GrassToday Landmark Books celebrates the birth of Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass. Sporting the mustache before it was cool, Gunter earned a reputation for works such as ‘The Diary of a Snail’, ‘Cat and Mouse’ and of course, ‘The Tin Drum’. Grass was born on this day in 1927 in Danzig-Langfuhr, Free City of Danzig. His parents ran a small grocery store and the family lived behind the shop. In November of 1944 he volunteered for service with Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine, to escape the confinement he felt at home from his Roman Catholic parents. He was not accepted, but instead was drafted by the 10th SS Panzer Division where he served until April 20th, 1945 when he was wounded. He was captured in Marienbad and sent to an American POW Camp. After the war Grass found refuge in West Germany where he would later attend college first at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, then at the Berlin University of the Arts. Through his career he would work as a Novelist, poet, playwright, sculptor and graphic designer. Today Grass is considered Germany’s most famous author. He has won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film for his adaptation of ‘The Tin Drum’ and in 1999 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2006 his involvement in World War II was brought into question. Documents released revealed that he had been a reserve member of the Waffen SS. He wrote about those experiences in 2007 and has denounced his involvement. We encourage you to look up Gunter Grass and read some of his work and see why he is such an important part of literature.

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