Germany’s respected author and noble winning novelist, Günter Grass, known for his sharp criticism of Israel and those supporting the Tel Aviv regime, has died at the age of 87.
Germany’s Steidl publishing house announced Monday that Grass died at a hospital in the northern city of Lübeck.
Best known for his 1959 novel The Tin Drum, the German author won many international awards, with the most notable of them the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999.
Many still continue to relish the novels, poems and stories written by Grass, especially those created in his 80s, but the mustached literary icon took to the headlines by lashing out at Israel over the regime’s continuous spread of hatred and fear in the Middle East and the world.
In his famous poem entitled “What Must Be Said” (“Was gesagt werden muss”), which was published in several prestigious European newspapers in 2012, Grass called the Tel Aviv regime the greatest threat to the peace in the world. He also criticized the hypocrisy of the German government for its open military support of the Israelis, who according to Grass, obtain military hardware like German submarines to launch nuclear warheads against Iran.
Grass said such equipment “could annihilate Iranian people.”
Those comments triggered fierce criticism inside Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the remarks “shameful.”
Grass regretted that he kept silent for many years on the secret relations between Germany and Israel, just over fears that he may be branded anti-Semite.
In his final years, Grass also criticized some major politicians and heads of state, including the former US President George W. Bush for his use of religion and religious terms as a pretext to justify the so-called “war on terror.”