The pompous, hypocritical hucksterism of Günter Grass

Tuesday, 10 April, 2012

What a tragedy that Christopher Hitchens is not alive at this hour. Back in August 2006, the late, great contrarian identified the German writer Günter Grass as a truly reptilian character in a Slate column titled “Snake in the Grass“. Snippet: “At the PEN conference in New York in the mid-1980s, for example, he had sonorously announced that conditions in the South Bronx put the United States on a par with the Soviet Union … I didn’t like being lectured by a second-rater then and I like it no better when I discover I was being admonished by a member, however junior or conscripted, of Heinrich Himmler’s corps d’elite.”

Grass has now confirmed all of Hitchens’ suspicions with the publication of a vile, second-rate piece of doggerel that places him firmly on the side of a regime whose members fantasize about creating an Islamic version of Himmler’s corps d’elite. Christopher Hitchens had Grass figured out long ago and he passed devastating judgment upon him:

“The first judgment is that you kept quiet about your past until you could win the Nobel Prize for literature. The second judgment is that you are not as important to German or to literary history as you think you are. The third judgment is that you will be remembered neither as a war criminal nor as an anti-Nazi hero, but more as a bit of a bloody fool.”

The pompous, hypocritical old huckster keeps banging on his tin drum demanding attention for his toxic views and, given the insatiable European appetite for anti-Semitism, he’ll find willing listeners, no doubt. But Günter Grass is a one-trick pony and the act is getting old.

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