‘Jew-baiter’ and former SS member Gunter Grass dies


German author Günter Grass, who wrote a poem attacking the Jewish state and praising Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, has died aged 87.

The Nobel Prize-winning writer, who was a member of the Nazi Waffen SS during the Holocaust, described Vanunu in a poem as a “paragon” who “helped to bring the truth” to the rest of the world.

Vanunu was sent to prison in 1986 for disclosing confidential information about Israel’s nuclear programme to the British media.

Mr Grass said: "Heroes such as that are needed in the world, which utters words of peace while planning destruction.”

In 2012 he sparked controversy for another poem, published in the German press, which criticised Israel and claimed that its stance on Iran destabilised the world. The Israeli Interior Ministry declared him persona non grata in response.

Journalist Tom Doran responded to his death on Twitter by saying: “RIP Günter Grass. Of all hypocritical Jew-baiting former SS members, you were the noblest.”

Mr Grass was best known for his first book the Tin Drum, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Swedish Academy praised him as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history".

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