Pages

Jump to bottom

18 comments

1 shutdown  Wed, Apr 4, 2012 12:19:55pm

I have long thought that for someone whose writing was initially inspired by the human impact of fascist Germany, Grass has taken a strange and torturous journey to a place where he turns a deaf ear to the brutal autocracies of the world. His political development has basically mirrored that of the extreme European Left, replete with latent and expressed anti-Semitism.

2 researchok  Wed, Apr 4, 2012 12:29:33pm

Gunter Grass wants to be relevant in this post war Europe.

The shortest distance between two points in Europe is and always has been demonizing the Jews.

In his minds, he is reliving the applause and adulation of another era.

3 shutdown  Wed, Apr 4, 2012 12:52:26pm

I am going to take a quick stab at translating the last paragraph of a truly exceptional analysis and critique of the Grass piece by Frank Schirrmacher, which was published in today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (link to article is here, for German speakers).

Es ist ein Machwerk des Ressentiments, es ist, wie Nietzsche über das Ressentiment sagte, ein Dokument der „imaginären Rache“ einer sich moralisch lebenslang gekränkt fühlenden Generation. Gern hätte er, dass jetzt die Debatte entsteht, ob man als Deutscher Israel denn kritisieren dürfe. Die Debatte aber müsste darum geführt werden, ob es gerechtfertigt ist, die ganze Welt zum Opfer Israels zu machen, nur damit ein fünfundachtzigjähriger Mann seinen Frieden mit der eigenen Biographie machen kann.

“It is a construct of resentment, it is, as Nietzsche said of resentment, a document of ‘imaginary revenge’ of a generation that has felt morally slighted for a lifetime. He would like there now to come into being a debate, as to whether a German may criticize Israel. However, the debate should be about whether it is justifiable to depict the entire world as Israel’s victim, just so that an eighty-five year old man can make peace with his own biography.”

4 researchok  Wed, Apr 4, 2012 12:58:52pm

re: #3 Phlebas

I am going to take a quick stab at translating the last paragraph of a truly exceptional analysis and critique of the Grass piece by Frank Schirrmacher, which was published in today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (link to article is here, for German speakers).

“It is a construct of resentment, it is, as Nietzsche said of resentment, a document of ‘imaginary revenge’ of a generation that has felt morally slighted for a lifetime. He would like there now to come into being a debate, as to whether a German may criticize Israel. However, the debate should be about whether it is justifiable to depict the entire world as Israel’s victim, just so that an eighty-five year old man can make peace with his own biography.”

Indeed.

For much of Europe, demonizing Jews and Israel lets them off the hook somewhat for the war and centuries of antisemitism.

“Well, maybe the Jews deserved some of what happened. Maybe we weren’t so wrong after all”.

Plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme.

5 shutdown  Wed, Apr 4, 2012 1:02:01pm

re: #4 researchok

Grass is scapegoating the current generation of German politicians for his increasing artistic and intellectual irrelevance. Israel, given his personal background, is a convenient vehicle. He is proclaiming that he would have had “oh so much” to say, if only he had been allowed to say it.

6 Bob Levin  Wed, Apr 4, 2012 1:12:41pm

re: #5 Phlebas

He had so much to do, and he did it, before he became a writer, magician who couldn’t quite make it all disappear.

7 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:05:41am
Waffen-SS, a group designed to exclusively eliminate European Jewry during WWII

Other things aside, that’s such a stunning bit of historical ignorance.

8 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:11:49am

re: #7 The Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost

One more sentence, young man. Maybe two.

9 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:12:49am

re: #8 Bob Levin

One more sentence, young man. Maybe two.

Waffen-SS was not “a group designed to exclusively eliminate European Jewry during WWII”. Hope that helps!

10 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:15:34am

re: #9 The Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost

I figured you were headed in that direction, just pull me a little farther.

11 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:17:44am

re: #10 Bob Levin

I figured you were headed in that direction, just pull me a little farther.

?

12 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:22:39am

What was the purpose of the Waffen SS? Is this a game show? ;-)

13 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:23:10am

re: #12 Bob Levin

What was the purpose of the Waffen SS? Is this a game show? ;-)

Oh. Sorry, can’t help here.

14 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:38:11am

re: #13 The Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost

So, the Waffen SS, like so many other branches of the ‘security apparatus’, simply existed, worked at overlapping and cross principles with every other group? My understanding is that the Nazis were actually quite disorganized, from a chain-of-command perspective.

15 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 11:55:26am

re: #14 Bob Levin

Bob, if you’re truly, seriously in doubt as to what Waffen-SS’ purpose was and what it was designed for, and not just yanking my chain, you can look it up in numerous places on the net.

It sure wasn’t for exclusive aim of killing the Jews of Europe. Even the infamous Einsatzgruppen weren’t designed with this aim in mind, though they took on the role of main murderers of the Soviet Jewry after the invasion of USSR, along with their anti-partisan activities. Waffen-SS certainly took part in numerous war crimes and mass murder of Jews, as did Wehrmacht, but that doesn’t mean that they were designed for this or that this was their exclusive purpose. To imply that Waffen-SS member = probable Jew-killer is not factual, esp. for youths conscripted after 1943.

16 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 12:06:57pm

re: #15 The Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost

I’m not kidding, you’re the expert on this. Even if I looked it up elsewhere, I’d still ask you.

I don’t think the implication was that Grass was a Jew-killer, although I’m sure there is blood on his hands that wouldn’t wash off—the articles imply a mindset of fantasy and denial, an inability for self-examination. He’s turned these deficiencies into a mighty good living—but still exhibits the thought process of a disturbed adolescent, who learned how to shoot.

17 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 12:13:59pm

re: #16 Bob Levin

When one is an active member of a group that is designed with the exclusive aim of killing Jews, one is a probable Jew-killer. The conclusion follows from the premises. The only question is whether the premises are true.

Kick Grass as necessary, fair is fair. Just don’t imply more than what facts on the ground allow.

18 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 6, 2012 1:31:45pm

re: #17 The Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost of a Ghost

Okay. In order to make the implication have some teeth, we would be have to know his missions and what took place. If only he were a novelist or some type of writer, with an international audience, then he could explain…oh wait.

Would it be too much of a stretch to assume there weren’t any remaining witnesses?

I understand your point, which is valid if I wanted to put him on trial and convict him. I don’t.

However, little ol’ intrapsychic me feels that something is going on within him that made him reveal what he so eloquently covered up for over sixty years, and then with this, reveal a twisted and guttural psyche that he attempted to elevate into an aesthetic vision.

I don’t need to convict a man who can’t help but to keep confessing.


This page has been archived.
Comments are closed.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2021-06-05 2:51 pm PDT
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Cash.app Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh