Merkel criticizes Grass for late SS past admission

21st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2006, BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday criticized Nobel Literature laureate Guenter Grass for his late disclosure that he served with the Nazi Waffen SS. "I would have wished we had been informed earlier over the full magnitude of his biography," said Merkel in remarks to reporters. The German leader said it "was no surprise" that the Waffen SS admission by Grass had provoked a storm of controversy. Merkel noted she had long held deeply differing views to those of Grass on key i

21 August 2006

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday criticized Nobel Literature laureate Guenter Grass for his late disclosure that he served with the Nazi Waffen SS.

"I would have wished we had been informed earlier over the full magnitude of his biography," said Merkel in remarks to reporters.

The German leader said it "was no surprise" that the Waffen SS admission by Grass had provoked a storm of controversy.

Merkel noted she had long held deeply differing views to those of Grass on key issues such as the 1990 German unification.

Grass opposed German unity. Merkel was a government spokeswoman for the first and last freely elected East German government which brokered the historic reunification.

The German author - an outspoken supporter of leftist causes for decades - has caused a storm with the disclosure in his autobiography that he spent six months as 17-year-old with the Waffen SS, the Nazi party's private army.

The first print run of the book, Peeling the Onion, sold out 150,000 copies in just two days. A second edition with 100,000 copies is currently being rushed to German bookstores.

DPA

Subject: German news

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