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Remembrance of Things Past

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The coincidence, or otherwise, of memory and history has been a fruitful field for study for several years now, and one that has proved to be fraught with controversy and alarm.

Few people have been more active in promoting the need for Germans to face up to the historical realities of 1933-45 than the widely acclaimed novelist Günter Grass, so it is barely surprising that his sudden admission in his new autobiography that as a seventeen-year-old he spent several months in the Waffen-SS should have been greeted by dismay, anger, disappointment and general mystification.

 


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