Novelist admits he was a Nazi
Gunter Grass says he joined Hitler's Waffen SS at 17
Gunter Grass, the German-born winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature and author of such acclaimed novels as "Tin Drum," has admitted to joining the Waffen SS, a special force of the Nazi Party, as a 17-year-old.
Now 78 and preparing to publish his memoirs in September, Grass came forward with details of his past in an interview Friday with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Having been a member of the SS had "oppressed" him, Grass said.
"My silence throughout all these years is one of the reasons I have written my autobiography. It finally had to come out," he said.
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