It is devastating to see an internationally renowned German literary figure like Günter Grass bandying about anti-Semitic clichés. A commentary by Klaus Hillenbrand
It is more than heartening when poetry is for once allowed to lead more than a niche existence in this country. When was the last time half the population was deep in discussion about a poem?
The only problem is that this seems to be the only encouraging aspect that will ever be associated with Günter Grass’s “Was gesagt werden muss” (“What Must Be Said”), and this is by no means because the lines don’t rhyme. The poem has indeed hit a chord, but the wrong one – just as off-key as many of the reactions to it.