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Thursday, August 17, 2006


Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gunter Grass peeled the layers and the storms of protest have just about begun.

His critics, who are bound to grow by the day say his confession about his involvement in a Waffen-SS unit at the end of World War II has come way too late. The Waffen-SS was the combat arm of Hitler's fanatical paramilitary elite - the SS. It campaigned alongside regular army units and compiled a record of fierce fighting and notorious brutality against enemy civilians and prisoners of war.

The 78-year-old author, who has long been seen as the moral conscience of Germany, revealed his SS service in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine.

The interview was done ahead of the September 1st release of his autobiography, 'Peeling the Onion'.

Many are pointing that in light of this admission, Grass' criticism of Germany's inability to come to terms with its Nazi past sounds an 'absurdity'.

While the author says he made the disclosure because it had "weighed on" him all these years, what I found deeply disturbing was his revelation that under the influence of Nazi indoctrination at the time he did not view the Waffen-SS as something repulsive, rather as an elite service branch.

Fact as they say, is truly stranger than fiction.