BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
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.