Günter Grass


Günter Grass

Photo: H. Grunert

Günter Grass
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1999

Born: 16 October 1927, Danzig, Free City of Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland)

Died: 13 April 2015, Lübeck, Germany

Residence at the time of the award: Germany

Prize motivation: “whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history”

Language: German

Prize share: 1/1


German writer Günter Grass also made a living as a graphic artist and sculptor. He grew up in Danzig during World War II and joined the Waffen-SS, something he comes to terms with in the autobiographical novel Peeling the Onion (2006). Grass was a political activist and did not hesitate to comment on contemporary events. Among other things, he criticized the 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall.


Günter Grass wrote a number of novels using World War II and Nazi war crimes as a backdrop. His big breakthrough came in 1959 with The Tin Drum. The city of Danzig/Gdańsk and its alternating German and Polish affiliation serve as the background in several of his writings. Characteristic of his literary style is the way he mixes autobiographical and historical elements with fictional events that together form an ironic social satire.

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MLA style: Günter Grass – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Fri. 29 Sep 2023. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1999/grass/facts/>

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