WHAT MUST BE SAID ABOUT GUNTER GRASS’ LATEST POEM OF THE SAME NAME

Painting by Terry Collett
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I wasn’t planning on commenting on the poem ‘What Must Be Said’ until this morning when the author, Gunter Grass was so violently criticised by Israel’s Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior and, of course the Foreign Minister. Their unsolicited attacks on truth must not go unanswered. A report on this can be read HERE.
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Truth is not anti-Semitism, but hiding or denying it will create same. In reality, Grass is doing his utmost to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism by saying what had to be said.
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Gunter Grass’ personal involvement with the nazis as a teenager cannot be condoned, however any personal wrongdoings are certainly vindicated by the words in this poem. 
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For that, I personally thank him. This too had to be said!
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What must be said
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Why have I been silent, silent for so long?,
Our generals have gamed it out,
Confident the west will survive.
We people have not even been considered.

What is this right to “preventive war”?
A war that could erase the Iranian people.
Dominated by it’s neighbor, pulsing with righteousness
Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.

Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by it’s name?,
Israel and it’s ever increasing nuclear arsenal,
Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.

We all know these things
Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:
anti-Semitic
hateful
worse

Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call is “business”, “reparation” take your pick,
As we deliver yet another submarine.
As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.
I say what must be said.

Why did I stay silent until now?
Because I’m German, of course.
I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out
I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right
To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.

Why did I wait to say it until now?
And write these words with the last of my ink?
Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?
Because it is true and it must be said,
Tomorrow will be too late.

We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders
Through the weapons we have sold
We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy
No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.

It must be said. I won’t be silent
I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;
Please shed the silence with me,
The consequences are all too predictable.
It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.

It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.
And we too, will survive.

20 Comments

  1. Redpossum said,

    April 8, 2012 at 17:05

    Three cheers for Gunter Grass!

    While his time in the SS cannot be condoned, no, neither do any of us have any right to blame him for it. We were not there, we did not have to walk in his shoes, we have no right to engage in armchair morality, after the fact, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand what those days were like, (and that includes the vast majority of those alive in the world today), needs to read two books –

    Black Edelweiss, by Johann Voss
    The Forgotten Soldier, by Guy Sajer

    Both can be had used at Amazon for 5 USD or less.

    As for Grass’ actions today, again I say, three cheers for Gunter Grass!

    He is a man of conscience today, no matter what he did 65+ years ago. His conscience has not always led him in directions I would wholly agree with, but it is not my place to say that he was wrong.

    If nothing else, the reaction from Israel, (and especially from that verkakte mamzer Avigdor Lieberman), serves as indisputable evidence that Grass has done the right thing, and said the right thing, at least *this* time. The usual over-the-top, rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth responses from the usual Zio-thug spokes-weenies would bring a smile of satisfaction to my face, if they were directed at me.

  2. mikael said,

    April 8, 2012 at 23:15

    The smear and divertion from the Message, a Bigg capagne in the scandinavian countrys and specaly Norway is Staggering and beyound belife.

    And the only good thing that will emerge out of this idiotic gamagne, is the disclousure of the ridicoulus Hasbaratcjniks.

    All in all, a new downfall of blatant lies and stupidity, because as I have sayed it before, the Hasbatacjniks does all the work for Us.
    Hehe, thank you, stupid fu…

    When I was a child I had a great number of “jewish” people that i was found of, varying from Mel Brooks(the absolut best humor I can remeber and seen) to Einstein. but the intelectual level must have plunged sice they where in the limelight. To day its a sorry state, of lies and forgerys, no matter how many Israelis do belive in this drivel about Israel History and relaity of it all, regarding Palestina.
    How sorry to see a people sunken so low, where pathetic exuses are used constantly to cover hidious crimes against the Palestinian people, whlst is you true Brothers and Sisters.

    That is my confesion, and Israel to day is Painfull to behold and their behavious is despecable.

    Why and what has happened to the “jewish” soul and knowledge.

    My hart bleeds and feals only sorrow and pain.

    peace

    “There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.”
    ― Francis Bacon

  3. Scott Perry said,

    April 8, 2012 at 23:16

    for one’s neighbor.

    In the United States it is as if we have had the millstone of the Middle East tied around our necks and this millstone is fast being thrown into the murky depths of the politics of Middle Eastern fratricide. Yet still the opportunity presents itself for us to choose whether to defiantly play the peacemaker or to obediently play the soldier marching off to another war. I certainly hope and pray that we will have the fortitude and the courage to play the one and not the other.

  4. Scott Perry said,

    April 8, 2012 at 23:17

    (Oops, left off the first 2 paragraphs) The madness of war is invariably sparked by the madness of a single idea. This idea, is always a simple and foolish thing. The desire to be apart from, and not a part of the brotherhood of all mankind. It is the idea that one must be greater and the other less. The idea that by our Creator we were first endowed with fangs and claws for mouth and hand, and not with kindness and equality for the heart. Each and every great battle in which rivers of red have flowed, sprang from the simple fear, that the world is a place where it was somehow ordained somewhere at a time long forgotten, that we must forever contend with the “other”, since surely we were not made to be one another’s keepers.

    Now in the Middle East one nation works to set itself above all others in the region. One nation prefers to rule by the fear of fang and claw that is nuclear obliteration, rather than to work and strive towards keeping the peace in the region through equality, brotherhood and respect for one’s neighbor.

    In the United States it is as if we have had the millstone of the Middle East tied around our necks and this millstone is fast being thrown into the murky depths of the politics of Middle Eastern fratricide. Yet still the opportunity presents itself for us to choose whether to defiantly play the peacemaker or to obediently play the soldier marching off to another war. I certainly hope and pray that we will have the fortitude and the courage to play the one and not the other.

  5. April 9, 2012 at 00:51

    […] WHAT MUST BE SAID ABOUT GUNTER GRASS’ LATEST POEM OF THE SAME NAME […]

  6. franklin wladyslaw said,

    April 9, 2012 at 03:30

    Gunther was a teen conscript in the last months of the war. Kershaw’s recent book on the last year of the war pretty well lays out what the German people suffered and the coercion used to the bitter end. Also the young saw a year of saturation area bombing with incendiary bombs all across Germany as 1,200,000 tons were dropped killing 300,000 civilians. This was the London blitz times ten. I was born in a slave camp in the rail yards of Hamburg the day of liberation. A Pole told me that a thousand Poles died to make me possible. Yes, but a thousand Germans were incinerated to liberate me. Gunther had every right to defend the homeland he cherished. Let’s put all that to rest.

    I applaud his poem. He says what needs to be said. And it’s time for a German to say it. I cried as I read it. I know for a fact that many young Europeans feel the same. It’s good that an elder says it out loud.

  7. Sarwar alam said,

    April 9, 2012 at 04:48

    voice of the world conscience

  8. Kent Smith said,

    April 9, 2012 at 06:17

    The Associated Press is distributing an ugly and tone-deaf translation of this poem, and because of who they are it’s the one most people will read. This version (an uncredited translation!) reads very well and consequently is effective.

    The right-wing Netanyahu really is driving his country into some kind of screaming mania. It’s a shame; there are also good, liberal people there who are suffocating, as I suppose decent Germans were in the very early Thirties. We may all have to pay the price for it.

  9. Citizen of Earth said,

    April 9, 2012 at 10:44

    Lovely poem, thanks Guenter.

  10. DINO said,

    April 9, 2012 at 15:07

    WELL DONE DEAR GUNTER! TAKE CARE. GOOD LACK!
    HAPPY EASTER.

  11. DINO said,

    April 9, 2012 at 15:11

    EDWARD W. SAID IS SMILING NOW, UP THERE SOMEWHERE.

  12. Ayelyah said,

    April 9, 2012 at 20:06

    The voice of Gunter Grass adds weight to the global initiative to rid our planet of the oppression of the zionist control matrix that has infiltrated our nations and is bent on steering us into WW111.

  13. brian said,

    April 10, 2012 at 23:56

    ‘I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out’

    While zionist jews in israel and elsewhere have their limited consciences protected by jewish law…they can commit atrocities freely against anyone but esp palestinians…as only ‘jews’ matter

  14. brian said,

    April 10, 2012 at 23:59

    Grass set a fire under israel and its minions around the world…forcing them to react…

  15. kim said,

    April 11, 2012 at 13:55

    well said.Speak the truth and shame the devil Mr grass.

  16. April 11, 2012 at 14:57

    […] to Israel, caused an outrage in both countries and tempers have flared all over the Internet, both in favor of and against the content of the […]

  17. April 11, 2012 at 18:24

    […] to Israel, caused an outrage in both countries and tempers have flared all over the Internet, bothin favor of and against the content of the […]

  18. R0d said,

    April 11, 2012 at 19:15

    Aplausos !!

  19. GoodAmerican said,

    April 12, 2012 at 19:11

    His is the sentiment that people all over the world would speaking and hearing back from their neighbors..if not for the liars who control our information and public sentiment through their control of the main stream media.

    They have a name for it. They call it “Social Engineering”…. But “Sociopathic Engineering” would be a better description.

    Peace, truth, justice, freedom, prosperity and votes on diebold machines that arent being manipulated, for US all, in-spite of them.

  20. TruthSeeker said,

    April 13, 2012 at 03:11

    This poem represent the conscience of the true world opinion. No matter how much US and European mainstream media hide the truth about Israel, sooner or later world opinion will triumph. There is no escape from it.


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