Nobel Prize-winning novelist, artist, and playwright, admitted in August that he joined the Waffen SS, an elite military wing of the Nazis, at age 17. He had previously admitted to having served as a soldier. Often called Germany's conscience, Grass, a peace activist, faced immediate criticism for not acknowledging his service earlier. In his novels, which include The Tin Drum, Grass frequently contemplates the trauma and sorrow of war and its attendant social and political problems.
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