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September 07, 1973 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-09-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Guenter Grass has been un- ists, and while reconstruct-
relenting in his denunciation ing the past he also tells of
of the crimes of his non-Jew- his visits in Israel, the re-
ish countrymen in the Ger- newal of friendships with
many of horror and Hitler- escapees from Danzig who
ism. He is never the man to have settled in the Jewish
be silent. He speaks and state. There were those who
writes frankly and effective- had labored in Danzig Jew-
ly about an old era the ter- ish schools when the children
rors of which are not to be were ousted from the public
repeated again. school system, and who found
That is why he campaigned haven in Israel. A realisti-
against Kurt Kiesinger, Ger- calls , moving note is append-
man chanceller from 1966 to ed about these escapees, their
1972, and opposed Fritz trials and tribulations and
Straus, in Willy Brandt's be- original opposition to the
half for the German chancel- Zionism that built Israel.
lorship. He had delivered Here's the brief note of glory
some 100 speeches for to Israel and her settlers in
Brandt, and he described his Grass' analyses of his re-
experiences in messages to actions to Israel:
his wife and four children,
"For a long time a good
and the story of his tours for many of them didn't want
his candidate is embodied in what they later had to want.
"From the Diary of a Snail," The state of Israel owes its
a truly exciting Harcourt existence to a will so strong
Brace Jovanovich book. that even the weak-willed
"What do you mean by the were carried over the thres-
snail?" it is asked at the hold: the will to survive."
outset. "The snail is prog-
He doesn't pull punches
ress." "What's progress?" about those he exposes. For
"Being a little quicker than example: he adamantly op-
the snail . . ."
posed Kiesinger, and he
The snails' larvae, the rea- states in his "Diary of a
soning that oozes out from Snail":
using the symbol for prog-
"On July 27, 1943, while
ress, appear throughout the
Kiesinger was busy at his
book.
In the process of submit- desk 31 Jewish furriers from
ting his reports to his family, Mausegasse, where they had
Grass draws upon his expe- been making fur coats for
de-
riences and those of the Jews German officers, were de-
ported
to
Bromberg,
where
of Germany in the years of
Hitler's rise to power and they were shot . . . Today,
throughout the Nazi rule of Kiesinger has almost gone
terror. It is as a Danzig Jew out of existence; then he ex-
that he especially recapitul- isted intolerably."
story
his
built
Grass
ates the story of the Free
City of Danzig, as it was de- around Herman Ott—dubbed
clared by the League of Na- Dr. Doubt—the school teach-
tions, and where the bandit- er who went into hiding with
ry was enacted in a process a sadistic Pole who became
of destroying the Jewish corn- a Germ an national, who had
one into
bicycle repair-
i
munity.
In delineating the snail as ing. With his host and his
symbolized in his newest daughter, later to become
work, Grass concludes: his wife, Dr. Doubt under-

LOTS 73 Bp. ICKS

TEL AVIV (JTA) — The
European Security Confer-
piration in the quest for prog- ence Coordinating Commit-
ress. Snail-like, it is never- tee, which debated Israel's

theless impressive; and the
narrator again emerges as
one of the brilliant literary
geniuses who survived the
Nazi terror and is here to
join in the indictment of the
Hitler crime.
—P. S.

possible participation at the
upcoming conference, held
an unscheduled meeting in
Geneva to try to reach a de-
cision.
Israel's candidacy, sup-
ported by Denmark, Holland,
Norway and Canada, is op-
posed by Yugoslavia and
Malta.
Earthquakes Rock
Algeria and Tunisia, sup-
Valleys ,in Israel
ported by France, have al-
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Two ready been assured partici-
successive earth tremors, pation. The conference is due
each lasting 2-3 seconds, to open Sept. 18.
were felt in the Beisan, Jez-
reel and Jordan valleys.
Power is ever stealing from
They caused minor damage. many to the few.—Wendell
No casualties were reported. Phillips.

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“While writing — for my went the turbulence
o
nd
own and other people's chil- var years. As Grass' sec
-
as
his
alter
ego,
insep-
d ren—a book in which prog .sable from our author. Dr.
ress is measured by snail ' -)tt represents a basic Ger-
standards, I also described man personality who was
what makes the heart heavy hounded for ha v;Tirr hp.”
I have tried to put in a good ..ailed a Jew, something he
word for m e 1 a n c h o ly .
.„ en ri.q;rp + n
I
have shown its modern edge. The school experience,
variations, in order that we
a victim of the lva , is. he
may see it as the social real- - -presents an important as-
ity it is, and no longer as a
of a story exposing the
suspicious eccentricity. Only hrutal Nazi years while
those who know and respect waiting the end of the crim-
stasis in progress, who have 'nalities under the terlq;On
once and more than once `hat are nevertheless repre- si
given up, who have sat on - ented by snail-creeping an-
an empty snail shell and ex- "icipation of the eventual
perienced the dark side of nrn aress
utopia, can evaluate prog-
There is much that is
ress."
linked in the snail's diary:
What makes the heart hea- the indictment of the Nazi
vy? Grass gets right into the criminals, the review of the
story of the anti-Jewish acts Jewish sufferings as empha-
in Danzig, the inauguration sized in the Danzig recollec-
of the campaign under the tions, the commentaries on
slogan "Jews are our mis- the divisiveness in Jewish
fortune," the gradual elim- ranks over craving for es-
ination of Jews from the cape to the Zionist panacea
area.
and its conflict with vain
He makes note of the di- hopes for German national
visiveness in Jewish ranks, redemption, the tribute to Is-
the struggles between Zion- rael and her builders—these
ists and German National- combine to fulfill a great as-

*

16—Friday, September 7, 1973 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Security Parley
May Invite Israel

Guenter Grass' Snail Diary' Depicts
`Progress' in Expose of Hitler Terror

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Grass Cancels Trip to Russia;
Blames Bonn Detente Effort

BERLIN — Guenter Grass
has called off a visit to Mos-
cow after the West German
ambassador there advised a
postponement to avoid aggra-
vating the atmosphere during
the Soviet campaign against
dissident intellectuals.

protest against such advice
from the West German gov-
ernment. He warned, in a
television interview, that
Chancellor Willy Brandt may
see "the moral effects of his
policy of detente turned
against him unless he adopts
a -determined attitude toward
Grass canceled the trip in persecuted minorities."

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