Republishing this 2006 essay, as an obituary for Mr. Grass, or it’s stand in, can only be properly described as a chickenshit attack on him, no other epithet describes it as succinctly : he was 12 years old in 1939 and 18 years old in 1945! He came clean about his childhood! What did any of us believe in that six year age range? We, as children, believed what we were told and what was taught to us! In all ways, in that age range, we are the creatures of our time and place. How hard is it to understand that elementary fact about childhood and adolescence! If guilt over his childhood beliefs and practices were the mainspring of Mr. Grass’ brilliant literary/political career and his belated confession, then we are better for his example!
Lets not even consider the power of shame in the lives of human beings! That kind of insight is beyond the ken of the author or authors of this diatribe, masquerading as a meditation on the inability of Germans to confront their own history, the purest political convenience, in an unconvincing rhetorical frame. The essay itself is nine years old, is this the best you can muster?
To prove to your readership the true character of the editors of The Economists, there is no comments section, in which your contemporary readership could vent their justifiable wraith, or more likely, celebrate the unmasking of another Left Wing political opportunist, in posthumous recognition of his historically demonstrated mendacity? The War on the Left is your manic obsession, while a nearly unbridled Capitalism/Neoliberalism attacks what’s left of the marrow of civic life with abandon! The re-purposing of this 2006 essay is the sort of political tactic that the National Review or at The Weekly Standard might engage in as part of business as usual.