anti-Semitism is certainly not a thing of the imagination, it still exists and there are still hate crimes being committed and prejudice is widespread. Anti-Semitic incidences and attacks in Europe have increased over the last decade.

Oh, geez, its even worse than I thought. At 15 he was serving as an anti-aircraft helper, basically a child soldier, and most likely drafted into that too.

How does this contradict anything I've said?

But I cannot find anything that says he actually joined the Nazi party. But of course some people think being a Nazi and being a German soldier of the era is the same thing. I usually refer to those people as "children".

He was in the WAFFEN SS, it was as a criminal organisation famous for its war crimes.

Oginome maybe it sounds better in German, but he has a point no matter his past.

No, it's a terribly written poem in any language. Translation can't be blamed. He is not the only one to level criticism at Israel, many Israelis have also done it. I agree that Israel was stupid to ban entry simply based on his poem, dialogue is important and they just gave Grass what he wanted when they did this.

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The WEST being hypocritical?? Unheard of! HAHAHA! Sure, it is, it has been but so are the Russians, so are the Chinese etc..Arabs, Jews, everybody!

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Yet you say she somehow made the incorrect decision?

Shame on you! I said nothing of her decision!

Yes, and those in the White Rose grew up brainwashed

No they didn't. Most of them had around ten years on Grass. They were in their late teens when Hitler took over, and in their twenties when executed.

There were far from the only ones.

And all them were far from common!

Look, its obvious this is going to go nowhere. You expect a teenager to have rebelled against the regime of Adolf Hitler, and I think its too much. Lets leave that part at that.

prejudice is widespread.

That is where I disagree. The rest of the sentence can stand.

How does this contradict anything I've said?

It contradicts what I said, to the tune of the extent of his brainwashing started earlier and more intensely than I had realized.

He was in the WAFFEN SS, it was as a criminal organisation famous for its war crimes.

Yep. But that does not proof that he participated or so much as approved, and it certainly does not prove he was ever a Nazi, something you still haven't proven. And even if you did, he was a teenager!

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Shame on you! I said nothing of her decision!

No, you said he made the 'CORRECT' decision, which implies the members of the White Rose didn't.

No they didn't. Most of them had around ten years on Grass. They were in their late teens when Hitler took over, and in their twenties when executed.

Sorry, but Sophie Scholl was a 12 year old child (NOT 'late teens') when Hitler took over, she spent her young adult and teen years being indoctrinated and suffering through the same brainwashing that Grass did. And she still made the decision to go against the regime.

And all them were far from common!

Look, its obvious this is going to go nowhere. You expect a teenager to have rebelled against the regime of Adolf Hitler, and I think its too much. Lets leave that part at that.

Yes, but the fact that there were even a few who did rebel showed that people could make up their own minds. There were some teenagers who did rebel against the regime, the choice was there. There were MANY signs all along that all was not well in this new Aryan utopia.

That is where I disagree. The rest of the sentence can stand.

No, prejudice remains widespread.

It contradicts what I said, to the tune of the extent of his brainwashing started earlier and more intensely than I had realized.

His brainwashing doesn't absolve him. Or do the IJA get absolved because they were also 'brainwashed'?

Yep. But that does not proof that he participated or so much as approved, and it certainly does not prove he was ever a Nazi, something you still haven't proven. And even if you did, he was a teenager!

He was a member of the SS. The SS was built along Nazi ideological lines. He was certainly a Nazi, you didn't need membership in the Nazi party, if you were in the SS, you were a Nazi. Or does that mean all the Nazis today aren't Nazis because they don't have membership of a defunct political party which ended in the 1940s?

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"He was a member of the SS"

Pope Benedict was a member of the Hitler Jügen. It doesn't seem to stir quite the same leg-spasm's this gentleman has on JT. Let's face it, it's not his Nazi past the problem, it's the fact that he's daring to criticize the Jewish State.

The fence. A lovely place to sit and watch two selfish, un-yeilding extremes rip each other to shreds. Please ignore me and continue.....

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No,

YES! First you say "you say" now you say "you imply"! How rude and how in denial.

The members of the White Rose made their decision as adults and that one woman in particular did not regret it, thus, she made the right decision. Their situation was totally different from Grass.

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oginome, could you just drop this stuff about is past. His past is not relevant. His words are. Address his words please.

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YES! First you say "you say" now you say "you imply"! How rude and how in denial.

Yes, by implying you still say. Not in denial at all.

The members of the White Rose made their decision as adults and that one woman in particular did not regret it, thus, she made the right decision. Their situation was totally different from Grass.

No, their situation wasn't total different from Grass. Like him, they were Germans indocrinated in the Nazi belief that they were a superior race, but chose to break away from it.

oginome, could you just drop this stuff about is past. His past is not relevant. His words are. Address his words please.

Do you still not get what I said? My point was that as an ex-Nazi, he knew a poem criticsing Israel would get him the media attention he cleary craved.

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There's actually a fairly good column in the Huffington Post by Alan Dershowitz about why Israel shouldn't bar Grass, but instead allow people to demerit his work. Barring him from the country threatens to lend him some form of legitimacy that the poem does not deserve, at least so far as I read it.

Grass's stances should be discussed in a public forum with people well versed on the subject. I found the piece to be disingenuous.

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There's actually a fairly good column in the Huffington Post by Alan Dershowitz about why Israel shouldn't bar Grass, but instead allow people to demerit his work. Barring him from the country threatens to lend him some form of legitimacy that the poem does not deserve, at least so far as I read it.

Grass's stances should be discussed in a public forum with people well versed on the subject. I found the piece to be disingenuous.

I completely agree, and 'disingenuous' sums up his poem perfectly.

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about why Israel shouldn't bar Grass,

I really like the way you two casually talk about barring him, as if its just some beaurocratic decision. He was not barred for bering a threat or links to terror or something that might actually seem valid. He was barred for writing a poem and having an opinion. That is a damn fine indicator of what sort of country Israel is. If anybody else did that, and all that that Grass talks about, you would be jumping down their throats, perhaps even comparing them to the Nazis. But no. Instead you attack the messenger.

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I really like the way you two casually talk about barring him, as if its just some beaurocratic decision. He was not barred for bering a threat or links to terror or something that might actually seem valid. He was barred for writing a poem and having an opinion. That is a damn fine indicator of what sort of country Israel is. If anybody else did that, and all that that Grass talks about, you would be jumping down their throats, perhaps even comparing them to the Nazis. But no. Instead you attack the messenger.

Um, Israel DID barr entry for Grass, there was nothing casual in what was said, look at the title of the article, 'bars entry'. So are the headline writers also being too casual? And I already said Israel shouldn't have done it, did you read any of my posts at all? I called Grass a Nazi, because that's what he was. Didn't 'attack the messenger', because he didn't deliver any message that wasn't already known. He was looking for attention and knew that when he wrote his dire poem.

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Oginome, Grass was drafted into the Waffen SS in November 1944 after being turned down for the Kreigsmarine. After 1943, the Waffen SS was no longer a volunteer organization. Men were drafted into it. The Nuremburg Trials declared the SS a criminal organization, but exempted those who were drafted in after 1943. These men had no choice. These men who were drafted were not all rabid Nazi fanatics from the movies. As for membership in a certain group making you a Nazi, Hans Scholl was a member of the Hitler Youth and Sophie Scoll was a member of the Bund Deutscher Madel. So, going by your criteria, they were Nazis by their membership in these groups. Also, several of the members of the White Rose were in the Army. Does that make them Nazis? I was also wondering if anyone here commenting as actually read any of Grass's work other than this poem? His novel, Crabwalk, pretty much shows that he is not an anti-Semite. Being against the policies or actions of the Israeli government does not automatically make a person an anti-Semite.

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Oginome, Grass was drafted into the Waffen SS in November 1944 after being turned down for the Kreigsmarine. After 1943, the Waffen SS was no longer a volunteer organization. Men were drafted into it. The Nuremburg Trials declared the SS a criminal organization, but exempted those who were drafted in after 1943. These men had no choice. These men who were drafted were not all rabid Nazi fanatics from the movies. As for membership in a certain group making you a Nazi, Hans Scholl was a member of the Hitler Youth and Sophie Scoll was a member of the Bund Deutscher Madel. So, going by your criteria, they were Nazis by their membership in these groups. Also, several of the members of the White Rose were in the Army. Does that make them Nazis? I was also wondering if anyone here commenting as actually read any of Grass's work other than this poem? His novel, Crabwalk, pretty much shows that he is not an anti-Semite. Being against the policies or actions of the Israeli government does not automatically make a person an anti-Semite.

He VOLUNTEERED to join the Kriegsmarine which was the navy and wanted to fight for the Nazi government, he was conscripted in the Waffen SS after his Kriegsmarine APPLICATION was turned down, but the fact remains that he was dying to go to war and fight for a genocidal, fascist regime. Hans and Sophie Scholl were conscripted into the Hitler Youth and League of German Maidens, respectively, but unlike Grass, and even with the same level of brainwashing inflicted upon them, they were still able to see through the propaganda and into the evil of Nazi Germany. They turned against the regime and resisted, just like others of their age and even younger did, while Grass remained a devout Nazi. Like the Scholls, he had everything to lose, but he still chose not to resist, while they did.

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Being against the policies or actions of the Israeli government does not automatically make a person an anti-Semite.

Never said it was. Another one not reading the posts they reply to. I stated that Grass knew the furore which would ensue when the media picked up on that it was an ex-Nazi who wrote a poem criticsing Israel. I see him as an attention seeker, not necessarily an anti-Semite.

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No, he is a peace activist concerned about a possible genocide of the Iranian people.

Oh please, Israel does not want to commit 'genocide' against the Iranian people, I'm no Israel apologist, but extreme statements like that just look ridiculous.

He's not doing it for kicks.

The attention seeker certainly is.

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oginome, Grass stated that he wanted to join the Kreigsmarine to escape his family situation at home. Not the best of ideas during a war, but that is his stated reason. Not any love for Hitler or Nazism. Not to fight for a genocidal fascist regime. Since we do not have any other statements by Grass or others who knew him at the time, his statement is the only evidence we have for his reason to join the Kreigsmarine. You state that Hans and Sophie Scholl were conscripted into the Hitler Youth and BDM, but other young Germans, including other members of the White Rose, refused to join these organizations at all. They chose not to refuse entry. So, by your logic, the Scholls must be Nazis. Thus, any member of the military who fought in the German armed forces was a Nazi, including members of the White Rose who were in the military.

You stated that Grass was a Nazi. Being a Nazi usually implies that one is an anti-Semite. It seems to be a prerequisite for being a Nazi. So, I stated my opinion about that. As far as being an attention seeker, you are correct. Any celebrity who wants to highlight their views will state them openly knowing that there will be a reaction in the media. It's the nature of the beast.

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What a crap poem.. Reminds me of the garbage that the America-obsessed Harold Pinter used to write.Heh, maybe old Guenther is also angling for a Nobel Prize.

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I really like the way you two casually talk about barring him, as if its just some beaurocratic decision. He was not barred for bering a threat or links to terror or something that might actually seem valid. He was barred for writing a poem and having an opinion.

Countries do that on occasion. It happens daily in the western world where nations bar those they do not believe would serve any useful purpose in their nation. The UK has barred hundreds of people under the term 'preachers of hate' and other European nations have followed suit. The US doesn't have as much of a problem with hate speech but it does occassionally bar people for life if they make a scene at imigration.

That is a damn fine indicator of what sort of country Israel is. If anybody else did that, and all that that Grass talks about, you would be jumping down their throats, perhaps even comparing them to the Nazis. But no. Instead you attack the messenger.

Happens all the time. And the phrase 'attack the mesenger' isn't really pertinant. If Israel had barred Grass's publishing company or those who distribute his work (which, to my knowledge, they have not) then it would be accurate. In this case they take issue with the source of the information directly.

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oginome, Grass stated that he wanted to join the Kreigsmarine to escape his family situation at home. Not the best of ideas during a war, but that is his stated reason. Not any love for Hitler or Nazism. Not to fight for a genocidal fascist regime. Since we do not have any other statements by Grass or others who knew him at the time, his statement is the only evidence we have for his reason to join the Kreigsmarine. You state that Hans and Sophie Scholl were conscripted into the Hitler Youth and BDM, but other young Germans, including other members of the White Rose, refused to join these organizations at all. They chose not to refuse entry. So, by your logic, the Scholls must be Nazis. Thus, any member of the military who fought in the German armed forces was a Nazi, including members of the White Rose who were in the military.

Keech, he could have escape his family situation at home for fighting for this resistance. The fact that he wanted to go into the army, showed, at the very LEAST, that he tacitly condoned Nazi Germany's ideology and the evils of its regime if he was willing to put himself on the line to fight for it. Hans and Sophie were conscripted into the Nazi youth organisations, they didn't volunteer like Grass volunteered for the Kriegsmarine. Grass was conscriped into the Waffen SS after his application was turned down, but he still WANTED to fight for the Nazi armed forces in the first place. Again, Hans and Sophie went into the resistance, which Grass most certainly did not, and put their lives on line to go against their fascist government's policies. Their situations were the same, both Sophie Scholl and Grass had everything to lose, but one chose to go against the Nazi regime and one fight for it.

Heh, maybe old Guenther is also angling for a Nobel Prize.

Maybe you should read the article, Lieberman. Guenter has already won a Nobel Prize.

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oginome, Sorry but this is going nowhere. Thank you for the exchange.

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