Thursday, August 17, 2006

Grass - Not Bel by Far

The Grass confession should not be surprising. It is known in Germany that former Nazis of considerable rank sought and found cover in left wing intellectual circles. Spiegel is notorious for having had writer/editors with murky brown backgrounds over years.

The editor of Hannah Arendt's work in German at Pieper Verlag for instance had been a high-ranking Nazi.

The RAF was not only anti-zionist but anti-semitic.

While I am saying this I am not pointing fingers: in my own extended family, even in the second generation, there is this tendency to want to reconcile anti-semitic feeling and blatant revisionism with progressive and new age ideas and human rights activism. Having said that, the Grass thing seems less insidious than that, but emblematic for the moral dilemma the German post-war intellectuals are caught up in.
Without wanting to sound smug - I had been a mere kiddie when I left for Berkeley and am kinda glad I had been given Chomsky, Vidal, Naomi Klein, Susan Sonntag, and the German exiles such as Arendt, Adorno and others from the Frankfurter Schule as "recommended reading" while I was there.

I never read Grass. But I liked Böll.

Grass - Lies Gras über die Sache wachsen. Wie alle andern auch.

2 Comments:

Blogger weltkind said...

hi, translater,

bin gerade durch zufall auf dein blog gestossen. habe auch was ueber grass geschrieben: "peeling the onion". jetzt habe ich mich mit "east of brat" an meinen ersten blog in englisch gewagt und sicher eine menge fehler gemacht, oha. dein blog gefaellt mir sehr gut. liebe gruesse e.t. erlkoenigs tochter

9:57 AM  
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