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Ex-Nazi author speaks at Jewish Y

German author Gunter Grass spoke at a Jewish Y in his first U.S. appearance since acknowledging that he served in Hitler’s army.At the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, Israeli author Amos Elon asked Grass
after his presentation Monday why it took him 61 years to disclose his past.
Grass said he saw his 17-year-old self as an enigma and that he had
been an ignorant child.”If you believe something is true, you
just don’t see other things,” Grass said of his belief in Hitler’s
regime and his failure to see its atrocities.Grass, 79, won the Nobel Prize in literature for his “Danzig Trilogy,” which includes his seminal work, “The Tin Drum.” He spent the better part of a century as the voice of Germany’s push to come clean about its Nazi past, but he shocked the literary world last August when he disclosed that he served four months as a Waffen SS soldier toward the end of the war.He is in New York on a reading tour promoting the English translation of the book.

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