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BOOKS > Günter Grass remains head of German PEN

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse

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Grass, 84, recently provoked a heated international debate after publishing a poem about a nuclear-armed Israel. AFP Photo

Grass, 84, recently provoked a heated international debate after publishing a poem about a nuclear-armed Israel. AFP Photo

Nobel prize-winning author Günter Grass remains the honorary chairman of the German branch of the PEN club despite a bid to sack him over a controversial poem he wrote lambasting Israel, a spokeswoman has said. Grass, 84, recently provoked a heated international debate after publishing a poem titled “What Must Be Said,” in which he worried that a nuclear-armed Israel “could wipe out the Iranian people” with a “first strike.” Israel has barred him from visiting the country, declaring him persona non grata.

The spokeswoman for the German branch of PEN said the group received a request that they strip Grass of his honorary chairmanship, but a large majority of members rejected the idea at their annual meeting in eastern Germany.

May/14/2012

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