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Günter Grass
Günter Grass in 2006
Günter Grass in 2006
Born (1927-10-16)16 October 1927
Free City of Danzig
Died 13 April 2015(2015-04-13) (aged 87)
Lübeck, Germany
Occupation Novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, sculptor, graphic designer
Nationality German
Period 1956–2015
Literary movement Vergangenheitsbewältigung
Notable works Die Blechtrommel
Katz und Maus
Im Krebsgang
"Was gesagt werden muss"
Notable awards Georg Büchner Prize
Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Prince of Asturias Awards


Günter Wilhelm Grass (16 October 1927 in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) – 13 April 2015 in Lübeck) is a German writer and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was known for writing the controversial, but yet classic novel The Tin Drum.


Grass was born in Danzig in 1927 and went to school there. In the World War II he had to serve in the military, afterwards he was a prisoner of war of the U.S. army. In 1945 and 1946 he worked as a stonemason. During the rise of Nazi Germany, Grass drafted into the Waffen-SS, the elite armed wing of the Nazi Party. He revealed this in 2006. He said if he had joined the armed wing when he was older, he would have faced war crimes.

From 1946 he studied arts at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste) in West Berlin. He was a member of the German group of writers known as group 47.

He has lived in North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein. He lived in Lübeck. In 1959 he published The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel), his most famous work. Grass has always been interested in politics and helped in the election campaigns of the SPD. He was a friend of Willy Brandt. Grass was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1999.

Grass died from a lung infection at his home in Lübeck, aged 87.

  • Danziger Trilogie
    • Die Blechtrommel (Tin Drum) (1959)
    • Katz und Maus (Cat and Mouse)(1961)
    • Hundejahre (Dog Years)(1963)
  • Örtlich betäubt (Local Anaesthetic) (1969)
  • Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke (From the Diary of a Snail) (1972)
  • Der Butt (1979)
  • Das Treffen in Telgte (1979)
  • Kopfgeburten oder Die Deutschen sterben aus (1980)
  • Die Rättin (1986)
  • Zunge zeigen. Ein Tagebuch in Zeichnungen (1988)
  • Unkenrufe (1992)
  • Ein weites Feld (1995)
  • Mein Jahrhundert (1999)
  • Im Krebsgang (2002)
  • Letzte Tänze (2003)

English Translations

  • The Danzig Trilogy
  • Four Plays (1967)
  • Speak out! Speeches, Open Letters, Commentaries (1969)
  • Local Anaesthetic (1970)
  • From the Diary of a Snail (1973)
  • In the Egg and Other Poems (1977)
  • The Meeting at Telgte (1981)
  • The Flounder (1978)
  • Headbirths, or, the Germans are Dying Out (1982)
  • The Rat (1987)
  • Show Your Tongue (1987)
  • Two States One Nation? (1990)
  • The Call of the Toad (1992)
  • The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising (1996)
  • My Century (1999)
  • Too Far Afield (2000)
  • Crabwalk (2002)

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