Thursday, April 12, 2012

Günter Grass says Israel ban reminds him of East German Stasi

Writer banned from Israel over critical poem says only other countries that excluded him were East Germany and Burma, Thursday 12 April 2012

"The German Nobel literature laureate Günter Grass has compared the Israeli interior minister to the Stasi, the latest move in an escalating dispute following Grass's publication of a poem criticising Israel.

Eli Yishai on Sunday banned Grass from entering Israel, to which Grass replied in a commentary in Süddeutsche Zeitung by comparing the travel ban to one imposed on him by Erich Mielke, head of East Germany's dreaded secret police.

He wrote that only the communist DDR and Burma had ever banned him from entry before.

"Now the interior minister of a democracy, the state of Israel, has punished me with a travel ban and the tone of his justification reminds me of the verdict of minister Mielke," Grass wrote in the piece which appeared on the Süddeutsche Zeitung's website on Wednesday evening. Grass said he still saw himself as "irrevocably connected to the country of Israel", but while Burma seemed to offer a glimmer of hope for change, Israel was an "unchecked nuclear power" that regarded itself as immune to criticism......"


Tony Sayegh said...

Finally! A prominent German with guts to say the truth and not worry about political considerations.

thankgodimatheist said...

He's 82. He doesn't give a flying duck anymore. Pity that he didn't open it earlier though..