Günter Grass, a German left-leaning novelist, a Nobel prize winner, and serving for decades as a moral pillar not just of the “Antifa Germany” but of the entire construct named today the European Union as well as an active member of the SPD (socialists), published on April 2 in the influential liberal German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, a poem with the title “What must be said” (Was gesagt werden muss). In the poem Grass criticizes Germany’s delivery of submarines to Israel and depicts Israel as a threat to world peace.
His words were criticized in Germany, where any strong condemnation of Israel is taboo because of the (alleged) NS perpetrated Holocaust.
Grass’s own moral authority has never fully recovered from his 2006 admission that he once served in Hitler’s Waffen SS.
Here then a translation of his poem (which is not entirely without value)…
Günter Grass shocks Germany
Why am I silent, concealing far too long,
that which is apparent and has been simulated
in war games, where we, the survivors,
appear, if at all, just as footnotes.
It is alleged there is a right to make the first strike,
which could annihilate the Iranian people,
who are dominated by a big mouth
and are directed to attend organized rallies,
on suspicion that within his competence lies
the construction of a nuclear bomb.
But why do I restrain myself
from naming the other country by name,
in which for years – although kept secret –
there is a growing nuclear potential,
albeit not monitored, because it is inaccessible
The silence of everyone regarding this fact,
to which I have subordinated my own voice,
has become a burdensome lie for me
and a coercion, which promises punishment
as soon as it is disregarded;
the verdict “anti-Semitism” is well known.
However, when my own country,
faced as it is by its very own crimes
which are unique beyond comparison,
time after time is confronted and called to account,
again as a matter of routine and very business-like
(though nimble tongues declare it to be “reparations”),
is about to supply Israel with another submarine,
one whose speciality is
is the delivery of all-destructive warheads
to a place where the existence
of a single nuclear weapon is unproven,
but where suspicion serves as proof;
because of this I say what must be said.
But why did I remain silent for so long?
Because I thought that my own origins,
blemished by a stain that can never be removed,
forbade me to confront Israel,
a country to which I am attached and want to remain so,
with this fact as an outright declaration of truth.
Why only now, in old age,
with the last of my ink, do I say:
Israel’s nuclear power endangers
an already delicate world peace?
Because it must be spoken now,
since tomorrow may be too late;
also because – burdened enough as Germans –
we may be supplying material for a crime,
which is foreseeable, and thus our complicity
will not be erased
by any of the usual excuses.
Granted: I’ve broken my silence,
because I am weary of the West’s
hypocrisy; moreover, I hope that
many others may free themselves from their silence,
and demand that those responsible for dangers faced
renounce the use of force,
and likewise insist,
that unhindered and permanent monitoring
of the Israeli nuclear potential
and of Iranian nuclear facilities
through an international authority
will be permitted by the governments of both countries.
Only in this way can help be provided,
to everybody, to Israelis and Palestinians,
indeed to all human beings, who live as enemies
next to each other in this region occupied by madness,
and ultimately, to ourselves as well.