Other Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Rachel MagShamhráin; Fritz Stern
Interview with Fritz Stern
Optional Fields
New German Critique

In conversation with Felicitas von Lovenberg of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Professor Fritz Stern gives his reaction to Günter Grass’ controversial poem on Israel entitled “What must be said,” first published in April 2012 in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In it, Grass had attacked Israel’s stance towards Iran, recommended that Germany no longer supply Israel with weapons, and reproached himself and his fellow countrymen for withholding criticism for so long for fear of offending Israel. In Stern’s reaction, he condemns ensuing ad hominem attacks on Grass in which he is dismissed as an ex-member of the Waffen SS and anti-Semite, regarding such attacks as misplaced and ultimately irrelevant. In Stern’s view, the real problem lies in various oversimplifications of the debate on the Middle East, which are by no means unique to Grass’ poem. He argues the importance of a more nuanced, better informed and therefore productive dialogue that is neither simplistically anti- nor pro-Israeli.

Duke University Press
New German Critique vol. 118
Grant Details