82-year-old writer Günter Grass is famous for writing such works as The
Tin Drum, a wildly imaginative novel depicting a dwarf confined in an
insane asylum, and for revealing, after a life spent as a left-wing
critic, that he had served in the Waffen-SS during World War II. Grass
is somewhat less known as a foe of reading on computers. He takes on
this new role in an interview with Der Spiegel.
After urging fellow writers to bar their works from the iPad until "a law protecting authors becomes effective," he broadens his attack to all digital reading:
Later on in the interview, Grass addresses the more serious question of his relationship with the Waffen-SS:
SPIEGEL: Can you think of any other mistakes you have made during your life?
Grass: In my case, as everyone knows, I wasin my younger years. I make this abundantly clear in my book "Peeling the Onion." I suppose I derived a certain immunity to any ideological posturing from that mistake.
SPIEGEL: In "Grimms' Words," you address your time with the Waffen-SS once again, and you describe your swearing-in on a clear, cold winter's night. You were 17 at the time. Do you also count that moment among the mistakes in your life?
Grass: It was not a misdeed on my part. I was drafted, as many thousands of others were. I didn't volunteer for the Waffen-SS. The end of the war liberated me from the pledge of blind obedience. After that, I knew that I would never take an oath again.[Hat tip: The Browser]