Germany: Mourners pay their respects as Guenther Grass passes away

Fans and colleagues paid their respects to Guenther Grass, the renowned German author, who passed away after succumbing to a lung infection at the age of 87, in Luebeck on Monday. The controversial author was seen by many as a moral authority for a post-war Germany. Joerg Phillip Thomsa, the manager of Guenther Grass House in Luebeck said he was surprised by the modesty of the author when he first met him and is sure that ‘Grass will keep on living through his books’. Grass’ most famous novel was also his first; ‘The Tin Drum’ was published in 1959 to a mixed reaction. Critics called the book, which told the brutal story of one man’s journey through the Second World War, blasphemous and legal action was taken against Grass. 40 years later in 1999, Grass won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his badly received debut novel. In the sixties Grass became an accepted authority on Nazism, releasing two books on the subject; “Cat and Mouse” and “Dog Years”. As well as literature, Grass was involved in politics, becoming a speechwriter for German Chancellor Willy Brandt, and campaigning against the reunification of Germany.