April 21, 2015
“The Tin Drum” is an unforgettable moral MASTERWORK. Think of Grass’s scandal (joining the Waffen-SS) as youthful stupidity. Youth is notoriously attracted to glitz. Youth is particularly mean. Youth rages with bullies.
Remember that the protagonist Oscar Matzereth was a dwarf who refused to grow. On Kristallnacht, Oskar’s glasses broke as he heard Hitler’s voice, shrill and screaming, ordering the destruction of Jewish businesses.
Grass promoted uncompromising antimilitarism for Germany and warned that a unified Germany threatened world peace.
Richard Wagner was a rat all his life, but we love his music. Even Israel performs Wagner (Yes, with protests). Yes, Grass has lost ground (temporarily), but he earned the Nobel and he should be read.